New BBC Bitesize for National 4 and 5

Bitesize_sqa_national5_bigBBC Learning have launched new BBC Bitesize content to support learners taking new National 4/5 qualifications this year.

Packed with quizzes, videos and infographics, these guides are available on mobile, tablet and desktop and will help you get to grips with the new qualifications.

The new material comprises nearly 5000 pages, more than 7000 infographics, 2000 photos and over 500 new quizzes, presented alongside thousands of educational video clips, mapped to the curriculum. Bitesize_sqa_national4_big

The launch of the National 4 and 5 content is the latest step in the new BBC Knowledge and Learning online product, which when complete will bring together factual and learning content from over 100 existing BBC websites, from Bitesize and Food to Science and History.  It’s a great free resource so check it out!

Engage for Education – what have they been up to?

Engage for Education pic

Engage is the Scottish Government’s ground-breaking online project that enables the public and practitioners to discuss education, learning, youth employment and early years policy directly with the Ministers and teams responsible for them. Through our mix of discussions, news and blogs, social media channels and the events we organise or that the Government attends, the focus is on listening to the views and needs of those with an interest in these areas and acting – then communicating those actions to you through our You Said, We Did section.

Click here to go to the Engage for Education website and have your say! Follow Engage for Education on Twitter @engagefored

Online Safety Resources

Online SafetyThe Digital Learning Team have compiled a selection of suggested age appropriate curriculum resources for 3-18 to support schools in the delivery of quality Digital Safety education. The resources are linked to Curriculum for Excellence Experiences and Outcomes.

These guidelines and curriculum planners offer detailed advice on how to develop and deliver this area and are an excellent resource for schools across Scotland.

Click here for further information.

What is a PLN? (and why would I want to know?)

If you’ve never heard of a PLN, the funny thing is that you probably have one, and are part of one, already. PLN stands for Personal Learning Network. Originally this may have consisted of a few friends you met at teaching college with whom you shared ideas and resources, then you added in a few members of staff in the schools where you taught, teachers you met at courses, and so it grew. As we aim to be the chief learner in our classrooms, having a PLN is an important part of that learning process. We can connect with people who are willing to offer the benefit of their knowledge and experience, answer questions, direct us to opportunities and support us. We too, have a role to play in providing what support we can to the people we connect with.


The internet and online collaborative tools have allowed us to broaden these networks so that we can find and interact with people who share the same interests and questions, no matter where in the world they are. We no longer have to wait until we meet up with people to share resources or ask questions. Connecting online we can instantly communicate with like-minded people and share websites, ideas, and gather information from educators all across the planet.

As you’ve made it to our blog, then we’re probably part of your PLN! (We’re delighted to see you here!) Why not take part in a conversation by leaving a comment below. You may also follow us on Twitter – @DigitalCEC. Twitter is a wonderful way of expanding your PLN. If you haven’t yet dabbled with online collaboration using social media, or you haven’t used it past sharing photos with friends, then click on the links below to find out how to go about building your PLN. It may be the most important, most influential, most transformational learning decision you ever make!

35 Ways To build Your Personal Learning Network Online This blog post by Katie Lepi at Edudemic is brilliant. It has tips and ideas, guides and tools and resources for you to get started right away.

Click here to see some PLN social media tools collated using Pinterest

Infographics – what are they and how to make your own!

Information graphics, or infographics, are everywhere. They are used to communicate information, often stats and other data, clearly and quickly. Infographics are effective because of their high visual element – they appeal to the large proportion of visual learners.


One example of a famous infographic is the London Underground map, but infographics can be found in journalism, on TV, for marketing products and services, for sharing information on social media sites and in education.

You can find fabulous examples of infographics at (we particularly like the ones about the Titanic, Twitter, the telephone and Joey Barton).

“They’re amazing, but I’m not a graphic designer…” Don’t worry – even the most graphically challenged of us can come up with an eye-catching result using one of a number of online infographic creation sites such as: easel.lyinfogr.ampiktochart

How could you and your students use infographics to enhance learning? What could be represented in this way? Let us know what you come up with and we will post some infographics that you and/or your students have made here.


What is a MOOC? (and why would I want to know?)

MOOC = Massive Open Online Course

Why do I want to know this? For your own personal and professional development. Watch the video below to find out more. (If you’d rather read about it you can by clicking here, but to be honest the video does the trick…)

(Thanks to Dave Cormier for the video @davecormier)

For learners, and especially learners who are also busy educators, MOOCs are really exciting. We’ve grown used to learning online using YouTube, Khan Academy, podcastsiTunes U, and TED, for example. We’re used to these resources being available online whenever we need them. works with some of the world’s top universities to offer courses online, for free.

Our own Edinburgh University has joined the MOOC movement and is now offering a number of different MOOCs open to anyone and everyone. You may be interested in this one on ‘e-Learning and Digital Cultures‘. The Open University is beginning to offer MOOCs (I thought it already did? Yes, but remember these MOOC ones are free…) through an enterprise called You can also check out this list of MOOCs.

MOOCs will also appeal to our young people by offering a taste of further and higher education, covering a wide range of subjects that may not be available locally, giving opportunities for those unable to attend courses in person, connecting with a global community, the list goes on…

So spread the word, get involved and send us a picture of your certificate!

Teaching Trailers – resources from Film Education



Teaching Trailers is a fantastic resource from Film Education. Film Education provides award-winning teaching resources, teacher training and cinema based events which support the use of film within the curriculum.

A trailer is a taster of a film in its entirety, and as such can be an extremely useful teaching tool for helping young people gain a better understanding of persuasive language, narrative and genre. Each term, a new set of trailers is made available by Film Education for use in the classroom with accompanying lesson plans, ideas on integrating the resource into your literacy and ICT planning, background information on the trailer and online interactive content. Resources are available for both primary and secondary pupils. Sign up for Film Education’s mailing list and you will receive the free Teaching Trailers (Primary or Secondary) CD-ROM each time a new resource is released.