How technology transformed the classroom

No matter what setting or establishment, technology has always been a vital part of anyone’s education – and they have worked hand in hand for years. Starting with the pen and paper, progressing to the desktop computer and now to the mobile tablet, technology is an important part of how we all learn new subjects and skills.

The technological shift in the 20th century

Through the introduction of projected images within the classroom, technology revolutionised the way we learn. First introduced in 1925, the Filmstrip Projector could be used depending on the subject being taught, helping students visualise the subject.

The mimeograph and the radio were also useful tools that could be used in the classroom. Introduced in 1940, the mimeograph allowed teachers to copy and distribute educational materials to students, while the radio could be used to transit lessons to other classrooms in other areas.

Most notably popularised in America, the slide ruler would be known to us as an old-fashioned ruler, used in mathematics to calculate sums. Replacing the mimeograph as a more efficient alternative, the photocopier was also used to help speed up and quantify the distribution of educational materials.

Advancing education and learning, here are some of the most notable examples of developing technologies within the education sector:

  • 1960s. Although it did not become popular within classrooms for another ten years, the calculator was introduced in this decade.
  • 1970s. Used as a device to mark exam papers and other question papers, the Scantron machine has lasted to the present day as a way of speeding up the marking process.
  • 1980s. Personal computers were starting to be introduced and learners could use them to help improve their knowledge of a particular subject.
  • 1990s. While replacing traditional blackboards with interactive whiteboards, desktop computers were also becoming prevalent within most households, helping students to complete homework tasks on office-based packages.

Turning digital

Although the 20th century saw dramatic technological advancements in such a short space of time, with the invention of smartphones, YouTube, tablets and laptops, no decade has seen such radical changes in the classroom as the 2000s. GPS Installations – specialists in audio visual products and public address system installations – are also revolutionising how to best implement interactive technologies within the classroom. Considered as the digital revolution, integrating smart technologies into the classroom has changed the way educators teach and how students learn.

A classroom was divided into two groups (A and B) in a study conducted in 2015. Both groups were asked to research a topic and present their findings to the whole group, however, group A were not allowed mobile technologies whereas group B were. What was discovered is that group B divided into sub-groups, whereas group A stayed together. What this suggests is that technology can help aid integrated organisational structures within learning groups, which leads to more specific and concentrated learning, in comparison to the generalised learning and collaboration witnessed in group A.

Overall, statistics suggest that teachers’ responses to smart technologies were positive overall. In the US, 86% claimed that technology was an essential part of a student’s education. Furthermore, 92% felt that they could have more technology within their classroom to help the quality of their educational delivery improve.

Both students and teachers feel as though they are able to make a cost saving as a result of smart technologies in classroom – and many feel as though smart technologies have improved the quality of lessons. Electronic copies of eBooks and other digital-based learning materials are 33 – 35% cheaper than their physical alternatives. Increasing their chances of passing an exam, tablets and other interactive digital devices have improved literacy and numeracy skills.

Even though digital hardware has helped to improve the quality of education overall, some still believe that digital technologies have become a distraction in the room. This is because children can be distracted by social media apps and other interactive games when they should be learning. In a study conducted by A Common Sense Media, it was reported that 71% of teaching staff felt that a student’s attention span had been compromised by smart devices such as mobiles and tablets. What this suggests is that as digital technologies have been adopted into our classrooms, we still haven’t found the correct balance between utilising digital technologies as a source for quality education, and making sure that they aren’t being used to the extent where they become a distraction.

All educators should ensure that quality education and best practice is being delivered at all times. This is why the digital revolution has benefited the classroom – even though its impact has been received both positively and negatively. If education institutions can get the balance right between interaction and distraction, there is no reason why digital technologies can’t transform the learning capabilities of young people.


From the Great Gatsby to Dr Jekyll, from Macbeth to the Little Prince… at just £1.87

Or come to that from Frankenstein to Jane Eyre, from Great Expectations to Romeo and Juliet (both quite interesting journeys!). And all at just £1.87 each (after your 25% discount) with free delivery when ordered directly from us.

I could go further, of course, and add, from HG Wells’ “Time Machine and other works” to John Maynard Keynes’ “General Theory of Employment Interest and Money.”   And that is indeed an interesting contrast!

And, of course, there are plenty more to choose from.  World Literature and Poetry are just £3.99 before discount, and our complete works series for just £7.99.  There’s a complete Shakespeare, complete Jane Austin, complete Brothers Grimm, complete Oscar Wilde…

Wordsworth Editions has over 450 titles in print, covering over 230 works of classic literature and over 50 popular children’s books.  And not only does each volume naturally have the full text, but with all of our classics there is also a set of exclusive introductions and notes.

If you would like to see a list of around 50 of the most frequently used set texts which are available direct to schools at the special price of £1.87 that is available here.

To see the full list of our titles in print along with a ready to use order form, should you need it, we have a page with those details as well. And don’t forget, you get a 25% discount on all of the prices shown, not just on the classics.

And we also have an offer of a free book.  Just in case the notion of books at £1.87 each with free delivery seems just too good to be true, we’d like to assure you of the quality of our publications.

So, if you would like a free sample of one of our classics, just email with your name and the school address, and we’ll put it in the post to you, with our compliments.

We look forward to hearing from you.

The best way to improve literacy in a struggling child is with 1 to 1 tuition. And now that is possible.

Indeed if the child really gets on well with the tutor and doesn’t feel pressured or intimidated in any way by having one to one tuition, progress will always be beyond anything that can be achieved in a classroom.

Of course at this point you might be expecting me to say, “Sadly we can’t offer that ideal…”  But in fact we can, in an approach that allows not only one to one tuition but one to one tuition at a very affordable price, whenever needed.

Every misunderstanding and every concept not understood is instantly spotted, and results in the pupil being taken back a step for remedial work, after which progress and advancement resumes, with appropriate activities to hand for every eventuality.

This approach is available through a program that locates each individual’s literacy needs, directing the pupil to an engaging set of activities which remedy any deficits, before advancing through to the next set of skills.

And because the level of instruction is so accurately reflective of the child’s current abilities, the pupil then gets a feeling of success and progress, which of itself is highly motivational.

At the same time your colleagues are now free to work with others in the group.  Indeed, they can rotate the children, with some receiving directed help online while others engage with offline paper-based activities which are generated automatically by the system.

Of course you’ll want to see this in action before making any decisions, and you can do that this term, without any cost or commitment.

You can read more about Core 5 which achieves these extraordinary results here,

You can read a variety of case studies here. You will then also find on the top right of the page the link to gain full access to the program for 30 days without any payment or commitment.

If you want to know more about the program, please do call 0191 482 1939 or email

Rob Kay

LexiaUK Software Consultant.

From dealing with youth depression to issues of confidentiality in issues of abuse, from gender stereotypes to domestic violence.

Continuing Professional Development DVDs and DVDs for showing to students, on some of the most difficult subjects that can arise.

Many of the programmes below can be rented for less than £4.00.  Please look on the relevant page on our website

Part one: DVDs for CPD

A Confidential Space: Issues of confidentiality relating to counselling children and young people.

DVD  84 Minutes   £40.00 plus postage

An interview with Peter Jenkins, on the issues relating to confidentiality in therapeutic work with children and young people.

Themes covered include: Ethical issues in working with children and young people, Good practice for counselling in schools, Information-sharing and child protection, Disclosures of abuse and pre-trial therapy, Data protection and access to records of therapy by the courts, police and solicitors, Access to records of therapy by parents and children and Therapy as a confidential space.

Beyond the Blues: Child and Youth Depression.  Depression in children and young people, case histories and treatment.

DVD  57 Minutes   £36.30 plus postage

Depression has increased by one-third in the past 30 years. Untreated depression costs a teenager in many ways: lost educational opportunities, lost social opportunities and lost time. Through the personal stories of three young people, this compelling documentary traces the journey of depression, from early signs and symptoms, to assessment, diagnosis and treatment. Bipolar disorder is also covered.

Bullying – The Children Speak:  Bullies and victims speak.

DVD  31 Minutes   £25.00 plus postage

Pupils and students drawn from a cross-section of schools, private and state, middle- and working-class, bullies and their victims talk about what happens, why it happens and what they think about it. Essential viewing for parents, teachers, governors, child care professionals and indeed pupils and students themselves.


Part 2: For showing to Students:   (As above, many of the programmes below can be rented for less than £4.00.  Please call for details.)

Tell It Like It Is 

DVD  12 Minutes   £27.20 plus postage

Animated film about people at school and the results of gender stereotyping and bullying.

A short animated film by Leeds Animation Workshop which illustrates problems faced by young people at school as a result of gender stereotyping and bullying. Classmates Darren and Sharon are each keeping a video diary.

The results show them the different worlds girls and boys live in, and the different anxieties they experience. Although light in tone, the film raises awareness of male violence – verbal, psychological and physical – in school and in society.

It aims to help young people understand and when necessary withstand social pressure, and stresses their ability to support each other, to help those who are being bullied and to challenge oppressive and abusive behaviour. Especially suitable for 11 – 15 year olds. Booklet also supplied

You and Alcohol – Just Good Friends?

DVD  10 Minutes   £18.80 plus postage

Offers a down-to-earth account of our favourite and dangerous drug: how it works on the body and brain, how it changes our behaviour, why its effects differ for men and women and what constitutes sensible drinking. Aimed at 13 year olds and over, it includes lively contributions by university students.

Made in 1990 this film reflects the cultural attitudes and language of the time it was made. The issues raised are timeless.

Home Truths (LAW)

DVD  12 Minutes  £27.20 plus postage

Animated film of young people talking about domestic violence, for 8-13 year olds

A short animated film in which five young people tell of their experiences of domestic violence. Emma and her mother escape from a violent father by moving to a refuge. Jamie sees the effect on his mother of his father’s violence. For Sidra, the violence of her father is psychological and controlling. Sophie, her sister and mother are all targets of her stepfather’s aggression.

Daniel supports his friend Tom, whose mother is being hit by her boyfriend. The young people respond positively to their situation, and take some action, asserting their right to live in a safe environment. The programme tackles some of the myths: that it’s the woman’s or child’s fault, that the men involved can’t help it etc. Particularly designed for use with 8-13 year olds in a group setting, where it will encourage discussion. Includes booklet with background information.  

Concord Media. A not for profit charity established in 1963. 
22 Hines Rd
IP3 9BG.
Tel: 01473 726012

Free local speaker and resources for teaching ethical issues in science

Many pupils are passionate about the welfare of animals though, if surveys are to be believed, many of them do not know how their bacon, eggs and milk are produced!

Food production is a growing topic of debate whether you are talking about the ethics of how we treat animals, how we produce healthy food and how we can feed a growing population.

Finding time to discuss topics such as animal welfare and sustainable food production is doubly valuable – it gives pupils an important understanding of a range of ethical issues in science and it encourages great debates!

It is also an opportunity to find a new angle to teach syllabus content such as selective breeding and food chains which feed humans. These issues can be brought to life by discussing different ways of keeping farm animals in organic, free-range or intensive systems.

To help you to engage your pupils in such discussions, we provide a free speaker service and a pack of resources including a film and discussion activities, which can be adapted for pupils of different ages, abilities and levels of confidence.

To enquire about a speaker or to order a free resource pack, please email It will be helpful if you write “Biology mailshot” in the subject title.

To view or download the resources directly, including films, please go to our website which has details of all our resources for science including an archive genetic engineering film.

Yours sincerely,

Phil Brooke
Education Development Manager
Compassion in World Farming

Links and contacts:


Tel: 01483 521 965

Education website:

Speaker service:

Science resources:

How to use competition to increase student engagement and win fantastic prizes for the school

The ‘gamification’ of learning is proving to be a highly successful method of engaging pupils across all subjects and can easily be applied to a wide range of classroom activities to great effect.

The core requirement is a carefully structured and varied pace, with bursts of high speed and timed challenges, supported by varying difficulty levels and progressively challenging targets.  Motivation levels soar if pupils can achieve immediate and long-term rewards, which can be as simple as points to accumulate and records to beat.

But, to make a real difference, students need to be fully engaged in a challenge they see as relevant.  One in which they are actively solving problems, communicating with others and developing a sense of personal achievement.

The Real STEM Competition is designed to achieve this for up to 72 pupils in a day and is delivered on the school site – so there is no travel required.  Six teams of six pupils compete in a double lesson session that is repeated for a different group after break or lunch – minimalising disruption to the timetable.

This year’s competition is ‘Space Pioneers’ – which reinforces and expands upon the new KS3 & KS4 science curriculum content within a thrilling scenario of a mission to Mars.  It is an effective way to deliver exciting activity weeks, holiday schools, transition events and enrichment days.

A specialist team run the event and, with a hugely experienced teacher leading the workshop, there is no need for school staff to be present.  It allows class teachers to supervise lessons elsewhere, saving on the cost of a cover teacher for the day.  Alternatively, teachers can choose to observe their students compete and then apply the proven strategies to future lessons.

Pupils play as part of a team, against tight deadlines and in a game-like context to develop a wide range skills so highly valued by universities and employers.  Every participant will receive a certificate of achievement listing the skills developed and members of the winning team will be awarded a commemorative medal.

If your winning team achieves one of the top scores by Science Week 2018 the school will win a full-day workshop each term for a year, a Double STEM Workshop or STEM Box 1 – full of fabulous activities to run with multiple classes.

Schools entering the competition will receive performance reports for every participant and a free copy of the highly regarded ‘Caving Conundrum’ resource, which is a fabulous problem solving activity that can be run across Science, Geography and English.

For further information or to enter your school – you can visit the website, email or call 01603 520866.

Summer Schools Last Places Available

The Debate Chamber Summer Schools offer students age 11-18 the opportunity to find out more about some fascinating subjects, prepare for university applications, meet like-minded peers and get to grips with some tough intellectual challenges.

The material will be challenging (for the older age-group, about the level of difficulty one might expect in the first year at university), but the atmosphere will be relaxed, with plenty of discussion, debate, and opportunities for students to shape the direction of classes. It is an environment conducive to getting to grips with new ideas.

Working in small groups (usually around 14 students per group) over several days offers participants a real chance to get to know tutors and fellow students and to explore the topics or questions that particularly interest them.

Highlights of Summer 2017:

The International Relations Summer School will introduce the central theories involved in the academic study of IR – realism, liberalism, constructivism and Marxism – and will then look at a range of detailed case studies in order to apply, test and explore these theories. Topics covered will include military intervention, international law, development aid, feminism and foreign policy, regional sessions looking at China and the Middle East, and the European response to the migration crisis.

The Law Summer School, in three distinct five-day Parts to allow time for more cases, more analysis and more debate on some of the most intriguing legal questions. Students can choose to focus on Criminal & Family Law, Civil Law or International and Human Rights Law. Each course builds towards a Mock Trial in which students play the role of barristers, build their case from the evidence, question witnesses and make speeches to the jury.

The Philosophy and Critical & Cultural Theory Summer Schools will look at some of the biggest questions in metaphysics, ethics and political theory, giving an opportunity to engage with the work of some fascinating thinkers, and also to develop students’ own skills of reasoning and argumentation.

For students interested in the Social Sciences or Humanities, we also have Summer Schools in Economics, Politics and History, while Arts enthusiasts should take a look at the English Literature, Classical Civilisations or Art History Summer Schools.

For aspiring scientists and mathematicians we also have the Physics, Mathematics and Medicine Summer Schools.

Practical Details:

All the Summer School events will be held at University of London venues in Bloomsbury, Central London, and will take place in July and August 2017. Please note that these courses are not residential, and accommodation must be arranged independently if required.

You can find full details of schedules, dates, costs, student reviews and tutors at

To book a place on any course please visit, call us on 0845 519 4827, or email Places will be allocated on a first come first served basis.