MA DTCE graduate, Alejandro Castillo, shares his story

February 17, 2017 Leave a comment

Alejandro Castillo Rozo, an MA DTCE Distance Learner graduate , shares his experience studying on the degree.
Alejandro is now living in Medellìn Colombia and is a social studies teacher in the Montessori School.

‘Aside from being a great learning experience on itself (admirable teachers, very well designed curricula, great classmates, etc), the MA-DTCE offered me the tools to completely redesign the way ITC usage was measured at my school, going from an empty software checklist to a more descriptive tool to assess how ICT’s are embedded on particular educational practices, without increasing the workload of the staff. Both school managers and teachers welcomed and applied this initiative.

Also, my dissertation on reading comprehension greatly enriched my understanding of reading processes on themselves and my pedagogical strategy toolbox to foster such processes. It also strengthened my knowledge of research methods in education which has allowed me to serve as an advisor of my school’s research program, while conducting better research myself. Overall, I feel really grateful toward the MADTCE and all of its teaching staff for opening new and amazing professional perspectives in my life! ‘

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Teaching and technology: case studies from India by Dr Gary Motteram

February 7, 2017 Leave a comment

The latest British Council book, edited by Dr Gary Motteram from the University of Manchester, UK,  Teaching and technology: case studies from India  is jointly published by British Council India and Central Square Foundation.
A collection of case studies which illustrates teachers and organisations using technology in innovative ways in schools and classrooms across India.

The 22 case studies show a wide range of hardware and software being used to improve learning for students and for teachers’ professional development.

By highlighting this good practice, we aim to inspire future action by others to experiment with these innovations in similar contexts.

The book is available at the following link

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Bestselling Book by MA DTCE Graduate

February 6, 2017 Leave a comment


Our graduate, Abdul Al Lily (, has published a book that has gone straight to number one on Amazon best-seller lists.

It is entitled The Bro Code of Saudi Culture: 714 Rules on how the Human Body should Act Inside Arabia.

It has been talked about in different languages and by magazines and newspapers (e.g. Huffington Post) and recommended by known figures, e.g. Dr. James M. Dorsey and Prof. Madawi Al-Rasheed who tweeted about the book: ‘hilarious book with truths’.

It is the first to talk about Saudi culture in a purely descriptive (and thus non-judgemental and unbiased) manner. It is the first to be written by a Saudi who was born and raised in Saudi Arabia, who is still based in this country, who is a former formally-recognised imam and who comes from a working-class family—yet has travelled the world, is married to a non-Muslim European, studied in Oxford, published with the largest international academic publishers and hence has the ability to communicate with foreign and Western mentalities.

It is the first to be written in plain language even though it is informed by research. It is the first to present Saudi values and norms in the form of a bullet-pointed list.

It is available in English and Spanish so far, as hard and soft copies, on Amazon.

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United Medicine Appoints Annalisa Manca -Director of Medical Education

November 24, 2016 1 comment

annalisaAfter graduating from the MA DCTCE in September 2007 I worked with Drew and Marilena as a Teaching Assistant and Student Mentor. I assisted in the administration of e-learning material and led online and face-to-face learning and teaching sessions. I also supported students in the design of e-learning resources and I acted as a facilitator in online discussions amongst the students. I was then offered a position as an Educational Technologist at The University of Dundee Medical School, where I worked from October 2008 until now and where my passion for Medical Education developed.

At the Medical School I work within the Technology and Innovation in Learning Team (TILT), with responsibility for development, delivery and ongoing support of learning, teaching and assessment activities within the Medical School. Because of my background in Pedagogy I provide subject matter expertise on pedagogic theory and training in good educational practice, design of online learning activities, along with support for online education initiatives across the Health Science programmes, both undergraduate and postgraduate.
My role involves leading on innovation practice, development, management and quality assurance of our online learning projects, with a strong emphasis on learner-centred design. I am a Communities of Practice facilitator and contribute to institutional faculty development programs: I teach and supervise students during Student Selected Components (SSCs), 4th year projects and dissertations for the Honours Degree of Bachelor of Medical Science (BMSc) intercalated courses, and contribute to the Educational Technology module teaching for the Centre for Medical Education Masters in Medical Education.
I undertake scholarship and pedagogical research, regularly sharing findings and best practices at conferences such as the Association for Medical Education in Europe (AMEE) international meeting, through workshops and presentations.

In October 2014 I started an International Project called “The Networked Doctor”. My role in this project is to develop a pedagogic strategy to enable non-English speakers doctors to feel confident in networking in English, through social media, with the wider medical education community. I therefore manage the educational design and delivery of a series of seminars and workshops on a various range of subjects involving the use of social media for research, CPD and professional networking for healthcare professionals.

In January I will be moving to Belfast to start a three-years PhD in Medical Education. My wish to study for a PhD dates back to the research experience I gained whilst completing the Masters of Education at the University of Manchester. My research interest was further kindled by the educational research and scholarship, which has been part of my current position as an educational technologist at the University of Dundee Medical School ( In the long-term, I aim to become an experienced medical education academic researcher and combine teaching and research work in the field of the medical humanities.

For now though I’m in Sardinia (Italy) enjoying my family and friends and charging my batteries before starting the new chapter in my life 🙂 . I’m really grateful to Drew for being always very supportive during the years that led me to this important step.

For further information, see

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The new academic year starts… with the MA: DTCE’s biggest ever cohort

September 28, 2016 Leave a comment


Congratulations on your acceptance to the University of Manchester. We are enormously pleased to welcome our new students  to our MA DTCE family!

For the 2016-17 academic year,  we have  63 new starters, of which 44 are on campus students and the rest are Distance Learners, joining us from all corners of the world (Europe, Australia, Japan, India, Uganda, China, Canada, Malaysia). This is the biggest ever intake on the MA: Digital Technologies, Communication and Education.

Including our returning distance learners and those finishing off dissertations, this means we now have 100 students in total; easily our largest ever cohort and quite a growth since we launched the MA: DTCE in 2007 with around 25 students.

Clearly there is still a lot of interest, not just in educational technology per se but the MA: DTCE’s distinctive mix of this subject matter with studies of how communication and formal and informal learning processes throughout society are affected by things like the news media, social media and political change.
We still attract teachers as students, whether they be working in early years education, primary or secondary schools, or at colleges and universities. But our cohort now also includes several journalists, musicians, web site developers, corporate training specialists, learning technologists, programme officers…. In short anyone with an interest in learning, technology and communication.

Unfortunately, enrollment for 2016-17 is now closed; but it is not too early to apply for the following year. Either way, we wish all our students well!

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Get a loan to study on the MA: DTCE

If you are a UK or EU national, and normally live in England, did you know you can now qualify for a Postgraduate Loan to help you with the cost of your studies on the MA: DTCE? The loan can be for up to £10,000: see this page for an overview.

This includes part-time study and study by distance learning — as long as you complete the course in two years (you would not be eligible for the loan in any third year of a distance learning course).

There are other qualifiers — you cannot already have a Masters’ or higher degree, unfortunately — and need to be under 60 years of age at the start of the course. For full details on eligibility follow this link.

Study on the MA: DTCE by distance learning

The MA: Digital Technologies, Communication and Education has been run as a successful distance learning programme since 2007 and is still open for applications for entry in September 2016.

The course content is innovative and different from that on many competitor courses. We take a broad view of what constitutes ‘education’, covering not just the impact of digital technologies on the school or university but also workplace learning, adult and community education, informal learning (via friends, family, the media): in short all the ways that digitisation affects how people form knowledge about the world. Prior teaching experience is not required: MA: DTCE students include journalists, librarians, web and e-book developers, video and multimedia producers as well as teachers, lecturers and learning technologists. (The picture shows distance learning graduate, and video producer, Alessandra Argenti at work in Nairobi, Kenya.)Alessandra working

The best online course I have ever taken” (Mike, Senior Lecturer)

Becoming an MA: DTCE graduate means you will have learned to deconstruct an educational environment of any kind, understand what has driven its creation (learning objectives, theories of teaching and learning, management and leadership, politics and technology itself) and appreciate what different digital media do, or might, bring to the environment in order to enhance it, improving the experience of both learner and teacher alike. Practical skills are addressed, such as multimedia design and video production, but you will also be introduced to theories of communication, of technology development, teaching and learning, and how these can be applied to optimise educational technology solutions. MA: DTCE graduates currently occupy a range of positions worldwide, including senior roles — for examples, see earlier posts on this blog.

MA: DTCE student, Ioannis, explores the Mubil 'virtual laboratory' with the Oculus kit

MA: DTCE student, Ioannis, explores the Mubil ‘virtual laboratory’ with the Oculus kit

Studying on the MA: DTCE by distance learning allows you to work flexibly, in ways that fit in with, and even complement, work commitments. You will not be isolated — there are plenty of ways to interact both with the teaching team and fellow students, including videoconferences, online discussion boards, one-to-one Skype tutorials and collaborative activities, which we can usually arrange at a time to suit your schedule (including for those of you studying outside the UK). There are ample opportunities to complete assignments in ways that integrate them with classes, projects or tasks that you need to complete in professional life. You can even receive course credit (15, 30 or the 60-credit dissertation) for designing and evaluating a workplace or consultancy project. We also have a ‘TESOL pathway” for those of you specialising in language teaching.

We hope you might be interested in joining us in September 2016. Visit the course page on the University of Manchester web site for more information and to make an application.