Informal education:


Theory and practice of informal education, social pedagogy, lifelong learning, social action, and community learning and development.


Smart software: can a computer program really boost IQ?

head, mind map, concepts

Smart software: can a computer program really boost IQ?

A program developed by researchers at NUI Maynooth that they say can increase IQ has been bought by schools around the country – but are the claims too good to be true?

The Smart system is underpinned by relational frame theory. Tied in with ideas developed by the influential behavioural psychologist BF Skinner, the theory says that the development of relational skills is critical to intellectual development.

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Blooms Taxonomy According to Seinfeld

Bloom’s taxonomy is a classification system used to define and distinguish different levels of human cognition—i.e., thinking, learning, and understanding. Educators have typically used Bloom’s taxonomy to inform or guide the development of assessments (tests and other evaluations of student learning), curriculum (units, lessons, projects, and other learning activities), and instructional methods such as questioning strategies.

Exhibit memory of previously learned materials by recalling facts, terms, basic concepts and answers
Knowledge of specifics – terminology, specific facts
Knowledge of ways and means of dealing with specifics – conventions, trends and sequences, classifications and categories, criteria, methodology
Knowledge of the universals and abstractions in a field – principles and generalizations, theories and structures
Questions like: What are the health benefits of eating apples?

Demonstrate understanding of facts and ideas by organizing, comparing, translating, interpreting, giving descriptions, and stating the main ideas
Questions like: Compare the health benefits of eating apples vs. oranges.

Using new knowledge. Solve problems in new situations by applying acquired knowledge, facts, techniques and rules in a different way
Questions like: Which kinds of apples are best for baking a pie, and why?

Examine and break information into parts by identifying motives or causes. Make inferences and find evidence to support generalizations
Analysis of elements
Analysis of relationships
Analysis of organizational principles
Questions like: List four ways of serving foods made with apples and explain which ones have the highest health benefits. Provide references to support your statements.

Compile information together in a different way by combining elements in a new pattern or proposing alternative solutions
Production of a unique communication
Production of a plan, or proposed set of operations
Derivation of a set of abstract relations
Questions like: Convert an “unhealthy” recipe for apple pie to a “healthy” recipe by replacing your choice of ingredients. Explain the health benefits of using the ingredients you chose vs. the original ones.

Present and defend opinions by making judgments about information, validity of ideas or quality of work based on a set of criteria
Judgments in terms of internal evidence
Judgments in terms of external criteria
Questions like: Do you feel that serving apple pie for an after school snack for children is healthy

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Introduction to Learning Analytics

This video-presentation (by Debbie Howlett, M.Sc. in Applied eLearning) provides a very good and informative introduction to Learning Analytics.

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Setting up a studio for a video presentation

I decided to integrate this project with work and build some training materials for the organisation’s recording studio.

The subject I decided to focus on was “Setting up a studio for a video presentation” and cover the following four areas:

1) Introduction: Setting up a studio for a video presentation:

2) Intinerary: What you will need to build the set:

3) Setting the scene: Building the set:

4) Setting up: Configuring your equipment for the set:

I also provided some additional resource training materials sourced from the DV4 website ( “10 Steps to shooting better video”:

***** *****

In developing this lesson, I followed the Analyse, Design, Develop, Implement and Evaluate approach (ADDIE).


Problem?: Upon employment, further training to become familiar with the multimedia and computer network processes of the organisation is required. Following full engagement and training with the organisations systems, content design staff are expected to perform recording duties inside the recording studio. This requires a lot of time for “face to face” training.

Solution?: Provide online multimedia training materials for the Content Design Team (learners).

***** Analyse *****

Who is this training for?: The Content Design Team (new and current members of staff).

What level of training do the members of the team currently have?: All members of the team are required to have a qualification in one or more fields of multimedia (video / audio / graphic / animation / etc.). Proficiency with multimedia technology and equipment is expected.

What should the learner be able to achieve following this training?: The ability to: Follow an itinerary check list; Build a recording set for a video presentation; and; Configure the studio equipment for the recording and commence the recording session.

***** Design *****

Mediums selected for delivering training materials: Video, Audio, Text and Graphics – Justification: From the three main assumptions of the Cognitive Theory of Multimedia Learning (Mayer, 2009) ( slide 8).

This is an instructional video presentation, no interactions such as drag and drop, click to reveal, etc. will be performed by the learner. The learner will be assessed within the studio at a later stage.

  • Video – For displaying abstract concepts, especially in relation to some of the tangible features of the camera. Doing this requires good lighting.
  • Audio – An audio narrative will be provided to support the video layer.
  • Text – Text captioning will be provided in the second section to highlight the item on the list of Itinerary.
  • Graphics – Graphics will be used to highlight “unclear” areas of the screen to the viewer.

Process: The process was broken up into “Stages” and “Steps”. Each “stage” of the process was recognised as an area of the process that is unique from other areas of the process. Each “stage” may consist of a number of “steps”. All “stages” of the process must be completed before commencing a recording session. – A spreadsheet was identified as being a good resource for designing and mapping this process.

Script and Storyboard: Following the design and mapping of this process, a script was written (click the following link to view script: and the information inputted into the spreadsheet was used as the storyboard.

***** Development *****


Google Drive and Google Sites were identified for hosting all training materials and additional resources. I had previously implemented a website for the Content Design Team ( and this is where all training materials can be accessed from.

Google Spreadsheet was identified as a suitable tool and platform for delivering the training and an innovative way for integration with the organisation’s time-metrics ( These spreadsheets can be shared online and are essentially dynamic web-pages on their own. They are also secure and allow the administrator to make changes / updates to the spreadsheet remotely.


  • Video: 2 cameras were used for the recording “Type A” being the subject camera on display and “Type B” being the unit for recording.
  • Audio: Audio was recorded on-screen and off-screen to provide audible media for dual channel delivery (aural and visual).


  • All content was imported to a video editing suite. Audio was lined up to match visual cues. All graphics and text captions were added. A first quality assurance check was made and all mistakes to the content were edited out. Audio was then exported for a separate instance of editing and refinement.
  • Audio content was “cleaned” removing any “humming” background noise, loud breaths, pop and tic sounds.
  • Audio was re-imported to video editing suite. The video was broken up into the 4 sections outlined above and exported in a 720p High Definition standard which ensured a high quality audio and video feed for to the learner.

***** Implementation *****

Uploading: All video content was uploaded to Google Drive and links to embedded videos were provided through the Google Spreadsheet interface.

Sharing: All content was then shared under a sharing setting defined by Google Drive as “Anyone who has the link can view” this means that anyone with the link to this training content can view but cannot make changes without administrator access to the account.

***** Evaluation *****

The website uses Google Analytics to track all user activity on the website. Using this tool, we can track users Flow through the website, establish where the training materials are being accessed from, how often they are being viewed and the duration each user is spending on the website. However, this does not allow us to identify who exactly the user is so all the data gathered is virtually anonymous.

Further evaluation is provided by each client of the “service” that the Content Design Team provides. All of this data is collected anonymously through feedback forms on the website. This allows us to perform internal assessment based on the service the team provides. If the team is performing poorly this will hopefully be tracked and dealt with through further training – if necessary.

Face to face training of each member of the team is required. Instant tuition and feedback is provided by “the tutor” where “the learner” has made errors according to the process. The tutor is required to make notes of the training and if an area of the process has not been accounted for within the training documentation – the updates to the training documentation can be easily made and updated through the Google Spreadsheet.

***** ***** *****

For additional supporting documentation regarding this project and how to direct yourself to the training materials using the system itself, please click on the following link:

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