School of Education, University of Plymouth

25th January, 2013
by Edd Bolton

Server Migration

The Following services have now been moved to

SEAL  (Social and Emotional Aspects of Learning)

EDU (Education main page)

The original url will still work (eg. will still work as a link but this will automatically redirect to  This is due the limited space on the edu server and the need to migrate all of the pages to the newer server “HES” .

The service entitled “Breeze” will now no longer function.  The files for this have been archived and will be accessible on request .  If these files are required please contact “”.

28th November, 2011
by Edd Bolton

Smart Licensing

Picture Courtesy of jkmallen

As most of us know all software have software agreements, which are known as EULA (End Users Licence Agreement).  If you are not familiar with this it is the section of the install process that you click a check box claiming that you have read and agreed to the terms and agreements but in reality nobody has the time nor inclination to read these seemingly infinitely long documents that make sense only to the lawyers who wrote them.

Anyway this blog posting is to simply to cover the user of the Smart board software that staff and students will want to download on their devices to develop their skills and become more proficient and creative using this software.

Conveniently Smart have written a quite user-friendly guide to explain what licence covers and who can use the software over their full range of products and luckily it is only 3 pages long (available from here)

Here is my quick interpretation of the information that I have read of the licencing agreement for Smart boards, as this in the only Smart interactive hardware we posses and Smart Notebook collaborative learning software. Be warned that this is only my interpretation and has no legal bearing.

Whilst you are a member of staff or a student Smart software can be used on your personal computing devices, projected on surfaces that are non-interactive and of course Smart boards as long as this is conducted on University grounds.

This software CANNOT be used on or off campus on any other brands of interactive boards/display larger than 18”. For example we also have a Promethean board on campus the Smart software cannot be used on this.

As a student or member of staff as soon as you leave the university you must remove the smart software from your machine(s)

If any of this is unclear consult the official Smart documentation.

To download the Smart Notebook software click on the link.


12th August, 2011
by Edd Bolton

Personal Response System

This technology also known as “clickers” allows the lecturer to ask a classroom of students to respond to questions posed during teaching each of the student has and individual handheld device to which they can anonymously select a response.  A receiver device connected to the lectern machine receives these responses and displays them the presentation (compatible with PowerPoint) (Elliot, 2003).  These are normally multiple-choice questions, but can include more complex responses such as ranking answers numerical responses and some provide support for free text.


As well as centrally bookable equipment the School of Education have their own set of personal response systems (PRS) available for members of staff to use in their classroom teaching.  These are called ActivExpression and are slightly different than “TurningPoint” which is available from the central TEL. the difference is that the ActivExpression devices have screen and QWERTY keyboards allowing for a more diverse range of responses.


ActivExpression have an interactive online demonstration, which shows all of the features of the devices and gives a run through of the different range of questions and responses.  This is definably worth a look at if you want to find out the full potential of these devices.  This link provides the setup instructions to the ActivExpression Personal Response System

ActivExpression Promotional video

Comparison of PRS over traditional methods

(Cue, 1998)


For demonstrations on how this devices can work for you contact Edward Bolton (Faculty LT)


In order to book the ActivExpression devices you will have to contact Benji Rogers located in 301.  If these are unavailable or if the Turning point kit is required please contact the Central TEL Team




Elliott, C. (2003) International Review of Economics Education, volume 1, issue 1, pp. 80-86

Cue, N. (1998) A Universal Learning Tool for Classrooms? Online: date access 12/08/2011


21st July, 2011
by Edd Bolton

BKSB student assesment


To all students BKSB skills assessment have been updated to the 2011 edition.

BKSB Functional Skills are the practical skills in English, maths and ICT that allow people to work confidently, effectively and independently in life. As of September 2010, they will be a vital component for GCSE maths and English, as well as Apprenticeships, Diplomas and Foundation Learning pathways.

The test page and reporting page can be located under the Student Resources menu.

To find out more about BKSB go to there website: BKSB

24th June, 2011
by Edd Bolton

What is the Cloud?

Cloud computing: “commonly used definition describes it as clusters of distributed computers (largely vast data centers and server farms) which provide on-demand resources and services over a networked medium (usually the Internet).” (Sultan, N.  2009)

What does this mean? Rather than saving your document to your computer/memory stick you save it to the Internet.  This means you can access your documents from anywhere in the world from any device that can access the Internet.



Why would I use it? There are a few reasons why cloud computing can assist you in your work.

  • Anywhere anytime access.  You no longer have to be at your own machine to access your data, as long as you can access the Internet your data follows you. You can’t lose it like a memory stick.
  • Moving the risk.  Have you ever deleted a document or your computer has crashed and you have lost all of data. With Cloud computing you are uploading to an online service (such Sky Drive and Google Docs), which is far less likely to crash, and they keep all versions, so if you delete all or a section of a document you can recover the previous version.1 Other services (such a Dropbox) install software to you personal machine that automatically copy selected files to the cloud so they are always in more than one location.
  • Most up to date copy.  Currently you may backup all of your data to multiple locations, but how do you keep track of which version is the most up to date?  With cloud computing there is only one copy no matter where you are working on it from ensuring that it is up to date.
  • Online collaboration. In the past people have emailed copies of documents to colleges for collaboration but if there are many collaborators and version it can be hard to keep track of it and compiling the final document.  With cloud computing you don’t email the document but rather a link to the online version, now there is only ever one copy of the document with all of the version and contributions.
  • Online editing.  Providers such as Sky drive and Google Docs have web based editors so if you are at a computer that does not have Microsoft Office (or equivalent) you are still able to edit your document. Although you may not have the same functionality.

Surely there must be a downside? Most of the providers do require an Internet connection to enable access to the documents.  Sky Drive and Google Docs have a 50mb upload limit on individual files with a total space of 25Gb. Dropbox provides an offline mode for accessing your data that has no limit on file size but their free service starts at 2Gb (expandable to 8Gb via recommendations) they offer a monthly subscription for greater storage space.

All of these are services and as unlikely as it may seem,  they can fold.  When signing up for any cloud service it is always a good idea to read the End User Licence Agreement (EULA) to find out where your data is being stored,  who owns the data and will you be able to retrieve the data in the unlikely event that the service provider you choose ceases to trade.

Who provides these services? There are many providers of cloud services here are a few:

What is the Cloud? (download PDF version of this Post)

Have a look at this video for more info: google docs in plain english

1. Dependent on the individual capabilities of each of the products.

Created using a Google Doc collaborative workspace

Nabil Sultan, Cloud computing for education: A new dawn?, International Journal of Information Management, Volume 30, Issue 2, April 2010, Pages 109-116, ISSN 0268-4012,


24th June, 2011
by Edd Bolton


Podcasting comprised of a series of audio recordings all relating to a similar theme. They can allows you to capture the key element of a session providing a recap of complex material, a revision guide or a introduction to prepare your students for the next session.  They can be as long and short as you like, the optimum time is between 3 and 10 minutes.

If you feel that you would like to have a go at podcasting but are unsure of how to get started contact your faculty learning technologist and they will be more than happy to help you out.  alternatively the central TEL (Technology Enhanced Learning ) team provide workshops and support giving you a taster  of the different software available to you.  For more in-depth information regarding Podcasting from the central team click on the Podcasting Link

This resource is to complement the staff development session on podcasting for that Faculty of Education in November. This includes all of the documentation and software links to get you started.

If you are having any difficulties with anything please contact your Learning Technologist or post them in the comment box at the bottom of this page.

Software covered at the staff development day includes

Audacity (software download) (A Quick Guide to Creating Audio Clips guide)

Podium (software download (requires UoP login)) (Podium User licence) (A Quick Guide to Creating Podium Podcasts)

There is also tools built in to your module site ths sguide will show you how to utilise this tool:Create a Podcast within Tulip


Other useful links that are worth looking at provided by the central TEL team are the following:

Podcasting Tips

Podcasting Tools

Podcasting Equipment

Podcasting Experiences

Once you have your podcast this guide will show you how to upload them to your Module site and make it available for you students: uploading a podcast to you module site in tulip


Example of Podcasting

If you would like to have a look at what is being created at the university you can click on this link that will take you to iTunes U (you will need iTunes install to view this)


15th June, 2011
by Edd Bolton

Second stage upgrade

Now that all of the site have been checked and tested there quick links have now been moved to the toplink bar where they shall remain. As many of the page on the EDU server will be converted to conform the theme of the main page if possible. this work will be carried out over the next couple of months.

New pages can be requested from your faculty learning technologist

18th May, 2011
by Edd Bolton

Edu Server Upgrade

Hi, the Education web resource is currently being upgraded.

All the links on the original main page have bee listed below

IT help for students Resources on accessing the student portal

Student Ethics Meeting Point Good source for student who have to thinking about the ethical implications of their research.

Integrated Masters Programme IMP Education

RESINED Research

Mentor Training Post 16 training Videos

BKSB Assessment Index Skills Assessment Tool

Student Associate Scheme SAS Resource Website

PGCE Secondary Partners PGCE Secondary Resource

OelResNet Outdoor Learning Research

MUS 141 MUS 141 Module Site

Every Child Matters ECM 2007 Resource Site

Primary Maths Primary Mathematics

English Language Timeline Resource Site

English Resource Resource Site

please post comments below if you are having difficult with this.