Russell Stannard is a freelance trainer and conference speaker in ICT and Education. He has won 3 internationally recognized awards for his work in feedback and his www.teachertrainingvideos.com website, which is now visited by more than 350,000 users a year. He was previously a Principal Teaching fellow at the University of Westminster, where he won their ‘Excellence in Teaching and Learning’ award. He now works part-time at the University of Warwick as a Principal Teaching Fellow and is also a NILE associate trainer.
Personal statements are a vital part of the application process for university places. They are the one written piece of work that the universities staff dealing with applications will read. This is the chance for the students to make their voice heard, demonstrate what they are really about and what they are interested in. This can and does have an impact on admissions decisions. With more and more competition for places, they are playing an increasingly important role.
If someone was to ask me what my favourite educational technology is, the answer would be easy: screen capture technology. I first saw the technology at the BETT conference in 2000 and I remember being amazed and thinking “This is going to be a game-changer”. I was right.
It is never easy to predict where things are going in the future, but my own attention is really focused on virtual classrooms. These are tools that allow people to present via the internet, and are becoming more and more sophisticated. My current-favourite tool is Adobe Connect. It allows me to present to users all over the world. I can talk through a PowerPoint presentation, play videos, show the participants the screen of my computer, share files with them, set up a chatroom and turn on the webcam so that the participants can see me. It really has a lot of potential. I have noticed that more and more organisations are coming into this territory.