Videos About Artifacts Bring History To Life

Artifacts bring history to life because they help develop key historical skills.

“Artifacts engage students physically, emotionally and intellectually. [They] require the application and practice of twenty-first century skills. […] Transcend the limitation of language, age, gender and discipline [and] tell stories. Discovering and telling the stories of objects helps students assimilate data into an orderly pattern. Our minds recognize and remember patterns. Artifacts engage students in effective learning. In other words…Artifacts Teach.”

William Virden, University of Northern Colorado

The Museum Of Artifacts That Made America

As a former secondary history teacher, I regularly used replicated and real artifacts in my history class.  I used artifact boxes from museums, recreated archaeological dig on campus and even mummified a chicken. To tell you the truth, I took the study of material culture, real and fake a bit further than most of my colleagues. And, I blame my background in archaeology for this. It paved the way for a love of artifacts and a desire to use material objects in my history classes as much as I could.

Unfortunately, we don’t have collections of artifacts to send to schools. But we’ve created the next best thing: a growing collection of bite-sized videos called the Museum of Artifacts That Made America. This series tells the untold stories of artifacts that have played a significant role in American history. It explains the historical relevance and detail of the object and provides its significance and context.

From the first video game to a chapstick spying device to the cotton gin. Series 1 titles include: The A7L Space, Suit, the Negro Baseball League, DJ Kool Herc’s Turntables, Hamilton’s Writing Desk, the Chapstick spying device, The Stature of Liberty, The Skidi Star Chart, the Cotton Gin and the Harvard Printing Press, Five-Shot Colt Patterson, The First Video Game (Tennis for Two), Keds, Windshield Wiper, The Ruby Laser and Abraham Lincoln’s Top Hat.

Let’s Hear From The Production Team

Our production team enjoyed creating this series so much! The team included: Producer, Zoe Lack, Script Writer, Lee Henry, Lead Animator, Dan McGarrigle and Sound Engineer, Kevin Gillen.

“I’m really proud to have worked on the American artifacts series. It was a fun and rewarding challenge to try and visualize and bring humor to these stories of American ingenuity. I even learned a few things that surprised me, like using a chap stick as a spy device during the Watergate scandal or how the first tennis video game was created on an oscilloscope. I hope viewers get as much enjoyment watching them as I did in creating them.”

Dan McGarrigle, Lead Animator

Using Artifacts Videos In The Classroom

Understanding the origins and significance of artifacts is so very very important. We take material objects for granted. But when we delve deeper it can be surprising what can be discovered. In fact, one of the most interesting class discussions I’ve ever had, was one we had about toilets. Yep, I said it, toilets. The discussion started in ancient Rome, moved to the development of the modern toilet, toilet habits, hygiene, social norms, disease and finally toilet humor. The students were engaged and interested and learnt so much that day.

But enough about me, here are three activities for you to use when using the Artifacts That Made America in your classroom.

Activity 1: Things You Didn’t Know

Use this activity before watching the video.

  1. Divide the students into 5 or 6 groups. Assign the group themes or topics. Either provide groups with a series of images, videos, still and articles about their topic, or give them some classroom research time to do some research. For example: if you were using the Chapstick spying device video, your five themes could be: The Cold War, President Nixon’s presidency, Watergate, Cold War Espionage, Key events in the 1970s.
  2. Using their assigned resources, each group will develop a list of five ‘things they didn’t know’ about their assigned topic. To create their lists, students can use large sheets of paper and markers or post it notes.
  3. When groups finish creating their lists, ask each group to share their five facts. Ask groups to provide evidence as to why the facts they chose are important to know.
  4. Combine each group’s list of five ‘things you didn’t know’ to create a collaborative list of Things You Didn’t Know. These can be displayed somewhere in the classroom, on post-it notes or digitally using a tool like Trello.
  5. This activity can be extended to incorporate less or more groups. But make sure that each group shares 5 things to the class.

Activity 2: A-E-I-O-U

Use this activity during and after watching the video.

  1. Explain the activity to the students before watching the video. They will watch the video, without taking notes and will be required to fill in an A-E-I-O-U chart afterwards. Tell the students that they’ll watch the video twice.
  2. Show the students the A-E-I-O-U chart and answer questions they may have about it.
  3. Watch the video, but do not let students take notes. 
  4. Once the video has finished, ask the students to fill in their A-E-I-O-U charts individually, in partners or groups.
  5. Watch the video one more time, and allow students to further add to their chart.
  6. Get students to share what they learned, and discuss the questions that have been posed as a class.

Activity 3: A History Of [Your Town/City] In 30 Artifacts

This one has been inspired by a New York Historical Society teen project in 2012, which was in turn inspired A History of the World in 100 Objects. Get each student to choose an artifact that reveals a piece of your town or city’s history and write a story about it. When pieced together, the artifacts tell the story of the town/city’s history and demonstrate the important role artifacts have in telling that story.

Over To You

Now it’s time for you to explore the first season of Artifacts That Changed America. from our series Untold. A free collection of short, compelling history videos and animations designed to shine a light on the stories that don’t make it into the classroom.

For more information about Untold visit the website at

Teacher standing in front of her students at school

Preparing Students With Disabilities To Return To School

This is the second article in our series of educator insights. In this second article, Leader of Learning Support, Kate Macpherson talks about how she’s preparing vulnerable students to return to school.

Many countries worldwide are beginning to reduce restrictions. They are starting to open up their town and cities to some semblance of the life they knew before covid-19. This includes schools. 

Our students have not stepped foot inside their school gates for a couple of months. Other countries will be longer. When my state government announced the return to school timeline, I asked my students to give me an emoji rating of how they felt. Their responses included ???????, and some a whole combination of these!! These responses were from my year 9 class and none of them have a disability.

Let’s Talk About Students On The Autism Spectrum

Since the announcement, I’ve had a few phone calls with families who have a child with a disability. The parents’ reaction has led me to wonder – how do we prepare a student with a disability to return to school? Especially students on the Autism spectrum. Many who have already struggled with all the changes occurring in their life, and that’s not including what is happening in the world at the moment. Change is not easy for these students. 

Some of the concerns raised in my conversations include:

  • I’m not looking forward to seeing my classmates
  • I’m worried about the workload when I return
  • What will I do without my iPad at school?
  • I’m nervous about seeing everyone again – I like being home 
  • I don’t want to wear my school uniform again
  • I don’t know what to expect when I return
  • I don’t want to go back to school, I like learning from home

So, how do we prepare our most vulnerable students at this time? 

Let’s Start Slowly

  1. Find out from your students what they are worried and excited about – it’s always important to focus on the positives!
  2. Normalize your students emotions, especially their fears of the unknown. As their teachers, we also have our own fears and worries about what is to come and how school will look and work.
  3. Ensure all staff who have contact with this student are aware of these feelings so they can respond appropriately for their subject. Have a common response so as not to confuse the student in these preparations.
  4. Be willing to talk about their return to school – don’t be afraid to have these conversations with your students.
  5. It is best to gradually build up their return to your classroom. Seek their feedback about what they liked about your subject or class during remote learning, and ask them to suggest ways it could work in the physical environment.
  6. Plant little seeds about changes your school is making due to social distancing guidelines and personal protection measures.
  7. Support your parents as well as the student – this is difficult for them as well!
  8. Encourage parents to gradually build up the transition back to face to face learning
    • Start putting on the school uniform gradually, adding one item each couple of days until they are wearing their full uniform in the last couple of days of remote learning
    • Slowly reestablish bedtime and morning routines that they would be expected to follow once back at school – a lot of my students are rolling out of bed a few minutes before their morning homeroom!
    • Start to bring back some of the pre-lockdown norms and expectations at home such as limiting screen time, (difficult when we are expecting them to still work on their computer during the school day, but this refers to the fun screen time).
    • Discuss the differences and slowly ease back on the fun screen time.

I do not know exactly what our return to school will look like at this stage, but I do know that there are many families and students who need our support to make it as smooth as we possibly can in such a time of uncertainty. I am aiming to keep them informed and to slowly build up their positive mindsets and willingness to cope with, yet another, change!

14 Awesome Free Online Educational Resources For Teachers And Parents

With all that is going on at the moment, it’s easy for schools and parents to be overwhelmed with the whole idea of online classes. 

To make the task of finding quality content easier, Makematic has curated what we consider to be the most useful places for you to go to help you; either take your classes online or for schools already there, to further enhance what they’re doing.

We’ve started by sharing what our partners at Participate, Adobe, Vidcode, Scholastic and Unity are doing, and followed it up with other sites we think are worthy of your time.

Participate – Survive Leaning At Home With Kids

The folks at Participate have created a free Learning at Home resource for both teachers and parents. In addition to the resources that are on the site, there is a thriving educator community which you’ll be able to join. 

Adobe – Distance Learning Resources

Whether your school routinely supports distance learning or is facing unexpected closures, Adobe has assembled resources and learning opportunities to help educators engage remote students through online learning. This resource offers so very much from courses, lesson ideas, article, blogs, webinars, events, professional learning courses and like Participate a thriving online educator community.


Vidcode is a creative coding platform for teens. The website has courses that teach computer science, object-orientated programming, web programming, design and JavaScript, most of which need very little parental support. To support schools through COVID-19 Vidcode are allowing schools to sign up and access the Vidcode full curriculum until May 2020 or until schools reopen. We created a series of curriculum-linked videos. You can check them out here.


Scholastic has created a website with resources to keep kids reading, thinking and growing whilst they are at home. There projects from pre-K to secondary that are built around either stories or videos. Young people will be able to do these projects on their own, with their families or with teachers.

Unity Teach and Student

Unity Teach

Tonnes of resources for educators to show you how to use Unity to create interactive products and experiences in 2D, 3D, AR and VR.

Unity Student

Free to 13 + in the United States and 16+ in the UK and the  European Union, can access the real-time 3D development platform and workflows used to create immersive experiences across industries. Young people will be able to independently build the skills they’ll need for a career in AR/VR, games and more.

Learning Keeps Going and Home Learning UK

Learning Keeps Going has been created to help keep the education community going. They are a coalition of education organisations who have curated strategies, tips and best practices for teaching online. The organisations include: EdSurgeConsortium for School Networking (CoSN)Education WeekDigital PromiseState Educational Technology Directors Association (SETDA)Council of Chief State School Officers and ISTE.

Home Learning UK is being led by educators who have come together to offer time and expertise to support colleagues, parents and students in the UK and beyond.


One of the leading web conferencing tools. Students and teachers can fill in an online form using their school email addresses and are then verified by Zoom will have any accounts associated with that school’s domain also gain unlimited temporary meeting minutes, according to a site set up for the process overnight. The free Basic accounts are also available by request in Austria, Denmark, France, Ireland, Poland, Romania and South Korea.

Innovate My School

To support schools that are closed, Innovate My School curated a list of all “home / remote learning” tools and promotions on the EdTech Impact platform. This is being updated regularly so it’s a good one to keep going back to.

UNESCO Distance Learning Solutions 

UNESCO has put together a list of educational applications and platforms to help parents, teachers, schools and school systems facilitate student learning and provide social caring and interaction during periods of school closure. While these solutions do not carry UNESCO’s explicit endorsement, they tend to have a wide reach, a strong user-base and evidence of impact. Most of the solutions are free and with several support for multiple languages.


For a small handful of schools that have already been affected and have concerns around supporting teaching and learning at this time, Pearson are offering free support on primary, secondary and revision resources and have created hints and tips for online delivery.


Flipgrid’s aim is simple. To engage and empower every voice in every classroom or community by recording and sharing short, awesome videos. Here are two really useful blogs for parents and teachers around Family Learning with Flipgrid and Remote Learning with Flipgrid.

Chartered College of Teaching

If you visit the site, you’ll find four Future Learn courses to help educators use technology in the classroom.

Share My Lesson

A cornucopia of resources ranging from preschool to high school on all curriculum areas. The resources range from videos to lesson plans to activities. They also have a community that you can join to expand your professional learning network or to get some help. Other content providers are doing similar things, so it’s probably a good idea to check out your favourite ones.


Last but certainly not least, we have lots of free videos and animations. A mixture of teacher CPD, classroom resource and family projects, these resources can be accessed here.

Teaching Key 21st Century Skills In Every Classroom

Research by The Sutton Trust found that 94% of employers, 97% of teachers and 88% of young people regarded ‘life skills’ as being at least as important as academic grades to future success.  These life skills include what we commonly refer to as the 4Cs – communication, collaboration, critical thinking, and creativity.

Developing these key 21st-century skills is an ongoing process and mastery takes many years to achieve. Research has shown that two things can really help these skills – explicit teaching of these skills and extra-curricular activities. Whilst we can’t help with extra-curricular, we can help educators develop these skills to be explicitly teaching them in the classes.

That is why we worked with Participate to develop the series – The 4Cs. Part professional development part classroom resource, the series will help educators:

  1. Understand how to teach these skills in their classes on a daily basis, 
  2. Understand how these skills are used in the workplace
  3. Better prepare lessons to develop these skills with those they teach.

What’s Included?

Educator Professional Development

Series 1 – What are the 4Cs?

8 live-action videos with educators explaining what the 4Cs are and how to teach them in every classroom.

4 educator podcasts case studies where educators talk about how they have implemented the 4Cs into their everyday teaching practice.

Series 2 – In the workplace

4 live-action videos with people talking about what the 4Cs look like in the workplace.

Student Facing Resources

Series 3 and 4 can be used in so many ways. They can be used as whole class activities or as part of a blended or flipped learning experience. Whilst series 3 and 4 have been created as standalone resources, they can be used as a sequence.

Here’s an example:

You’ve decided that you want to develop your student’s creative thinking skills by introducing them to lateral thinking

You can engage your students with the skill by watching How To Be More Creative With Lateral Thinking from series 3. Following watching and discussing the contents of the video, as a class or on their own, students could develop this skill by completing any of the following activities from series 4:

Series 3 – How can …?

12 animated explainer videos that give the audience an understanding of how and why each of the skills can be developed by focusing on different sub-skills of each of the Cs.

Communication and CollaborationCritical Thinking and Creativity
Giving and Receiving Feedback
Understanding Body Language
Social Skills
Listening Skills
Creating clear messages
Email etiquette
Multiple Perspectives
Being Opening minded
Analysing arguments
Divergent Thinking
Lateral Thinking
Series 4 – Activities

12 animations designed for individuals to develop skills on their own. These can be used in a classroom as a whole class, as part of a blended or flipped classroom methodology.

Communication and CollaborationCritical Thinking and Creativity
Improving concentration
Mic expressions
Are you a good listener?
Funnelling questings technique
Relaxation for public speaking
The subject line pitch
Questioning basic assumptions
Rebus puzzles
Recognising patterns
Brainstorming on your own
The alternative uses test
The elevator problem

Access the entire series here.

Should You Be a Teacher Vlogger?

Teachers as vloggers isn’t a new idea – lots of smart educators have been taking to YouTube for years to share their ideas. But is it something every teacher should be doing?

Some Examples

Kindergarten teacher Bridget Spackman created The Lettered Classroom Youtube channel, taking viewers on a digital journey through a typical school day. Viewers get a peek inside her classroom sessions, she shares teaching practices and discusses her students learning.

Vlogging allowed Spackman to find her niche, further developing her craft and love of online education.

“My YouTube channel has become the heart and soul of my business. This is where I can connect with inspiring teachers and those who are already in the classroom. I talk about organization, meeting standards and making connections through all grade levels.”

SmorgieVision is the personification of colourful learning. Chock-full of silly hats, funny mustaches, and glitter – colliding with rockstar teachers – all in the name of lifelong learning. Kindergarten teacher Greg Smedley-Warren is the man behind it:

“My heart is Kindergarten! I believe that every student can succeed and that it’s my job to give them the tools they need. My classroom is full of energy and fun. We are always singing, dancing, moving, and learning. If you were to appear at my classroom door you would see chaos. But it’s really organized chaos.”

Why Vlog?

For some educators, creating a YouTube channel is an opportunity to build a business. For others it might be an opportunity to develop a role as a thought-leader, leading to other professional opportunities offline.
But for the majority the rationale might be a bit simpler:

  • Sharing what you know to help other teachers
  • Playing a part in a professional learning community
  • Building useful connections with other educators
  • As a process of self-reflection
  • As a creative outlet
  • Or as a way to advocate for a different approach to teaching and learning

Whatever the rationale, getting started is simple. All you really need is a smartphone and a YouTube account. But if you’d like to take it a step further, here are a few quick tips:

  • Start by watching – and following – other educators you admire
    What makes their videos work well? What ideas can you “borrow”?
  • Pick a theme
    It’s unlikely that you can cover everything, so define a theme for your channel
  • Invest (a little) in equipment
    You shouldn’t spend a fortune to get started but if you’re serious about using video, you might want to invest in a decent DSLR and good sound. Spend some time learning the basics of editing software too.
  • Be Consistent
    Set a regular schedule for when you will make and upload new content
  • Get Help
    Reach out to some of those educators you’ve been following
  • Have Fun and Keep Going
    You’re unlikely to become a viral sensation overnight so make sure you’re enjoying the process

The Power Of Storytelling

Messages delivered as stories are at least 22 times more memorable than facts. One of the reasons why storytelling is used as a tool for the transmission and sharing of knowledge, values and experiences.

Storytelling is exploited by educators to attract interest and to assist understanding. It is used to socialise, communicate, improve literacy and comprehension, help students remember, increase empathy and encourage cooperation. In fact, it can be combined with every kind of learning and teaching.

Why Storytelling Is So Powerful

Evolution has hardwired our brains for storytelling. That’s because our brains become more active when we tell stories rather than if we hear facts. Our whole brain is put to work.

Stories have so much impact because we don’t just hear them, we experience them. Some really interesting MRI research has even demonstrated that our senses can react to stimuli in the form of a story. It showed that when a story is being told, the areas that light up in the listener and the teller’s brain is the same. Pretty cool huh?

But it doesn’t end there. Storytelling

Helps us remember. The brain releases dopamine into our system when it experiences an emotionally charged event, making it easier to remember.

Increases Empathy. Stories stimulate the parts of the brain that helps us intuit others’ thoughts and emotions.

Encourages Cooperation. Our brain produces oxytocin after listening to a character-driven story. Oxytocin has been shown to help motivate us toward cooperation.

Digital Storytelling In Every Classroom

Digital storytelling is the modern version of the traditional art of oral storytelling. We see examples of digital storytelling everywhere – advertising, social media, television and movies. And it can be leveraged by all educators to help students learn, be engaged and motivated.

With Unity Technologies we have created a series of resources to help educators across all curriculum areas use and create digital stories in their classes.

Four animated explainer videos explain what digital storytelling is, why storytelling is so powerful, the pedagogical reasons to use stories in the classroom and how to develop 21st-century skills through storytelling.

Eight videos describing the digital storytelling process itself. These videos are practical videos that not only explain in detail the different stages of the digital storytelling process but provide real examples of activities to do in the classroom.

A set of teacher showcase videos. Real educators talk about how they have created elements of digital stories with their classes.

Finally, a set of Careers at Unity videos to give young real insight into the types of careers you can pursue in the games industry.

View the entire collection here.

BrandED Episode 4: Jodie McNally, EY Foundation

Episode four of thought leadership series, BrandED is live and it’s all about student social mobility.

Click to watch

I was first attracted to the EY Foundation when I was researching student advisory boards. At Makematic we are currently putting together our first student advisory board and I was looking for inspirational examples. The EY Foundation’s Youth Panel is incredible. They are an integral part of the Foundation because they support the role of the charity, advise the Foundation and help design and develop a Youth Engagement Framework.

The EY Foundation itself has BFAG (Big Fat Audacious Goals). They want every young person in the UK to career their goals, reduce barriers to work and help young people transition into higher education employment and employment. In addition, they work with social enterprises to help them grow and create more jobs and trigger change. What’s not to like about that?

Jodie McNally, Head of Young People Services at the EY Foundation is a woman that knows her stuff. Warm, passionate and knowledgeable, the young people that she works with are truly lucky to have her on their side. In this interview Jodie talks about what the EY Foundation does in the education space, the importance of careers and skills education, how the EY Foundation spread the word about their programmes, how to develop employability skills in young people and finally why it’s important that opportunities are provided so that everyone can achieve.

Click to watch

Teachers Don’t Get Time to Practice What They Learn

A 2017 report on the state of professional learning for teachers suggests that teachers aren’t getting time to practice what they’re learning in PD sessions.

Although they express a strong preference for on-campus collaborative learning during the workday, just 25% of teacher respondents indicate that the majority of their professional learning takes place during school hours ….

These findings conflict with the recommendations made by Learning Forward and other professional educator organizations. According to the U.S. Department of Education, ongoing, high quality, job-embedded professional development is clearly tied to improving instruction.

So how can we make PD more “job-embedded”?

We need to start with how professional development is delivered. PD is still dominated by workshop-style instruction that is delivered during in-service days and during holidays. Teachers value opportunities to collaborate, get and give feedback and connect the dots between PD instruction and practical classroom application. If we silo instruction away from class time, it’s hard to reconcile the two.

One solution is to plan for follow-up, through peer assessment or coaching. The other is to find ways that PD instruction can take place anytime. This second solution is one of the drivers for MakeMatic – using bitesized, mobile-friendly video content allows teachers to access high-quality instruction as and when they need it. If we make PD an everyday activity, then it can then feed directly into peer-to-peer feedback, classroom observation and coaching.

Check out our bite-sized teacher professional development on our video on demand platform here.

Why Educators Need to Be On LinkedIn

Last year I conducted a poll on Twitter asking educators whether they were on LinkedIn. To my surprise 60 % of the respondents said that they were on it. 

Why was I surprised?

In my experience, primary and secondary educators do not use LinkedIn in the same way that they use Facebook and Twitter. I’ve read a number of blogs by educators who clearly don’t like LinkedIn. They feel that being a teacher doesn’t afford them any respect in the LinkedIn culture. Some of the educators I have spoken to about being on LinkedIn feel the same. I completely disagree.

Teachers Are Professionals

I made the jump to the private sector over six years ago and I have never looked back. Although I miss teaching young people, I don’t miss being treated like one. Many educators are not treated like professionals by their superiors, their peers or even society. In fact, that’s one of the many things I love the most about the working in the private sector is being treated like a professional. My teaching skills are valued and carry weight and I credit LinkedIn for helping me see that.

You’re Already Using Twitter

I love Twitter. And even though I am a late adopter to the microblogging site, (I only joined in June last year), it’s a great professional learning tool.
The content is quick and easily digestible. But, the downside, even though I am careful about who I follow and engage with, there’s a lot of content that ends up on my feed that isn’t relevant. That’s why I prefer LinkedIn.

How I use LinkedIn

As an educator, LinkedIn is great! I use it as a professional development and networking tool. Here are the ways I use it.

  • As a professional development tool. LinkedIn is a professional networking site, which means that if used properly it can connect members with people who and content that is professionally relevant.
  • To join groups and follow thought leaders. Connecting with groups and following thought leaders, keeps me up to up to date with the latest worldwide trends, and research in both education and the private sector.
  • To connect with educators around the world. It’s easy to live in an education bubble. Easy access to a worldwide, growing network of educators is invaluable. If you think that as a teacher you don’t need to network, that’s ridiculous. How on earth can you take control of your own professional learning if you don’t? Or discover how your skills can be used in other fields and professions?
  • To share interesting content. Sometimes I write it, but most of the time I share really useful things with the people who I am connected to. I have picked up so many things on my newsfeed that are really useful not just for me but those I am connected with.

I know LinkedIn isn’t for everyone. But if you are an educator and you think that the LinkedIn culture doesn’t respect educators that simply isn’t true. I urge you to give it a go, you may be surprised just how useful it can be.

Connect with Tara on LinkedIn.

Makematic Launches Skillsumo: A Free Careers And Skills Resource

“Makematic intends to build one of the biggest video resource collection for careers and employability skills in the UK and Ireland.”
Mark Nagurski, CEO and Co-Founder, Makematic

This October, we’re happy to announce the launch of Skillsumo; a free career and employability resource for teachers, students and families. 

Skillsumo is an evolving catalogue of bite-sized videos produced in partnership with regional businesses, local authorities and further and higher education institutions. With participating partners including Allstate, Belfast City Council, PwC, Adobe, NW Regional College, Unity Technologies, Southern Eastern Regional College Adobe, Learning Pool, Deloitte and The Bank of Ireland.

Skillsumo contains 100+ videos and animations across five main themes:  Work Inspiration, Pathways, 21st Century Skills, FutureProof and Professional Development, with new content added to the collection each month.

The videos align with national benchmarks for effective careers provision, support curriculum-linked learning opportunities, give pupils an insight into the world of work and workplace skills, and help schools and careers leaders create a well-resourced programme of careers education and guidance.

“We’re delighted to partner with Makematic on this free careers and employability resource.  Ensuring everyone in Belfast fulfils their potential is a key part of our Belfast Agenda. We want our young people to excel – and in order for that to happen, they need our support in learning and achievement at home, in their community and in school through high-quality teaching, mentoring and resources. These bite-sized videos are the perfect way to ignite young students’ curiosity and signpost them to further career and employability support.  I look forward to seeing Skillsumo being widely accessed, and many dreams and ambitions being realised as a result!”

Chairperson of Belfast City Council’s City Growth and Regeneration Committee

“In a system where learner choice plays an increasingly important role, it is even more important for people to access good information, advice and guidance on the likely skills needed by employers in the future and this is where the Skillsumo catalogue comes into its own.”

John Healy, Vice President and Managing Director of Allstate NI

You can access Skillsumo at anytime online on your mobile, laptop and tablet. Educators can use it to develop a stable, well-resourced programme of careers education and guidance. Young people can access the content to help them better understand the world of work and the key 21st-century skills that are relevant to the workplace. 

Sign up for free now at to get your careers and employability resource today.

If you want to partner with us to create content for the resource contact Leanne Doherty (Ireland) or Alex Watson (Mainland UK).

Makematic Launches Video-On-Demand Platform

We’ve launched a brand new platform for our content at

It’s a shiny new home for hundreds of our short, compelling videos organised across 7 themes from global education to digital skills.

So What’s New?

Well you can browse, search, watch for free and bookmark your favourite videos to return to later or use in class.

But most importantly, Makematic is now available across web, mobile and smart TV devices through a dedicated app.

What About Students?

The videos and animations can be used in the classroom, or students (13yo+) can create their own account. This means the videos and animations can be used in blended or flipped classroom environments.

Login and see for yourself what’s it all about here.

BrandED Episode 1: Brandon Rodriguez, NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory

Episode one of thought leadership series, BrandED is live and it’s all about STEM.

Click to watch

Brandon Rodriguez, Teacher Professional Developer at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) is an experienced educator, teacher trainer and research scientist. When so many teachers are leaving the profession, it’s wonderful to see people with the experience that Brandon has coming in. I also have a friend, Cathy, who has recently become a teacher. She’s been a pharmacist, a teaching assistant and is a mother. And can I tell you, her students are so lucky to have her. Not only is she super smart, but she’s also good craic (Irish term for fun) and fantastic with young people. The more people like Brandon and Cathy who become teachers after they’ve lived other lives the better.

Brandon’s role at JPL is unique. He has one foot in the classroom and the other empowering teachers to make STEM more engaging for their students. One of the many things I took away from the interview was his passionate desire for all young people, regardless of background to have equal access to resources. That is a problem that many in the education space are trying to solve – how to we level the playing field and provide equal opportunities for all?

In fact, this is something that all of the people we’ve interviewed so far talked about. Personally, that’s why I work at Makematic. It’s something we’re trying to do with the organisations we work with.

NASA has many facets of its educational arm. And JPL is doing so much with such a little team. Their focus on educators is really all about impact. How can they reach more students? They believe though educators of course.

There’s so much more that Brandon has to say in the interview about NASA, STEM, teacher professional development and access. So I’d recommend watching the full interview here.

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