Teaching Online Masterclass text on a white background

Teaching Online Masterclass (TOM) Series 2: Now Available

We’re pleased to announce that Teaching Online Masterclass (TOM) Series 2 is now available!

TOM is a free online professional development resource for educators making the leap into remote teaching and learning. With a catalogue of bite-sized videos produced in partnership with Innovate UK, TOM 2.0 will guide the skills K-12 educators can expand on to boost their online teaching. Watching and acting on the practical tips delivered in TOM series 2 will encourage confidence in teachers, and notably, create an enhanced online learning experience for students.Read More

Illustration of Kentucky State for KVEC. Illustration of man sitting with a guitar on his lap

Our Partnership with Kentucky Valley Educational Cooperative (KVEC)

‘People needed to know the history of our state (which was half of the stories we told). The other half want to honor our history as a region so others in our state/nation would know our untold story.’ Kimberly Sergent

In 2020, Makematic and the Driving Force Institute for Public Engagement teamed up with the non-profit educational cooperative KVEC (Kentucky Valley Educational Cooperative) to create two series for the growing history and civics collection Untold.Read More

Solution to learning loss text with illustration of two students in front of a class

The Solution To Learning Loss – EdTech News May 2021

Learning loss and how the pandemic and hybrid learning have contributed heavily to it has been a debate for a while now.Read More

Priorities for Professional Development

We’ve conducted one to one interviews, and an online survey with 95 educators from Europe, North America, Asia, Oceania, the Middle East, and Africa about their professional development priorities since teaching and learning has gone online.

Here are 4 things that we’ve learned:

  1. Since the coronavirus epidemic, 90% of educators have experienced teaching online, and 57% say they are above average or highly proficient in their ability to teach online.
  2. 77% of educators spend between 1 – 5 hours a week on professional development. 36% of professional development comes from their professional learning networks, and 26% from online courses.
  3. Educators want professional development from other educators that have a pedagogical purpose. “CPD needs to be more than ‘how-to’ tutorials. Teachers need to hear from fellow teachers who can implement technologies or strategies with a pedagogical purpose. This is sometimes lacking in online teacher CPD. It is frequently an expert presenting on their passion or app and showing teachers how to use the product rather than explaining the why and the purpose of the tech or tool for teaching within the classroom or online learning environment.”
  4. 64% of respondents want pedagogical and or subject-specific focused professional development to help them teach online.

These findings are similar to those found by the National Foundation for Educational Research and RAND.

A Solution To The Problem

So where can educators find online pedagogy focused professional development?

We partnered with Adobe, Clickview, iCivics, and Participate to create Teaching Online Masterclass (TOM). A free online professional development resource for teachers making the leap into remote teaching and learning.

Teaching online is about more than just technology. Of course, it’s important to know your Zooms from your Google Classrooms, but the way educators plan their lessons, manage their class, and engage with their students is different in the online world. So to help educators develop the skills they need to be effective online educators we created TOM.

Using video interviews from classroom educators, academics, and industry professionals, educators can learn how to start teaching online the right way.

Check out TOM here.

Teaching Online Masterclass Whitepaper

We’ve been working on something for a while; a whitepaper. Drawing on the themes from TOM, qualitative and quantitative interviews, and research on best practices in online teaching, we’ve created a resource that shows educators how to put theory into practice. Dr. James Nelson and Dr. Jennifer Roberts from Queen’s University Belfast have helped us with this project which will be released on Monday, November 2nd.

Interested in finding out more about TOM? Check out the resources here.

Teaching Online Masterclass logo with logos from Adobe, ClickView, iCivics, Makematic and Participate

Launch Of Professional Development Videos To Help Educators Adapt To Online Teaching

We’re pleased to announce that Teaching Online Masterclass (TOM) a free course for educators to help adapt to online teaching is now available to view at tom.makematic.com

TOM is a free online professional development resource for teachers making the leap into remote teaching and learning. With a focus on pedagogy over technology, it’s a catalogue of bite-sized videos produced in partnership with Adobe, ClickView, iCivics and Participate. TOM contains 50+ professional development videos from K-12 online teaching experts about online pedagogy, designing online classes and curriculum, building communities of practice and digital well-being.

“TOM is a series that has been created with K-12 educators in mind. It focuses on online pedagogy over technology and really takes into account what the research tells us works in this space. The contributors were carefully chosen because of their expertise in the K-12 education space, as practitioners or professionals who really know what it takes to be a super online educator. More than ever educators are crying out for resources such as this, and that’s why it’s such an exciting project to be involved in.” Tara Walsh, Makematic’s Director of Engagement and Innovation, said.

“We work with tens of thousands of incredible teachers who are facing so much uncertainty in their work. That makes it extra important for one thing to remain certain – that teachers are talented professionals who know what effective instruction looks like. With the right guidance, there’s no reason they can’t transfer that effective instruction to online spaces. TOM is that guidance. It meets teachers where they are and provides targeted and convenient coaching to elevate their online practice.” said iCivics’ Chief Education Officer, Emma Humphries.

TOM is now available to watch for free at tom.makematic.com.

TOM is also available at Adobe Education Exchange. Sign up to earn an Adobe digital badge and 4 hours of accredited professional learning.

Image of different forms of media that Makematic videos can be viewed on

New Educational Videos Released On The Makematic VOD

We’ve got some new educational videos that have been released on the Makematic VOD! 

The Basic Principles of Design course focuses on, unsurprisingly, the basics of design. You’ll understand and learn colour, contrast, proportion, balance and more – complete with punchy explainer videos, practitioner interviews and creative ideas for teachers.

Make Impactful Video for Social Media will help you learn and understand the tools you need to produce effective and engaging video content for social media using Adobe Premier Pro. 

17DaystoLearn series:  These are self-directed challenges that can at primary or secondary level. Students will learn about the SDGs and take on challenges to help further each of the goals.

The students at Kings Hospital School, located in Dublin, completed the #17DaystoLearn challenge as part of their “Get Up and Goals” project. Read here to find out how they approached this challenge and the impact it had on the students.

Skillsumo: we’ve got new professional development and future proof videos that will help students and educators navigate and prepare for the world of work.

Check out the new videos today!

Untold: Stories You Won’t Learn About In A Textbook

Untold is a free collection of short, compelling, history videos and animations designed to engage new audiences in a new conversation and

  • shine a light on the stories that don’t always make it into the classroom
  • and question what we think we know about those that do.

Watch the first two Untold episodes here

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.

Video Tutorials in a Blended Approach to Teacher PD

We mentioned the recent Educator Confidence Report from Houghton Mifflin Harcourt a few days ago in the context of teachers spending their own money on tech PD.
One other nugget of information in that report was (a) how teachers learn about tech vs. (b) how they would like to learn about tech.
Top 3 Ways Educators Learn About Using Technology Effectively in the Classroom:

  1. Informal discussions with other teachers
  2. Formal school/district CPD provision
  3. Resources included with instructional resources (Note: for this we’ve read hardware / software tutorials from vendors)

Top 3 Ways Educators Want to Learn New Technology for Instruction:

  1. Example lesson plans
  2. Online tutorials
  3. Classroom coaching

Obviously, we’re pretty sold on the value of online tutorials as a time-efficient, cost-effective way for teachers to learn. So it might sound odd to say that the best approach probably mixes some of all of the above.
Thinking about technology as a monolithic “thing” that teachers need to learn is short-sighted. Teachers need to gain confidence with the technology itself. They need to understand how it supports teaching and learning. They need to know how to adapt technologies for use in their subject areas and grade levels.
Each of these needs should be supported in different ways. Some benefit from straightforward instruction. Others are best learned ‘on demand’ in a job embedded environment. Yet others need to be understood in the context of formal school / district priorities and policies.
Video can be used to address a lot of this – which is why we like it so much – but it should also support a blended approach to teacher professional learning.
A few questions to ask:

  • How might classroom coaches use video tutorials to create a flipped learning environment?
  • How might video be used to share best practice amongst colleagues?
  • How can formal offline CPD build on informal online learning opportunities?
  • How can vendors use workshops, educator communities and video to go beyond product-specific learning?


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