I am Tom and I design, develop and inspire with technology in education. I spend a lot of my time developing technologies, solutions and resources and promoting their use in Teaching and Learning.
My area of focus is post compulsory education, currently Further Education, having worked in the Sector for the past seven years. I can work with a wide variety of technologies from HTML to PHP and from Moodle to Mobile Apps. I was a highly commended Learning Technologist of the Year (2014) and I have several completed Jisc projects to my name.
I have grown up with the web and seen it change dramatically from the launch of Amazon, to the birth of Facebook, to the evolution of Apps and the Cloud. I developed my first website when I was 11, and had my own server online by the time I was 13, so I live and breath technology.
Digital Learning & Innovation Manager at Buckinghamshire College Group, Buckinghamshire, UK
Aylesbury, Amersham and High Wycombe Colleges
I manage and lead development of the College’s learning technology systems which are used both inside and outside of the classroom. I develop systems and processes to promote, innovate and develop the use of technology in learning. Benefiting from years of hands-on teaching experience I am able to bring a unique perspective to this task. My role is key to the College’s strategic plan as it ensures staff and students are up to date (and often well ahead) with the latest technologies and digital approaches to learning. Management level role, leading staff.
Learning Technology & Innovation Co-ordinator at Aylesbury College, Buckinghamshire, UK (2015)
Development, deployment and promotion of the use of learning technology tools, resources and systems across the College. Development of VLE’s, websites, tracking systems, parent platforms, e-learning packages and e-portfolio systems for learners, academic staff and external customers. Management level role.
ILT Developer and Co-ordinator at Aylesbury College, Buckinghamshire, UK (2014)
Design, development and maintainence a variety of E-learning and VLE platforms including Moodle. Development of websites, micro-sites, mobile apps and e-portfolio systems for learners, academic staff and external customers.
Co-founder, Website Developer, Design and Management of www.deemag.com (2014)
Dee was an online magazine that focused on design, architecture, art and technology. Development of front facing website and publishing systems.
DTLLS and QTLS Qualified and Accredited Lecturer in Visual Arts Photography, Web Design, Multimedia (2007)
IfL Registered and Licensed
Experience of teaching students at levels 1 -3 for more than six years.
Experience of working in the broadcast industry with various employers (ITN, BBC) and running my own graphic design business.
MSc Technology Enhanced Learning (2014 – present)
Bucks New University
Diploma to Teach in the Lifelong Learning Sector
Bucks New University
Degree in Broadcast Operations and Production (Television, Digital and Interactive)
Certificate in Computer Science (CS101)
Stanford University/Mooc Online
Microsoft Office Specialist – Word, Powerpoint, Outlook, Excel.
A levels – Communication Studies, Media Studies, Photography, English Literature and Government & Politics
Learning Technologist of the Year – 2014
Association of Learning Technology (UK)
Learning Technologist of the Year
The Association for Learning Technology’s Learning Technologist
of the Year Award celebrates and rewards excellent practice and
outstanding achievement in the learning technology field.
“During his first year at Aylesbury
College, Tom made an outstanding
contribution to supporting and
enabling learning through the use of
technology. He implemented many
key projects which directly impacted
students and staff. These projects
included a College App, Online
Resources, Grade Tracking, eILP
reporting, along with securing funding
for a Maths and English NFC pilot.”
Global Innovation Awards – 2015
Global Innovator Award
These awards recognise educators and technology administrators from around the world who have demonstrated excellence in promoting academic integrity, student engagement and the innovative use of Turnitin and other educational technologies to support learning in their institutions
“Tom promotes Turnitin as an assessment management tool to staff at the college. He has promoted the use of QuickMarks or “SPAG Marks” to support a college initiative to promote correct “Spelling, Punctuation And Grammar” from students. His passion in this area has also seen him implement an awards scheme for the use of technology on courses by staff at the college, of which Turnitin is a key tool.”
Intuition Journal / Society of Education and Training / October 2017
“Digging in to Big Data”
Intuition Journal / Society of Education and Training / May 2017
“Star Tech : Plickers”
Intuition Journal / Society of Education and Training / March 2017
“Riding Giants” Learning Technology Supplement
FE Week / September 2014
Half a lemon, 2 eggs and 180C. Three pieces of data which in isolation mean very little. In the context of making a cake, they make the difference between success or failure. In a similar sense… Read more
Aylesbury College has been championing the use of Plickers, a free real time in class assessment tool. Plickers makes use of special cards which are printed and given to students. The tutor sets… Read more
I recently discovered a simple article titled “7 ways to improve uptake of your VLE“. The article points to seven simple ways to enhance a VLE to be more appealing to students and staff…. Read more
A VLE (or Virtual Learning Environment) is the centre of a learning technologists field of vision. VLE’s are websites which all teachers and students have access to. There are many VLE’s most notably Moodle (Open Source) and Blackboard. VLE’s at the most basic (and boring) level can enable teachers to leave handouts and notes and students can access them away from the classroom. A “true VLE” is interactive and allows for work to be set, submitted and marked. It allows for interactive content to be found and students and teachers to interact with each other. A true VLE is at the centre of the establishment and embedded within all learning. Developing a “true VLE” is hard as it requires buy in from staff and students and (sadly) no piece of software will do this for you.
A Flipped Classroom as many believe is the classroom of the future. In a Flipped Classroom learning takes place not only in presence of a teacher but also outside of the classroom in a student’s own time. The exact format varies however typically learning and time in the physical classroom is devoted to interactive hands on activity, with time outside devoted to lectures and reading. In a Flipped Classroom a teacher could take advantage of a VLE to post a video lecture for next week’s topic. Students would watch this video and answer questions about it (to check learning) before arriving at class. The teacher would know (from the VLE) that the students understand the basics of the topic and would move onto more detailed discussion immediately, making the most of precious contact time. This “flipped” approach could also be applied to many uses outside of education, to maximise contact time and quality with a skilled professional.
Sometimes things are boring, so what about turning those things into a game? This is where Gamification comes in. Gamification in education is when activities and behaviours are turned into challenges with rewards. Video games and Mobile games have achievements which are small tokens representing success. These tokens are rewarded regularly to encourage the player progress, they are personal and generally do not link to any sort of leaderboard. In education we can harness this idea by rewarding excellent attendance, a high score on a maths test or even regular use of a VLE.
The humble Netbook, what did it ever do to anyone? Okay It didn’t have the best performance, screen, keyboard, trackpad, wifi, connectivity or battery life… However it was small and… Read more