CLDP Learning Technologies

by | Aug 8, 2017 | 0 comments

Learning Technologies – Department Professional Learning.

The Collaborative Learning Design Projects are normally done with a few departments together with the last session being a collaborative session sharing learning and working together on a project. the sessions have taken a number of different forms and the latest iteration has focused primarily on creating content, learning by creating and leading into creativity.

The CLDP projects usually have a number of departments working together. Last semester it was just maths though. This meant that the focusses were more aligned to one subject but we still kept track of the overall goals and desired outcomes.


The projects provided a great opportunity to upskill, improve and refine, share and collaborate. All while producing materials that can be used in the classroom.


The primary focuses revolved around:

  • exploring learning by creating content (read more on this here)
  • exploring creativity and ways of nurturing creativity and soft skills
  • types of content that can be created
  • having time to explore and create content ourselves
  • exploring how to apply our learning to the classroom

Learning while Creating Content:

We first explored what is possible with our students (and staff) creating content. Read more on this here



Learning by Creating Content.

Creativity – What and How??

A big goal of the project was to also provide the means to nurture creativity. So what is creativity? How can we nurture it? How can we model it?

Options, Tools and Techniques for Creating Content:

Exploring sustainable, realistic solutions was important to us here. We wanted to make sure we could use the tools well hence allowing us to set appropriate tasks, to help with tasks being undertaken and to be able to create and then be able to use created content.

After exploring what was possible we then chose some options that we felt were most relevant to maths. We started with presentations and presentation tools and incorporated tools for creating better graphics. Then we moved on to tools for explanation and clips and then using tools together – “app smashing” = whoohooo!


At the core of creating good content is understanding what makes a good presentation and then what kinds of presentations?

  • What makes a good presentation?
  • Graphics make a difference
  • Tools and techniques for making good presentations
  • Then onto creating better presentations firstly with Keynote and PowerPoint

Tools for Creating Videos:

After looking at what makes a good presentation and creating some presentations we then moved into creating short videos for teacher explanations and flipped teaching type content and then for student activities. We decided not to go down the path of screen recording and instead explored other options for creating clips from existing content on computers. Our first focus was on adding narration and timing to existing PowerPoints and then saving as video. This also proved to be a very effective and simple solution to creating content from existing files. It also is a great solution for those without an iPad.

We mainly focussed on Explain Everything on iPads due to the versatility of the product and how powerful it can be but we also explored other simple and sustainable solutions on computers.

PowerPoint to Video:

With so many great presentations already created and so many available to be used, we thought that a simple solution of narrating PowerPoints and saving as a video was a great option to highlight how possible this all is. It also is a great solution for those without an iPad.

PS. To record a PowerPoint as a video. Open PowerPoint on your computer and in slide show choose Record Slide Show and then start recording from the beginning and go with the defaults to make use of timings, narrations ink and laser pointer.
At the end choose “Save as” and in type choose mpeg-4 Video. Voila!

We also explored Office Mix and talked of options here for creating videos with interactions built in. We decided to revisit this again later as we moved into Explain Everything as our base. More on this on the blog later!

Explain Everything:

Explain Everything was chosen as the app that would give us the most value! This app is amazing for adding annotation, interaction and narration to your slides. Read more on our Explain Everything page!! The use case for us was that we wanted to be able to easily record our interactions and have a solution where our students could do this easily, either from scratch or from a project.

The Explain Everything page has examples of ways to create great content and ways it can be used in the classroom.

One tried and true way is to create an Explain Everything project with resources in place ready to go and then getting the class to download that, write a script and storyboard and then record onto the slides that they would like to record on. When they save as a video they choose which slides to include in the video.

Explain Everything with all of Year 7:

After the CLDP sessions, we ran a session with all year 7 creating videos on concepts in their 2D and 3D shapes topic. The students created a video and submitted it to a discussion board in our Learning Management System where they could watch each other’s video and comment appropriately. We did a similar session last year run by the Learning Technologies staff that is well worth a look.
We look forward to presenting more projects and created content from Explain Everything soon!

Green Screening:

Adding a layer with the presenter has proven to personalises and engages the audience. We used Green Screen by Doink App to do this.  The presenter records themselves with a green wall behind and the app makes all the green pixels in the top layer to be transparent an d hence they are superimposed on their video. This is great for flipped type content created by teachers but also a fun element to add for student created clips. Of course, the use of green screening can be used innovatively in video production!

Critiquing and Improving:

We watched the video Austin’s Butterfly and talked about the critique cycle and how this could be used well to improve student work and to collect quality work. We ran out of time to work on fully critiquing and improving work but this was demonstrated in activities afterwards that we would like to explore further. The process involved students uploading their finished video to a discussion board and then reviewing at least two other videos. The goal is for videos to be improved upon with specific feedback and then resubmitted. Author NOTE: a good learning experience for us was that initially, the critiquing was about the video and not the content. In fact a mistake by me in the screenshot highlights this and was picked up by the Head of Department. This, in turn, was a great way of talking about how we could better review work for further activities.

In Closing:

The CLDP project was enjoyable and there were great outcomes. Some of these are already being seen in the classroom and we look forward to building on this and regularly reviewing the effectiveness of the activities.


We would love to hear your thoughts . . ...