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Meet the team

Guy Shearer

Guy (@guyshearer) is DRET's Head of IT and Data and has worked as a teacher since 1987 in both the state and international sectors and has held deputy and head teacher roles.  He taught ICT and Computer Science and was recognised by Microsoft as a UK and European Innovative Teaching Award winner and for making an outstanding contribution to developing IT in education. 

Whilst seconded to Northamptonshire County Council, Guy established and led the Learning Discovery Centre, an innovation unit and testbed for integrating the use of IT and web technologies within day to day teaching to improve engagement and rates of progress. 

He was the Head of Enterprise & Innovation for the Specialist Schools and Academies Trust, working with Professor David Hargreaves on the highly regarded Personalising Learning programme. Guy led the national programme of support for the new key stage 3 National Curriculum and set up the Enterprise Network. Guy is the overall lead for the DRET eLearning strategy and the link for the Primary South cluster. 




Ben Thompson

A long-time primary school teacher and SLT member who has previously worked across KS2 both in the UK and internationally. Ben has been involved in 1:1 device deployment and integrating technology in the classroom for many years and is a certified Google Trainer and Microsoft Innovative Educator Trainer. In addition to teaching, Ben has been involved with both education and the private sector in Asia and the USA. Ben leads eLearning for Secondary West and Primary South clusters of DRET schools. As well as Google, he has a keen interest in school radio, movie making, green screening and Raspberry Pi. Don't ask him about his chickens if you want to get away any time soon.















Yasmin Tuck

Yasmin has a background in both resource development and teaching, specifically in the ICT and Computing specialism. She has taught both on Further and Higher Education courses and has also briefly assessed ICT Apprenticeships. Before starting with the Trust she worked as a Learning Technologist for a large northern college, and helped to plan and create online courses and delivered eLearning training for teachers. Within the team Yasmin is probably the most expert in Microsoft products but really loves any technology or apps that will make life better or easier. Yasmin leads eLearning for secondary east and primary north academies.

Popular posts from this blog

Jamboard - New Tool

Jamboard has been around for a while as a high-end piece of digital office furniture from Google but the software is now part of G-Suite and therefore available to all dret.cloud users.

Staff or students can either go to jamboard.google.com for the web version (which is really only useful for viewing and sharing boards) or use the iOS app available on the Self-Service store.

What Jamboard provides is a lovely app to pull different kinds of documents from Google Drive or web pages, move and resize them and annotate over the top with different pen tools or a number of icons.

I plan to do a couple of blog posts about Jamboard in the coming days - one about the whole premise behind this kind of software and other comparing it to what up to now have been my go-to pieces of software, Google Keep and Microsoft OneNote.

If you'd like to see what Jamboard looks like in action, this (staged) teacher demonstration from Tom Mullaney gives a good overview.


Welcome to tips.dret.cloud

It's been a year since I started my role as an eLearning Lead with DRET, and what a year it's been! I've had the opportunity to lead on, and participate in, lots of training sessions, while visiting many classrooms and working with a host of talented teachers. It's incredible how you can show one example of how to use something new in the classroom, and subsequently see it being used and adapted a further dozen ways by different teachers. Throughout the year our team has been keeping notes on some of the best ideas we've come across, and we want to be able to share these ideas with everyone; thus, tips.dret.cloud was born.

tips.dret.cloud is essentially a scrapbook of ideas in one website. You can search for particular tools or areas of development you are interested in learning more about, and see how other teachers have used these tools to make a difference in their classrooms. There are also other resources, such as how-to guides, training videos, and useful lin…

OneNote and Google Drive in Harmony

Many of our staff use OneNote well and happily, as well as being a great place to keep everything for a topic in one place presented visually and annotated (in many ways better than with a specialist interactive board app) it is useful to share what you have had on the big screen with your class with a single link.

Most also use Google Drive as the main place they keep all their files to collaborate, share resources and work on them from anywhere.

When word reached us that Brendan Brannigan from Bringhurst Primary School had combined the two and now works on his OneNote files at home and school using Google Drive we asked to make a guide for colleagues - this video (also available on dret.tv, login required) is the result.

I must admit, after watching it I had a "why on earth hadn't I thought of this?" moment - there is absolutely nothing wrong with OneDrive which is where OneNote prefers to live, but it is one more thing to worry about.

Now all I have to do is work out…