Learning with iPads

Last Wednesday (8th March) I attended a ‘Learning with iPad’ session at the Essa Academy in Bolton, organised by MCC.

After an introduction from the Keynotes: Essa and the Bolton School about the Essa Academy  and Bolton School  technological journeys, we then went into different workshops. The choices were varied from the technical side with coding with swift and iPad deployment workshops to the softer skills sets with Apple Teacher and Assessment and Feedback with the iPad.

Due to personal time restrictions on the day I could only attend the initial Keynote and 2 of the workshop sessions.

Keynote: Introduction to the Schools

The introduction to both schools showed how iPads could be effectively integrated in very different schools (funding differences, student backgrounds, socio-economic areas etc)

The Essa Academy had effectively redefined their use of technology rather than substituted it, much like the SAMR model. They had classed it as transforming the teaching and learning rather than translating it.

They used technology to create consistency and transparency. Essa swapped their old VLE for iTunesU. This change was more redefinition rather than substitution due to the cultural change in regards to how to use iTunesU rather than an off the shelf VLE, being less of a repository and more of a learning space to assess and feedback to students.

The online resources within iTunesU became interactive  iBooks with multimedia resources within them, rather than the traditional PDFs, PowerPoints and Word Documents. They then integrated apps like Showbie to integrate assessment and feedback. It all threaded through and blended into the learning.


The Bolton School also used iTunesU (as a student resource and for teaching lesson cover) and had blended the technology within the older setting of their school. The focus was more on the psychological framework for pedagogy to apply technology to fit within that, and building the digital competency and literacy of the teachers.

Within this on the development of the digital resources was less on the polished look of resources and more on the students creating their own resources to revise and be assessed and fed back on. Again they used a similar system with what apps they used and how they used them.

Both schools share best practice with each other and learn effective ways of using technology to enhance learning and teaching.


Session 1: Apple Teacher

This session opened my eyes to the wealth of information available at appleteacher.apple.com in relation to how to use Apple apps and technology. Like the microsoft.edu innovators project which is specific to Microsoft technology, Apple Teacher acts as bitesized CPD which can be done in the tutors own time. Again like the Mircosoft.edu course it offers badges, so you can see who has done which training to allow for peer to peer support. For example if Jo Blogs is great with Keynote but I’m not as confident, I can always go to Jo for some tips and pointers on how they use it.

We were also shown the apps Pages (multimedia document app) and Keynote (presentation app) and given examples of how they were used to gain a context to how Apple Teacher can take the app knowledge and use a step further.

Pages – Task designed for students to create a resource/poster on  a specific topic, using multimedia (images, audio, video etc) to show subject knowledge.

Keynote – Task get students to design a presentation on a specific topic to present to the class using multimedia resources (such as videos, or creating their own animations to explain the subject i.e how atoms move)

The knowledge and passion of the presenter reflected the positive difference that technology could make to the students and staff. Engaging learners and saving staff time.

Session 2: Assessment and Feedback

This session was mainly practical and based on delegate participation. The first part of the session was aimed at briefly understanding the pedagogy of using technology and digitising Assessment and Feedback.


The apps demonstrated in the more practical side of the session were:

Kahoot – A fun way to quiz students based on speed and knowledge. Students can retake the same kahoot in ghost mode and almost compete against themselves.

Socrative – Tutor gets instant analytics of how individual students within the group are doing, so you can see strengths and weaknesses.

Showbie – A great way of showing feedback, as it can be given in audio and visual annotation forms.

From the whole day it was amazing to see how the schools had successfully implemented iPads in their educational institutes. However for an F.E college whose funding is different and are not completely Apple, nor Microsoft based, and who can’t supply 1:1 devices for students, the only things to successfully take away from such an inspiring day is how the apps are used and ‘app smashed’ together to work effectively. As well as the Apple Teacher free self study CPD. This in itself is a brilliant thing to take away. I would suggest to attend as many sessions to do with iPads and tablets as possible, you never know which new app or new way of using the same app you’ll find!



BETT – Thursday 26th Jan 2017

This was a jam packed day with back to back seminars and and about half an hour for lunch, all planned that way. Definitely no missing out on anything this time around for this E-learning Developer!

F.E Learn Live stage – Digital Storytelling: Engaging Learnings: Developing Digital Literacies (session by Gordon Duffy-McGhie)

The case study was based in Middlesbrough College using a drama class with the understanding of the class issues being attendance, student engagement and students being spoon fed for assessments rather than learning.

The solution was to restructure the communications architecture to move away from the traditional model of teaching, based on content regurgitation, to peer collaborative learning. The Process is shown below:

The Process. Phase 1: Information and communication infrastructure.

  • Tackled the VLE first – moved from a folder based navigation and look VLE to a website based navigation and look VLE
  • Used students work to show case and create into journey or show case a journey using multimedia materials (videos etc)
  • Class expectations of what they’re there to learn – analytics showed previewed material increased and looked through each week of subject and interest was maintained after session. This was done using quick 1 minute videos as a hook for the students, using student work.

The Process. Phase 2: Integration.

  • Flipped content
  • Blendspace
  • Less delivery – presentation by tutor
  • Peer review as a digital story – power of the student voice
  • Formative tasks.
  • Replaced essays with short video and video planning (where appropriate) which made students be concise and more engaged due to time limit, and there to be a review of what marks and what makes a merit and distinction.

Overall the results showed that:

  • Marks went up
  • skills gained for the course – preparing them to be able to adapt in real life scenarios and potentially in future careers.
  • Class attendence went up
  • Skype interviews improved their interview skills due to students being able to hear and see how they present themselves.
  • Increased confidence with technology.

The takeaway from the session was in relation to the technology being there for learning and not learning for technology. For the tutor it became less about delivery and more about the student’s learning journey and progress rather than the destination. This meant that the students voices and opinions were crucial so it is important to encourage student speaking and communication.

Secondary Learn Live stage – Flipped Meetings: An Effective, Innovative and Sustainable Approach to Leadership Communication (session by Jon Tait)

This was a sneaky management one I wanted to look at. After listening to the session it made complete sense and was also nice to see that at one level or another we are already doing this at the college.

The problem faced by the secondary school which lead to this solution was that looking at it from a management level, face to face time is costly. Both in financial cost of people wages wise and cost of time, time which could be better spent for teachers lesson prepping and marking and for mangers actually being able to plan and act on the school’s needs (financial etc).

The whole crux of the session relied on sustainable leadership and the idea of a flipped paperless classroom applied to meetings. The case study at Acklam Grange School, which is Microsoft Showcase School, means that the software used was Microsoft based. In this case they used OneNote and Office 365 to create paperless meetings to share documents to read before the meeting and then edit within the meeting, using the meeting time to discuss the information. This meant that decisions which were previously taken lightly, as people didn’t have time to process the information given, were now thought of in-depth and the information  was effectively processed from reading it previously to the meeting. This lead to meetings being shorter but more effective with actions and outcomes.


  • Before meeting: Info given out prior to meeting
  • Before meeting: People read before meeting
  • In Meeting : pose questions
  • In Meeting : review
  • In Meeting : create action

From this meeting times were quicker, the school saved money (both in peoples time and printing costs)and higher thinking skills were used to make decisions.

The official takeaway from this experience was that face to face time is precious and that you should assess as a company and an individual whether you’re getting value for money from your meetings. Unofficially I got the takeaway that with anything relating to learning you should always apply learning theory, for example within a meeting where you’re expected to learn and understand information to be able to make a decision on it should be treated as learning rather than an exercise in quickfire thinking.

F.E  Learn Live stage – Blended Learning Consortium (session by Peter Kilcoyne)

There is some amazing work being done with this consortium, it’s an initiative where you pay so much a year as a membership fee and you get access to all the information, learning resources and discounts on learning package and content authoring tools.


Key values of consortium:

  • Good to share
  • Democratic decision making – ideas for learning materials go through a process and panel to get created.
  • Collaboration and mutual support – there’s already so many colleges in it and you get their support and input too.
  • Accessibility kept in mind – when the packages are produced they are produced with accessibility options.

The content had some great uses for tutorial provision, supporting the FELTAG initiative, absence cover, revision, adapting and badges. Especially as you get more out of it then you put in financially.

However when the purse strings are tight, it doesn’t necessarily work as a viable and sustainable option. But that is down to your institute.

BETT stage – Can VR Become a Classroom Reality? (session by Sanjesh Sharma and David Mann from Class VR)

This main stage event was great to see the different case studies of VR currently.

Uses of VR:

Visual Literacy/Realisation – Creation of real world experiences to allow for emotional learning through sensory context. For example immersing students into a world described in a book to give the student an ability to understand the experience so that they can describe it. Or showing students a worn torn country for an ethics assignment with immersive real life sights and sounds to generate an emotional connection to allow for emotional learning (the example given was a walk through the streets of Syria)

Simulations – 3D simulated working models. Examples shown were the pumping heart, where the student could walk around the heart and see how the mechanics work.

Field Trips/enrichment – Allowing students to access places they might not have been able to access before. The example shown was a virtual tour of the Smithsonian in America, which anyone around the world could access. This would make enrichment activities such as field trips more sustainable due to cost and ability to visit places.

Additionally accessibility came into play – engaging students who may previously not been engaged with the subject due to lack of practical examples or different methods of learning.

Again this technology has been stressed that the why, how, when and where of the content and pedagogy need to be thought of in it’s use. Technology for learning not learning for technology.

Not a tablet replacement

Though VR is the near future, and in some institutions a working technology at present, there is an undercurrent of mixed reality becoming an emerging future educational technology tool for a more interactive experience. However this seems to be a while off, but it’s always something to keep an eye out for.

Microsoft Learn Live stage – Badges and More: An Introduction to Teacher Training and CPD (session by Paul Watkins from Ysgol Bae Baglan)


The session hinged on the concept of time being precious (similar to the earlier session of flipped meetings) but that technological CPD was crucial to tutors and support staff to help save then time in the long run by increasing their digital competency.

Again this was lead by a Microsoft based school, so is highly situated within Microsoft technology. The main selling point was the education.microsoft.com CPD that’s freely available to anyone, where collaboration is a great way of peer learning from other professionals.

The school implemented this system, which used badges to show the full amount of CPD a staff member had done and which mini courses they’d taken. There was reported school wide success as different levels of confidence in students and staff as they interacted and responded well to the bitesized training done at their own pace, which enhanced the digital competency of the whole school and in the end saved time for tutors in the long run.

A cheeky side note, I noticed that (unintentionally?) they’d accidentally used operant conditioning through reinforcement for the face to face sessions by having chocolates, cake etc and then at the end of the year the one with the most badges/progress were publicly praised between the staff. This approach is fantastic because it encourages a competitive yet supporting community environment where technology confidence can be safely encouraged.

Microsoft Learn Live stage – Learning Tools for OneNote (session by Microsoft and Jan Lusty)

This was a fantastic case of using OneNote as a accessibility tool for students. This case study was conducted at Knowl Hill School, which is a dyslexic specialist school.

OneNote as a learning tool, in the immersive reader option:

  • Focus Mode
  • Text to speech
  • change page background for visual crowding control
  • increase font size
  • syllables breaks into syllable parts
  • Nouns

For the case study from the school it was found that:

  • Pupils enjoyed using the technology
  • Impacted positively on writing
  • Lead to less emotional distress after intervention
  • Pupils progress was more in literacy and phonological skills than would be expected
  • Made the same progress in a few weeks which would be expected in a year
  • Reading fluency and accuracy increased more than expected
  • Pupil’s felt independence for writing.
  • Made the information more accessible

From this going forward I’m sure we’ll be trialing it here, there was a lot it could do which for a tool we already have was a brilliant eye opener!

Microsoft Learn Live stage – Windows 10 in Education (session by Ben Whitfield)

This was of particular interest to me and the college as we have recently moved over to Windows 10, so to see a fully immersed school as a living case study of effective use of Windows 10 sounded hopeful.

The case study related to St Edmund Arrowsmith Catholic High School, and though from the software side (which is the side I was mainly interested in) was brilliant, it was only fleeting and again related back to OneNote and the Office 365 cloud based apps.  The focus was more hardware based on the surface tablets which Microsoft have released, which again was great because they utilised the surface for the drawing capability. However I have to admit at this point I switched off a little bit, as the tablet devices we have at college are Apple based and a lot of the information given about the use of the Mircosoft tablet with Microsoft software was redundant as the functions for the same apps and tech change from Microsoft to Apple device.

Though some of the ideas and methods implemented were somewhat eye opening, for example they had bypassed their IT department and given full control to staff to use the store to buy apps.  Though they had set specific staff to act as admins of the system, so that they could hide and lock down the tablets for students use (so they couldn’t download what they shouldn’t be able to)

To keep the conclusion short and sweet, everything from this day can be summarised in these key points:

  • Technology for learning not learning for technology – don’t use it just because it’s there, think why are you using it?
  • Move away from traditional models – ditch the regurgitation and welcome student lead learning.
  • Embed technological skills with your students – it will help prepare them for the future by being confident in technology skills.
  • Time is precious – with increased demands in education on tutors and organisations, smaller and more accessible CPD sessions are the way forward.
  • look at what you already have and see how that can be applied – For me it was the functionality of Office 365 as an e-learning tool rather than an IT system.
  • Device agnostic systems – everywhere seemed to be either specifically and Apple school or a Microsoft school, which can cause problems when you’ve got a bit of both.

BETT – Wednesday 25th Jan 2017

For the first day of BETT it was amazing and there was a buzz in the air in relation to seeing the seminars, discussions and demonstrations that were around the conference.

Secondary Learn Live stage – Using Cutting Edge Technology to Drive the Strategic Leadership of Student Behaviour (session by Jon Tait)


The case study from Acklam Grange School demonstrated effective use of data in relation to leadership and organisation effectiveness. The big data that the school collected lead to the understanding of issues, rather than firefighting, to see the trends, sub groups, student behaviour and outcomes all based within the use of the VLE and other school systems and technology.

They used the following technology to help implement a long term sustainable strategy to combat behaviour:

  • Classcharts (software/app) – it creates seating plans and pulls information from the LMS and other systems through. It is a behaviour management tool where you can give and remove points from students, attached praise or negative behaviour, flags up specific issues, change the seating plan to put people next to others who may benefit overall class behaviour etc.
  • VLE – class statistics, engagement
  • Registers – attendance

After using all these technologies combined with each to create a forensic behaviour analysis and map students progression throughout the year.  The results showed that:

  • Their Ofsted rating increased
  • Behaviour reduction in exclusions by 98%
  • Results up by .6p 8

The overall takeaway from this session was considering how your institution uses data and would better student behaviour lead to improved, results, retention (both staff and students) and morale (both staff and students) Which if data is used effectively, according to this study, could be a vast improvement on what you already have. It’s just understand what the data is for and how it’ll be used.

Primary Learn Live stage – Wall to Wall Learning: Developing Collaboration and Showcasing Student Digital Creations (session by David Whyley)

This was specific to a smaller campus environment, and used the idea of an installed digital wall to display students digital work in real time. The idea being that it would give the student work a place rather than being stored away on a file on some networked drive somewhere, never to be seen again.

The simple installation of the wall and connecting every digital device to it, so that any work done could be displayed, lead to unforeseen results for the students.

What happened in relation to learning theory?

  • Students had ownership of work through the display
  • Communication skills developed, due to discussions about work posted
  • Social and organisational skills developed as peer to peer learning took place
  • Emotional skills developed due to group activities, reactions to works, peer to peer learning  etc.

While I enjoyed this session it is something, for this academic year at least, that would not be feasible due to monetary needs. Thinking through how it would work at F.E would it be more based on digital signage rather than students assignment work? Or could it be used for in class tasks and activities, such as a place to put the student work done on apps (Sparks Video, Pic Collage etc) which usually would be lost to the ether.

BETT Stage – HundrED: Bringing Innovation in Education up to Speed (session by Kate and Saku)

This was one of the main stage sessions at BETT and was brilliant in it’s thinking. It’s 100+ free resources and innovative ideas for education (can be found at www.hundrED.org )

The reason for it being a free resource is that the world is changing faster than the educational institutions and infrastructures can keep up to. This is due to faster digitalisation, globalisation and climate (social and economical) than previously seen before.

With the free resource it means that what happens in the classroom, with best practice, is shared between different countries, institutes and teachers instantly or quickly. It’s no longer kept in the classroom and doesn’t go anywhere.

A similar initiative was launched in conjunction with it called Global Oneness (it can be found at www.globaloneness.org )

As the plethora of resources is so vast I would suggest checking out what’s on offer and potentially joining in as an ambassador to collect in a specific topic. Think about creating resources on topics/subjects/skills which can be saved simply by sharing best practice and innovations in that area. Potentially saving skills and skill sets which previously may have died out.

H.E Learn Live stage- Learning to Fly  ( session lead by Dom Pates and Dr Sikora)

The premise for this case study was based into student work flow, student attention and infrastructure affects on learning. This was done using aviation students and teaching rearranging the learning experience for teaching them how to fly using remote guest lectures, flexible learning spaces with node chairs, web cams with mic to pick up the whole room, and used the connect app for text questions with the guest lecturer and with the tutor.

The feedback from the study had it’s positives and reworks. The main result found from the study was that it was labelled as inspiring from both the students and the tutor, both sides were keen to do it again as a form of teaching and learning. The students also enjoyed the  insight into the industry that they might previously not had, due to the web cam and remote guest lecture. However there were a few cases where the students and the tutors would have preferred more interaction with each other, not necessarily as a feedback tool but as an interactive learning experience. The evidence was qualitative and based on the ‘flow’ of work, this was measured through the students interactions as it was found that students wanted to talk and keep interacting in the more successful sessions.

Tips learnt from Case study included having the technical issues ironed out, the IT infrastructure, technical know-how and support needed to be in place for the tutor, as when this faltered it affected the students’ attention and therefore work flow. However it was also found that having the technology ‘hidden’ or embedded increased flow for the students as it enables rapport and ease of interaction.

Tips and Takeaways from the session:

  • Get feedback
  • Embed tech
  • Break up a talk
  • Record the session (reflective learning resource – student and tutor)
  • Wherever possible, make learning an experience not just a traditional regurgitation of information
  • Build Interaction into remote guest lectures from the beginning, helps with the flow of learning
  • Hide the technology (don’t make it obvious) embed the tech so it’s just part of the experience.

The session was brilliant in thinking about how learning is about the students’ experience of learning not just how to the tutor regurgitates information. It was also great to see that on some level we already take this into account with our learners here at the college, though there are a few takeaways to take back too.

H.E Learn Live stage – How the iPad Contributed Towards a Vision and Plan of Paperless Teaching and Learning Environment:


This was a fantastic look into how slow TEL progression can lead to big TEL changes, and it all started with iPads in this case. It started with one tutor and one lab group and naturally scaled up bit by bit, with a small natural push from their TEL team.

Summed up they swapped lab books for iPads in their lab environments, and from this smaller changes occurred where more people used them and then found different ways to use them (flipped learning etc)

Overall it saved the institution £30,000 on printing costs and lead to more interactive lab books being created due to the different abilities an iPad offered over traditional pen and paper. The main takeaway was to concentrate on one thing, do that right and then build on it as it will naturally evolve bit by bit. Technology for a reason not a trend, don’t throw anything at the wall and see what sticks, but go in with one thing and do it well.

It was a brilliant reflection of how TEL does progress within an educational setting when it is allowed to grow and done well, rather than moving from one trend to the next. Fantastic to see how they broke down the initial barriers by rewording and giving sound logic and reasoning as to why that specific piece of technology should be used and from there grow the digital literacy of the students and staff by embedding the technology.

H.E Learn Live stage – Ensuring Technological Plurality through Effective Learning Design

I got somewhat lost in this session, as multiple models were produced and disseminated, thinking about it I wished I’d taken more pictures of the theory models!

However the main bit I can remember, and looking back through my notes, is that when creating a TEL learning theory model and effective learning design keep the following points in mind:

  • generic terms, not specific apps. This is due to the rate in which apps change, the functionality will be the same or similar ( a presenting app for example) but the name will be different.
  •  verb structures and semantics matter. The language which is used can provoke different responses within colleagues, so it’s best to use focus groups and discuss wording of theories with different colleagues.
  • Don’t overload it with information, keep it simple and easy to follow and always keep in mind what the reason for doing it is.

Overall Design tips:

  • Visualisation is key
  • Collaborative effort
  • students broader HE experience – it’s not just about learning academically at university it’s also about learning socially, emotionally etc.


  • Anticipate, plan and use technology n the pursuit of learning outcomes
  • Download taxonomies and share ideas.

The session itself from the design side of it was informative, we’re currently designing a new TEL learning model at the college and it’s great to see we’ve already thought about a lot of these issues. However with it’s continual development this has been a key experience and informative session to take back to the team.

H.E Learn Live stage – Transforming Higher Ed with Mircosoft Hololens (session by Microsoft)


The geek in me wanted to go and see this, it wasn’t disappointed. Though the Hololens was not presented to show the exact nature of the product, I was impressed with the amount of workable, varied and education based real life case studies were presented in using the Hololens currently in education both at F.E and H.E level (the case studies are American based but in the loose translation over from their educational system to ours they came out as F.E and H.E).

The following case studies were given (the Microsoft Hololens is Partnered with Pearsons educational packages) :

University of Washington in Seattle – Keeping students up to date in the future gaming and computer industries. Keeping the students up to date with technologies that are already used in industry.

Western Reserve University – Used for a biology interactive package to help students learn the human body.

Clackamas Community College – Automotive Department, teaching subjects and ideas that are complicated without 3D representation.

I was also intrigued in the idea of mixed reality, I had scheduled to go to the VR sessions on the Thursday so was interested to see how the progression of this type of tech worked. The idea being that reality is on a scale, as shown below:


The idea of mixed reality seems to lie in the nook between Actual Reality and Augmented Reality, while using elements from each stop on the reality scale.

This is the next step from AR and VR to mixed reality, it may be a while off becoming available to the wider educational community, but it is definitely on the horizon. Again the point of the technology is for learning, the case studies circled back to the idea that its technology for learning not learning for technology. I look forward to seeing it in education and in the wider environment in the future!

F.E Learn Live stage – Empowering Teachers to Create Bespoke e-learning resources (session by Jonathan Hills)


This session was an interesting insight. I’ll admit the title was rather misleading, for me, originally my thinking was that the tutors would be creating the resources, however this was not the case.  The concept was that tutors would write down the content and what they wanted, based on a template designed, and give that to the e-learning team for that college to develop, which in itself is common sense but at the same time very clever.

The barriers to tutors learning new technologies and creating learning resources can be summed up as:

  • Time – learning materials are time consuming to make in the first place
  • Knowing where to start – trial and error in how to make the learning materials
  • Lack of technical expertise – tutors are experts in their area but not necessarily with ever changing technology

Having a storyboard template for tutors to use means there is a guide for them to then build upon, which means that the tutors time is not wasted in thinking of the how’s but rather the whys and what knowledge. It also means that when the e-learning team is developing the learning materials they know exactly what is wanted, how it’s to be presented and what the outcomes for the learners should be. It also means the correct content is there to input and create into a learning material, as tutors are not technical experts neither are e-learning teams experts in Maths, English, Science etc.

The overall takeaway from this as an E-learning Developer was the template created was basic but effective, it kept the instructions easy to follow for the tutor and easy for an e-learning team to do the technical bit to develop content into a learning material for the tutor. This is definitely something we’ll be using here!

To keep the overall conclusion short and sweet, everything from this day can be summarised in these key points:

  • Technology for learning not learning for technology – don’t use it just because it’s there, think why are you using it?
  • Use your e-learning team – They are experts in their fields and are there to support tutors.
  • Why Big Data? – if there’s a problem, can big data solve it and why are you collecting it in the first place?
  • Collaboration is Key – In this digital age with the wealth of information out there, sometimes it’s good to share and there is no catch.
  • Paperless – Go paperless, it’s cost effective!
  • Embed technology – don’t make it obvious, embed the technology so it’s just part of the experience.

~ LP

V.R in Education

V.R is hailed to be the educational technology trend of 2016, with the introduction of wearable V.R gear and V.R apps on Smartphones (across any device: Andorid, Apple or Windows) becoming more accessible to a wider audience. Now that it’s widely accessible, how do you use it?

Equipment needed for V.R?


                 – Viewing Software –For the majority of V.R videos you can upload them to YouTube or a V.R specific app.

                    – Recording Software – Depending on how you’re going to stitch the V.R photo together you would need an online tool like Thinglink or a V.R stitching specific tool.


                 – Viewing Equipment –such as V.R headsets or smartphones which can be used through the B.Y.O.D schemes (which can be cheaper for colleges)

                    – Recording Equipment – Need to have a camera created specifically for V.R and for getting a full 360°  angle multiple

A few examples of V.R  uses in education:

Introductions/Tester sessions – Use a 360° video to show potential students what an average hour/day on a campus would look like, or show a sample/taster class. The 360 view allows for the viewer to experience the environment as if they were there.

Instructional – Using 360° video/photos of an environment, then layering over graphics to create instructional videos/photos of step by step processes.

Assessment – Video of the 360 environment means that those assessing classes can get a realistic view of the class environment. The 360 view leads to a wider scope of analysis.



There’s a lot of uses for V.R in education which could shape the classroom of the future. With the fact that V.R can be accessed in a variety of ways (Wearable tech or Smartphones)  it means that no one is excluded in the classroom experience and with enough funding educational facilities can include V.R within equipment that can be loaned out to staff and students.

I know I’d look forward to having V.R tech on our booking systems – both recording and viewing equipment!

 ~ Laura

Now is the Summer of Our New Content?

With the implementation of the college’s new LMS (Canvas) our minds turned to content for it.

This college has a lot of online courses so we use a lot of different e-learning materials at the college currently, and over the last few years these have progressed and developed into items which work well as interactive learning packages. A main thing for this year has been moving the materials of the first year students onto Canvas.

So naturally we had to test the old learning materials out for the new system….

This turned into a trip down the rabbit hole – some items worked but only if used in a specific way, others acted like a blanket response but were temperamental and others worked on the computer and browser options of the LMS but not in the app versions of the apps… not going to lie it was a slight nightmare purely from a presentation aspect.

(Note – We’ve reported back to Canvas and they’re currently working on their systems to improve. They’re brilliant at taking on ideas and have an amazing community in which to get support, the system itself is also brilliant.)

However we found a solution……H5P!!

H5P is the answer, after testing (currently the college and members of the e-learning team have been working on a funded project using H5P for instructional videos) and having a look through all the options and the interactive materials available we found that it can be used as an embedded file on a content page or simply link to it through the external link tool. Presentation and functionality wise it is helping us solve a lot of issues and even develop how we view and use multimedia interactive learning materials.

Realistically we won’t be able to fully explore the potential of these learning material in relation to Canvas, LMS analytics etc till midway through next year, potentially even at the end – around the start of the new academic year 2017/2018.

However we look forward to the time we can fully get stuck in and we’ll keep searching for the latest and most up-to-date learning material creation suites possible. To make it easier for the tutors to do their job and create a blended-learning environment for their students.

~ Laura

A.R in Education – case and point?

This year has been publicised to be the year of Virtual Reality (V.R) in education, and we fully agree with that with the amount of V.R headsets being released and the development of educational apps.  However this has led to education technology leaving Augmented Reality on the side line.

This may have been a bit of a premature detour from A.R to V.R.


Case and point – Pokemon Go!

I have to admit I got the app myself, so may be slightly biased – I’ve been ridiculously lucky so far and it’s somewhat addictive, walking to hatch eggs and find Pokemon it takes me back to my childhood….but back on point and most importantly (well from an edtech perspective) it’s all Augmented Reality (A.R). It’s mainstream Augmented Reality that people have taken to, there are very limited instructions with the game and are in fact more intuitive and based on a social aspect of users sharing information with each other through social media to learn what to do and how to do it.

So why is this important to education and education technology?

Not only is the game Augmented Reality based, but it’s a worldwide tech that has been greatly accepted by various people on various devices without question. There are a few teething issues, which you would get with any new technology, but it proves that with the right amount of funding (time and money)  and drive creating a worldwide interactive Augmented Reality (A.R) educational application is possible.

The benefits of A.R in education are boiled down to the following:

  • Social Learning – the lack of instructions with Pokemon Go! Have led to users collaborating with each other to learn how to play. This can be applied to most courses of learning.
  • Interactive lessons – makes any lesson practical, learning theoretical physics you can use
  • Portable learning Materials – Depending how the AR works (GPS, 3D mapping, Marker based, Projection based etc)
  • Versatility – you can view the embedded information through any device, whether that’s wearable tech which is the current trend (think smart watches and Google Glasses)  or your smart phone. It can also be used for any subject from science to art.


Now think about the educational benefit to having A.R, and expand it to a global scale.

With the recent break through of Pokemon Go! maybe the idea of global A.R in education isn’t too far away?

~ Laura


NB – For a more in depth look into A.R there are the two links below:

Types of AR

5 reasons for Augmented Reality

To Augmented Reality and Beyond!




To Augmented Reality and Beyond!

So what is it?

As A.R and V.R become closer to being globally accessible through the common market place there seems to be confusion between what A.R and V.R actually are. To make it as easy as possible to understand when we refer to either, I’m going off the following views of A.R and V.R:

Augmented Reality (A.R): is the layering of computer-generated sensory input such as audio, video, images or GPS information on the view of the real-world.

Virtual Reality (V.R): is a fully computer-simulated environment, real or imagined, and simulates a user’s physical presence in there in a way that allows the user to interact with it. This can be done through  video, audio, images and smells.


Like the Throw Back Thursday (or #TBT) of yester year A.R seems to have kick-started in 2012 and been left in 2015. There’ll always be trends in education, don’t get me wrong, but sometimes you have to look at the practicality and uses of said trends. In this case, A.R has been left in the past as V.R has progressed to the mainstream, mainly due to the gaming industries current evolution, this was evident at BETT and Digifest this year.

However it seems that A.R has been massively overlooked.

There’re plenty of uses of A.R in education,  from interactive posters to induction orientations. There are a few bits of research which can relate back to the use of  A.R, here are a few links:

Collaborative A.R  , Metacognitive Learning over the real world via A.R  ,  Student knowledge and A.R , dynamic environment through A.R  & A.R supporting different learning styles

With the launch of A.R companies wanting to break into education such as Blippar, Aurasma and Layar being the main ones, it seems like A.R is being overlooked in favour of V.R.

Here at Myerscough we are currently working on a project between our education department and our e-learning department to further the influence of A.R in the college as a plausible way of getting more information without overloading and creating a more dynamic environment. We’re doing this through a “My Out The Box” incentive which combines the posters and A.R to create information rich posters, which can be scanned by students and staff to get multimedia information. We’re using the Blippar app to help nail the A.R side of the poster. We’ve chosen Blippar as the app due to the educational account  that they offer. After having a look over the different apps available Blippar was found to have more interactions, which could hold more information and there was the ability to add varied media such as video, websites, photobooths etc. This and the ease of use made Blippar the clear winner. So far we only have a few posters out but we are looking forward to fully rolling out this project.

We’re looking forward to using Augmented Reality to go beyond…!