Technology: take nothing for granted | Terry Freedman

I know how he feels. Photo from Stencil. Licence: CC0

I had two reminders recently – as if reminders were necessary – of the importance of not taking technology for granted.
The first occasion was when I went along to a venue to make sure that my equipment works with theirs. I’ve been commissioned to do some training over the summer, and as it’s not my usual type of (education) client I thought I ought to be safe than sorry.
I’m glad I did. I discovered that they don’t have any cables with which to connect my laptop to…

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What’s in the next issue of Digital Education? | Terry Freedman

Learn something new, and have a good laugh, with Digital Education! Photo from Stencil. Licence: CC0

The new issue of my ezine, Digital Education, is just about to be published. As well as the heads-up about a book for teachers of Computing and Computer Science, it features 9 articles covering such topics as free photos for your blog or website, encouraging girls to go into Computing and Digital Badges.
The ezine has been going for a long time: it’s now in its 17th year. If you’d like to subscribe, please go to the…

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A Visual Basic School Calculator | Terry Freedman

A screenshot of a print-out of a screenshot

I came across a print-out of one of my first forays into programming with Visual Basic, circa 1994. I was already familiar with Basic, which I had taught for a number of years, and Visual Basic for Applications, which I employed to add some rocket fuel to Word and Excel. However, I thought it was time I learnt VB so I couldcreate stand-alone programs, and also teach it in school.
The screenshot above shows one of my first applications. It was a calculator which took account of…

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Technology-Authorised Madness | Terry Freedman

I offer this rant partly to get things off my chest — I think I now officially qualify for the title “grumpy old man”, even though I don’t much care for the “old” part — but even more so as a topic which teachers may like to raise with their students. The basic question is, I think, is technology being used inappropriately, or intrusively or even, ultimately, ridiculously?

I visited my local supermarket yesterday and decided to use the self-service check-out. This is a very advanced service which seems to require there to be at least two members of staff on hand at all times in order to…

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A cornucopia of comic-making applications | Terry Freedman

This is an image I created using Thanks to Julian Wood for drawing my attention to this application in one of his talks.

A short while before the summer 2017 break, Nick Jeans, Senior Consultant in Learning Technology at Sero Consulting, enquired in the Association for Learning Technology discussion list whether anyone had any recommendations for free comic-making software. I’ve collated the responses here. (Nobody in the discussion list has objected to my plan to do so.)
You’ll need to check for yourself…

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Robots, artificial intelligence and all that | Terry Freedman

Robot, by Terry. OK, so I’m useless at drawing. Get over it!

The next issue of my newsletter, Digital Education, will be a short one focused on robots and AI. (I’m still writing the one concerned with the question, “Is educational research worth the paper it’s written on?”)
I think a lot of nonsense has been written about AI, about how a ‘bot’ will take over the teaching, differentiation and assessment functions. I suppose that could be the case, but where I think the potential lies is in taking away the drudgery, leaving…

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15 Ways To Make an Educational Technology Project Successful | Terry Freedman

Photo from Stencil. Licence: CC0

How can you make an educational technology project successful? In a sense, the fact that it’s to do with ICT in education is irrelevant. There are some generic ‘rules’ which ought to be abided by.
By ‘project’ I do not mean work given to students, but the kind of research or experimentation that all good institutions should encourage.
It’s always good to have an end date in mind. For example, you may want to see how using a ‘voting system’ might help to increase children’s capability in…

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