Samples of students’ work
Although this degree also includes theoretical and research-based work, you will also actively work with established, emerging and brand new digital technologies to design your own digital educational materials. Always, there is an emphasis on developing applications which meet your own needs, and which you can use in your own teaching practice – maybe even immediately, should you be studying while also working in a school, college or training company.
Examples of software and other digital technologies which you might use on the MA DTCE include:
- Web design: HTML/XHTML, CSS and/or work with web design software, such as Macromedia Dreamweaver, Fireworks, etc.
- Multimedia software: Macromedia Flash, Hyper studio
- Video Production: Adobe Premiere, Media Center
- Planning and mind-mapping software: Inspiration, CMAP, Personal Brain, etc.
- For your research, NVivo, SPSS: the university offers various seminars to students on a number of useful software applications, such as Endnote and all Office applications.
- Microsoft Office: Word, Powerpoint, Excel, etc.
- Graphics Packages, such as Paint Shop Pro and Adobe Photoshop
- Voice and video editing software
- Interactive whiteboards (IWB’s), Digital cameras, iPods and so on
- Social networking /Sharing and other “Web 2.0” sites like Flickr, Facebook, del.icio.us, YouTube, etc.
- Course management systems (also known as virtual learning environments) like WebCT, Blackboard, Moodle, etc.
- Any other form of software which might be used in a particular specialised field (for instance, clinical software).
You can view some samples of past students’ work by clicking on the links below, but remember these are just examples; you will be able to tailor any work you produce to your own particular needs, and go on to use them in your future teaching or training. We see work produced by students on any and all subject matters, from music to radiography, from storytelling for primary school children to corporate training materials. You may also note that we encourage the development of materials in your own language: one of these students produced both a Greek and English version of the site while the computer terminology website is in Arabic.
Follow these links to view educational software, websites and educational videos produced by students on this degree as their project work on some course units . All sites will open in a new browser window.
Laura Underwood talks about Visualisations
On the MA DTCE, I decided to do a project-based dissertation. The first part of my dissertation was to develop a website to curate the visualisations I had been finding online. I also built a few visualisations of my own. For each visualisation on the website, I listed the subject and learning outcomes (wherever possible, these are from the British curriculum) that the asset aligned with. I also developed some lesson plans to show how visualisations can be incorporated into teaching practice.
The goal of the website is to make it easier for teachers who want to use content like this in their own lessons. They can use the search function on the website to find a visualisation that matches the lesson topic they are working on. Following the development of the website, I wrote my dissertation about the research I had conducted.
There are currently around 1200 visualisations on the website. I enjoyed the process so much that I continue to add to it and use the assets in my own work. On the website’s blog, I post about the field of visualisation, commenting on new assets as I find them. You can view the website at www.visualistics.co.uk.
Research demonstrates that content like data visualisations, animated explainer videos, infographics and interactive webpages can capture students’ interest and help them to learn complex information more quickly. Visualisations can also reduce the information overload that students may feel when they are presented with dense sections of text.
Will Fastiggi on his ‘News on Atlas’ project
For a long time I’d wanted an easier way for students to keep up-to-date with social, economic and political news events happening around the world. Having worked in both UK and overseas schools, I had come to notice that global news media was widely absent from the classroom. Part of the problem is that it’s not easy to get a true and balanced picture of what’s going on from any one particular news source.
It wasn’t until studying my master’s degree though, that I really started to reflect on these ideas at a deeper level. Drew’s course on Information Literacy was particularly useful, and the ideas that I developed culminated in what would become News on Atlas, a web application designed to improve users’ global news literacy.
News on Atlas uses RSS (Really Simple Syndication) technology to gather news feeds from various outlets across the Web. I chose an atlas interface to collate these feeds, as it makes the app easy and intuitive to use – the user simply hovers over or clicks on the atlas to see a particular country’s news headlines. I am continuing to work with my programmer, Daniel, who I originally hired in El Salvador to do the coding for this application. While tweaks are still being made here and there, my hope is that more students will get the opportunity to use News on Atlas in the future. You can find out about the application from this short video, which I made to explain what News on Atlas is, why it’s important and how to use it.
The Introduction to Educational Video Production course is another popular course unit which gives you valuable practical skills. Here is an example of work from that unit. This video was made by four students (Mauro, George, Eleni, Haya) with the intent to create awareness about STIs and the importance of regular sexual health check ups.
Another student talks about her theoretical and research based work:
“The wonderful freedom of topic choice for my dissertation, lead to me dreaming big dreams. Initially I wanted to do research that would benefit my family in projects amongst the minority group of the Bushmen people (the Saan), in Botswana. Unfortunately, or perhaps fortunately, logistics as well as strict research legislation in Botswana contributed to me following a research topic closer to home. I am from Centurion, South Africa and found myself linked with a group of teenage students from a neighboring area, Tembisa – this is a township, meaning ‘a planned urban settlement of Black Africans or Coloured people’ (CED, 2003) that was set up during the Apartheid era. It is thus characterised by historically being a racially segregated suburb. The community is mostly black Africans, but from many different cultural backgrounds, speaking many different languages or amalgamation thereof. When moving through the streets it is evident that the economic situation of the community is slowly but surely improving, even though talk of lack of jobs and services are not far from anyone’s lips and the neighbouring houses and shacks testify of a growing gap between rich and poor. In this context, I met up with some very enthusiastic youths and we spent a week together exploring radio as a medium, through them, working in small groups, creating ‘internet radio shows’.
The study started with the thought that ‘true democracy depends on its citizens being active and literate in various contexts’. Media literacy is one of the multi-literacies required in order to effectively ‘read’ messages from different media texts. My research study aimed to explore the influences of production as a teaching strategy, on the different literacy and skill levels of participants, as well as the effectiveness of the teaching process. The focus of this study was narrowed down to the effectiveness of the process and the influence thereof, rather than focusing on the content of the products. The teaching project, during which students designed and produced radio chat shows for internet broadcasting, was observed and inputs gather from participants using focus group interviews.
A qualitative approach of thematic analysis was used to identify different themes of influence and effectiveness, while keeping Kellner & Share (2005:369)’s definition and literacy levels in mind: literacy as a broad term involves ‘the skills and knowledge to read, interpret and produce certain types of texts and artefacts and to gain the intellectual tools and capacities to fully participate in one’s culture and society’.
Findings and the discussion thereof proved to be not only very interesting but also enriching for me personally and we are currently thinking of ways in which we can use this initial project as a starting block for further literacy work.”
The shows can be found at this address: http://web.me.com/tembisatalking
Finally, here is a UK-based teacher explaining how she used her experience on the course to construct an in-class learning experience for her pupils:
I used my ICT skills to create and deliver a strongly ICT-led English curriculum, based around the new Primary strategy. This involved using the interactive whiteboard to watch adverts online and then Publisher to create an advert for a magazine. This further developed into scripting and performing an advert of their own. Children used windows movie maker and even Flash to do this!
What the MA taught me was the creative use of software and when the use of ICT was not appropriate. I gained not just the ability to use a whole range of software to support the primary curriculum, but the ability to use it critically and to understand its appropriate use, as well as sharing my knowledge with others.