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  • Nicky

YouTube, new lesson resources and other fun projects

2018 saw lots of new and exciting projects and I know 2019 is going to be just as exciting.

A few months ago, I told you about my foray into YouTube and my efforts in moving away from the standard “narrated PowerPoint” style videos. Since then I have added more to my list of teaching videos and received lots of lovely feedback from teachers who have started using them in their classes telling me about the positive response from students.

Thank you to everyone who has been in touch. I love to hear stories about how your pupils engage with the resources.

Over the past couple of months I have been immensely busy, having been asked to help write the content for BBC Bitesize website and also working on another exciting project, that I hope to be announcing soon, but not just yet eager reader! This has meant that I haven’t been able to dedicate as much time as I had hoped to my YouTube channel, but rest assured I will be adding more to the collection when I can.

But for now, I thought I would tell you about another project I have been working on that I think you will find helpful. After talking to a teacher, a couple a months ago, I realised that there was an area that resource producers often overlook. Dyslexia!

As a mother of a child with dyslexia, I know how soul destroying it can be for pupils when they find colourful, all singing and all dancing PowerPoint presentations unfathomable. Too many presentations bombard them with huge amounts of cramped text in fonts and colour schemes that make the letters dance about and blur together.

We know, as teachers, that dyslexia is not an uncommon condition and we usually have at least one pupil in each class with diagnosed dyslexia, let alone the countless others who hae never been diagnosed. It seems madness not to take this into account when developing resources so I set myself a challenge of doing just that - creating dyslexia-friendly, attractive presentations that don't dumb down the subject matter.

After doing some research and testing out several formatting versions I developed a style of PowerPoint presentation that my son found much more comfortable.

The background colour, colour of text, the font used and even letter and line spacing have been adapted as well as trimming down the amount of text and using more activities to enable pupils with dyslexia to find the presentation more comfortable.

Each lesson also includes three exam practice questions allowing pupils to attempt the question that suits their current level or, if you prefer, they could attempt all three. The teacher’s guide also includes all the answers making these lessons suitable for both computing specialist and non-specialist teachers.

Coincidentally, having the videos that I have created for YouTube helped. Although my son cringed at the thought of his mother talking to him about the inside workings of a computer, he admits having a live video of someone talking to him was better than the text heavy videos that are often used in other teaching resources.

With all that I have learnt about making dyslexia-friendly presentations, I have developed a series of affordable lessons aimed at teaching GCSE Computer Science.

Have a look for yourself and download the Embedded Systems lesson for free.

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