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

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

Image showing a young student learning and engaging in online classes

How To Increase Student Learning & Engagement When Learning Goes Online

Motivating and engaging learners can be challenging in any learning environment. But understanding self-determination theory will give you a structure for helping you do this. Self Determination Theory represents a broad framework for the study of human motivation. It suggests that when people are motivated to grow and change, they become self-determined.

We become more self-determined when we:

  • Master tasks and learn different skills (Competence)
  • Feel a sense of attachment and belonging to people (Relatedness)
  • Feel in control of our own goals and behaviours. (Autonomy)

Moreover, when people engage in activities for an inherent reward, (intrinsic motivation) it’s more motivating than carrot and stick ones (extrinsic motivation). For educators, this means that when designing online learning, it’s important to think about how to incorporate the elements listed above into online lessons or curriculum.

Creating Online Learning Experiences to Motivate and Engage Learners

Over the next couple of weeks, I’ll be sharing a number of evidence-based strategies to help educators motivate and engage your learners in online teaching environments. The strategies and activities will:

  • Encourage student-to-student interaction.
  • Facilitate online discussions, virtual brainstorming, and problem-based learning, and
  • Develop reflective thinking practices.

Because I don’t want to keep you waiting, check out educator Michael Cohen’s three strategies for increasing student engagement online that you can use in your classes today!

Coming Soon

Teaching Online Masterclass (TOM) Series 2

In 2020 we released series 1 of TOM. A series of over 50 bite-sized videos to help educators navigate the world of online teaching and learning. Series 2 will take what was included in series 1 further. It will look at the drivers of motivation, engagement, and learning, as well as the key skills educators, need to develop in their students for online learning success.

If you’re curious to find out how educators around the world are faring, check out some of the interviews and blogs we published last year.

Taking Classes Online Interviews

Episode 1, Dr. Heather McClue about the trials and tribulations of taking her law classes online.

Episode 2, Eduardo Mórlan gives advice on how to teach languages remotely.

Episode 3, Physical Education teacher Kylene Simmons talks about how her school used technology to engage students in health and physical education classes.

Taking Classes Online Blogs

 Taking European Studies and Modern Foreign Languages Online,

Making Adjustments during Remote Learning

Preparing Students With Disabilities To Return To School.

Finally, if you’ve got a story to share or would like to write a blog, send me an email and I’ll be in touch.

References

Chyung, S.Y., (2001) Systematic and systemic approaches to reducing attrition rates in online higher education. American Journal of Distance Education, 15(3): 36-49 DOI: 10.1080/08923640109527092

Kerr, S. (2011). High school online: Pedagogy, preferences, and practices of three online teachers. Journal of Educational Technology Systems,39, 221–244. doi:10.2190/ET.39.3.b

Park, J-H., & Choi, H.J., (2009) Factors influencing adult learners’ decision to drop out or persist in online learning. Educational Technology and Society, 12(4):207-217

Roblyer, M.D. (1999) Is choice important in distance learning? A study of student motives for taking internet-based courses at high school and community college levels, Journal of Research in Computing in Education, 32(1):157-171, https://doi.org/10.1080/08886504.1999.10782621

Ryan, R.M., and Deci, R.M. ( 2000) Self-Determination Theory and the Facilitation of Intrinsic Motivation, Social Development, and Well-Being, American Psychologist, 55(1): 68-78, DOI: 10.1037/0003-066X.55.1.68

Sankarn, S.R., and Bui, T. (2001) Impact learning strategies and motivation on performance: A study in web-based instruction, Journal of Instructional Psychology, 28: 191-198

Skinner, E. A., & Belmont, M. J. (1993). Motivation in the classroom: Reciprocal effects of teacher behavior and student engagement across the school year. Journal of Educational Psychology, 85(4), 571–581. https://doi.org/10.1037/0022-0663.85.4.571

Image of Tara Walsh and Kylene Simmons over online video chat

Episode 3: Taking Classes Online

Taking Classes Online is an interview and blog series where real educators share their experiences of teaching online. This month, I had the pleasure of talking to Kylene Simmons, Leader of Sport from Emmanual College in Australia. Kylene has been teaching Health and Physical Education (HPE) for over 20 years.

I was particularly interested to speak to Kylene and hear how she and her colleagues took HPE online. And, I wasn’t disappointed. Kylene works at a secondary school in Melbourne called Emmanuel College. In fact, I also worked at the College for many years when I was teaching in the classroom. What always struck me about the school was how far ahead of the curve they seemed to be, and how quickly they were ready to embrace new ideas and technology. And when you listen to this episode, you’ll know I’m not exaggerating.

Okay, enough from me, whether you teach HPE or any other subject, there’s a lot to learn in this episode. Enjoy!

Check Out Teaching Online Masterclass

If you haven’t checked out Teaching Online Masterclass (TOM) yet, I suggest you get started.

You’ll be sure to find something of interest to help you navigate the online teaching and learning space.

If you’ve got a story to share or would like to write a blog, send me an email and I’ll be in touch.

Make sure to check out the first two episodes of Taking Classes online.

In episode 1, I spoke to UK educator Dr. Heather McClue about the trials and tribulations of taking her law classes online.

In episode 2, I spoke to Mexican language teacher Eduardo Mórlan about teaching languages remotely.

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.


Illustration image of Motion Graphics Designer Caoimhe Sweeney

Employee Spotlight: Caoimhe Sweeney, Motion Graphics Designer

Another month, another time to shine a light on one of our brilliant Motion Graphics Designer, Caoimhe Sweeney! Caoimhe has been working for Makematic for over 2 years and has been involved in multiple projects. We caught up with her this month to talk about her role at Makematic.

How did you get your job at Makematic?

A director I work with recommended a freelance position within Makematic on a project they were finalising. I really enjoyed working with the team and was happy to accept a full-time position with the company within a couple of months.

On a day to day basis, what are your responsibilities and priorities?

My day-to-day really varies depending on the type of project, which keeps things exciting and challenging. My average day consists of creating artworks and visuals, then animating and tweaking them in After Effects. Some projects need assets to be created that are ready to be dropped into an editors timeline, others involve creating entire videos. 

How do motion graphic designers collaborate with other teams within the company?

Translating a script into visual form is definitely a collaborative effort that involves working with producers/writers/researchers to outline visual goals. Understandably, it can take multiple iterations to find the most suitable visuals, and having a strong collaborative team ethos throughout the journey is essential. 

Are you working on any big projects?

At this moment I am working on the ‘Untold’ series, which is the biggest project with the most team members I have worked on so far. This project is so illuminating, each video is a spotlight into lesser-known, or untold, American histories. The team are creating beautiful works, which are not only really interesting but visually inspiring as well.

What’s an important lesson you’ve learned while working at Makematic?

Coming from an artistic background, the main lesson for me is how much you can learn and elevate your practise by working with others to achieve a common creative goal. If you are interested in making films or digital content, no matter what stage you are at, try to find people with similar interest and collaborate on some work together.


Caoimhe has worked on TOM: Teaching Online Masterclass, Unity, BrandEd and Adobe: Digital Literacy, which is available now on Adobe Education Exchange. You can also watch the trailer below.

In case you missed it, read our two previous Employee Spotlight blogs featuring Conor McKelvey (Motion Graphics Designer) and Ryan Lee (now Producer!).

Image of Tara Walsh and Eduardo Morlan in this episode of taking classes online

Episode 2: Taking Classes Online

Taking Classes Online is an interview and blog series where real educators share their experiences of teaching online. This month, I had the pleasure of talking to Eduardo Mórlan from Mexico. Eduardo has been teaching online since 2014, so it was great to hear his insights about teaching languages remotely.

My interview technique is improving slightly, but it’s clear there is still a long way to go. Despite that, Eduardo has shared some really great tips and tricks that can be implemented in any online class.

Check Out Teaching Online Masterclass

If you haven’t checked out Teaching Online Masterclass (TOM) yet, I suggest you get started.

You’ll be sure to find something of interest to help you navigate the online teaching and learning space.

If you’ve got a story to share or would like to write a blog, send me an email and I’ll be in touch.

Make sure to check out the first episode of Taking Classes Online where I spoke to UK educator Dr Heather McClue about the trials and tribulations of taking her law classes online.

Animated drawing of wifi symbol, books and laptop to show different methods of teaching

The Acceleration Of Online Teaching And Learning

The whole notion of online teaching and professional development is not an old one. In fact, I was surprised to learn that its history begins way back in 1981 when the Western Behavioural Sciences Inst in La Jolla, CA, started running distance education for business executives via computer conferencing. Since then, many multinational businesses have grown within the space and traditional businesses have metamorphosised through a move to online learning. 

Kids are turning up aged 5 at school now with a digital-savvy to rival the best. Teachers have access to whiteboards, laptops, internet connections, online resources from publishers, brands, non-profits, digital content, VLEs and it all works swimmingly. Right? Well judging by what I have seen of my son’s first one year and one month of primary school, there’s still room for improvement.  

When faced with a complete lockdown and need to provide proper online teaching, the local education system, appeared to creak at the seams. Maybe it is because it doesn’t seem as though there has been a concerted effort to couple the introduction of new technology in schools, with the introduction of blended learning methodology in teacher training. This would overall raise the bar in state education and without this approach, digital learning and digital content become ancillary to the ‘analogue’ classroom experience.

My first interaction with online digital learning was around 15 years ago in the professional space when a member of my team excitedly showed me Lynda.com, now of course Linked In Learning. Lynda was the gateway to the world of online learning for me – many of the experiments and projects we were attempting to do at that time as an early digital publishing team, were beyond our combined knowledge and capability, and being on tight budgets invariably we would learn software packages or web design techniques via the easy-to-use searchable interface that Lynda provided. I didn’t look back.

Since then, there has been a massive increase in the amount of both office and classroom hardware and software being produced and sold all around the world along with all manner of different attendant courses on how to make everything work.  

In the classroom, the ubiquitous classroom whiteboard is supplemented with voting pads, laptops, iPads, and a whole host of other technology hardware and software products and services. As this has grown, the amount of video content has grown targeting teachers and giving them tips on how to use it.

This year the COVID crisis has highlighted both the need for increased interaction with online resources in any form of education for both teachers and learners.  Our own recently launched TOM – Teaching Online Masterclass is a free online professional development resource for teachers making the leap into remote teaching and learning. Teachers, who hold a crucial role within the education eco-system, are being rapidly upskilled in the methodology of teaching both in the classroom and online using a blend of different learning experiences. This is key to creating the community they create in the classroom, in the online space – a definite challenge. If they don’t, they risk being left out in the rain. Their pupils will become alienated and the process will become soggy and tired.

We have learned from my son’s school that at the flick of a switch, his year one teacher can take the classroom experience and re-create it online with individual 1:1 teacher Zoom time factored in for each and every child online too.  We now have a timetable for home-learning should the school be closed, and if it’s needed will give him 1:1 teacher Zoom time every two days – something which in its own right is no mean feat. 

Teaching and learning are going through an enforced change right now.  With little or no notice, thousands of schools up and down the country are having to adapt and change to home-schooling supported by the teacher online.  Whilst the last lockdown was pretty much a write-off educationally from the perspective of every fellow parent that I’ve spoken to, there seems to have been a huge technology uptick in our local school since. Systems have been geared up to make sure that everything can be run as if it were in the school, and a questionnaire sent before the term even started has made sure that every child has access to the technology needed in a home-schooling environment, if just via a smartphone.  

We are hoping that school stays open, but if not, then this time round, teachers and their pupils have better support.  Let us hope it will be a more fun and educational time.

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.

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