June 2020

From paper to digital: teaching maths and STEM online

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As administrators, instructional designers, department chairs, and faculty prepare for courses which are likely to be online sometime during the coming academic year, courses with maths and STEM based content are areas that have proved to be challenging. EquatIO is an innovative EdTech solution that can help ensure continuity & quality of maths and STEM based courses as they move from in-person to online formats.

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Guest blog: The digital learning trap

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We’re delighted that Dr Ciaran McIvor has penned this latest blog post for us. Ciaran is a teacher who is currently teaching mathematics at St Malachy’s College in Belfast. He has a particular interest in the use of technology to enhance teaching and learning in mathematics. Prior to teaching, Ciaran graduated from Queen’s University Belfast in mathematics, and went on to research and devise many novel electronic architectures, mathematical and arithmetic techniques and algorithms for modern data encryption schemes. His book, based on cryptography, was published several years ago. In this blog, Ciaran explores the effect of the recent schools shutdown on his pupils’ learning. 

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Why I love WriQ

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Our latest guest blog comes from Tucker Bugaj. Tucker is the son of Chris Bugaj, author of the The New Assistive Tech: Make Learning Awesome For All which features examples of how Texthelp’s products can be used to design inclusive educational experiences for students. In this post Tucker explains how he's been using the student experience of WriQ to help improve his writing. 

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The Fitbit for writing – using technology to improve student writing skils

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Recently our very own Martin McKay (CTO at Texthelp) was interviewed by Victoria Collins to talk about our writing achievement tool, WriQ. Originally appearing in Forbes in April 2020, read why it’s so important for Martin and the Texthelp team that students not only have access to the tools they need to succeed but are engaged with learning in ways that motivate them to use technology to reach their full potential. 

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Accessibility by design

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This is a guest blog post written by Steven Hope, who together with Ben Whitaker and Dan Fitzpatrick make up the hosts of the Edufuturists podcast. They deliver training across the world on education, technology and leadership, as well as continuing to serve in various education settings.

Well before the lockdown, accessibility has been a focus for many Further and Higher Education organisations, due to the changes that will come into force from September 2020. This initially includes the accessibility of their website but will factor in virtual learning environments and course content as well. These changes in legislation coupled with the shift to remote learning are bringing learner inequalities to the fore, helping to shape accessibility by design rather than default across education. 

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What will you keep from your blended learning experience?

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As Australian and New Zealand schools navigate reopening, I have been thinking a lot about Adam Voigt’s recent article where he wrote about the need to ‘Marie Kondo’ Victorian schools, or consider throwing out things in our schools that don’t bring us joy. 

It’s an interesting concept to consider. The emergency remote learning that has occurred during COVID-19 school shutdowns has led many of us to adapt and adopt new teaching methods and styles. Now, in this current, messy ‘in between’ space as we slowly return to ‘normal’, it seems a good time for all of us in the education space to consider what brought you and your students joy during blended learning, and what did not.

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