RE at Edge Hill

Tag: Technology

RE PGCE: RE & ICT with Paul Hopkins 28.6.18

ICT Guru Paul Hopkins paid a visit to the RE PGCE trainees in the final week of their course, to talk through some of the gadgets they can use in their classrooms. We forget to take photos of the session but as it was our last day together before some trainees began their new posts – we did pose for a final group shot! Best of luck to those of you starting your new posts this week!

Technology Making Good RE

Technology in schools is becoming a lot more advanced as time goes on. Recently, Paul Hopkins, showed third year Undergraduate Secondary RE students an array of different types of technologies that they could use in RE, and it was fantastic!

Paul Hopkins is the leading figure in the national (and European) field of TEL and RE.  His recent publications include:

  • Burden, K; Hopkins, P; Male, T and Martin, S (2012) Project report on the use of mobile technologies,Hull University, Hull
  • Hopkins, P in Wright, A (2012) Using ICT to teach RE in Teaching RE in the secondary school, Routledge, London
  • Jackson, R. et al  (2010), Materials used in the teaching of RE in Schools in England, DCSF, London
  • Using ICT in RE(2000), Stanley Thornes, London

He is currently involved in two international research projects on using technology as a pedagogical tool.  His session focused on the different ways to use different types of technology in RE to enhance the learning experience for both pupils and teachers, and how these technologies can help with both formative and summative assessment.

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Jade and Kelly-Anne wrote this about the day:

Paul explained the concept that we as teachers should communicate, create and curate; communicating can be through the platforms of Twitter, blogging, Google Docs and Skype (if in a rural school for example). In creating we can create our own resources that can be used over and over again and can be shared with other colleagues both in our own schools and made available online so that colleagues around the country can benefit from their use and adapt to their own classes needs. Curating is collecting a rich system of education tools and making the use out of them both by teachers and students.

He showed us a number of different apps that we could use in the classroom, especially on iPads. The main two we concentrated on were Book Creator and Explain Everything. These are an extremely good way to use assessment in school, whilst keeping the pupils engaged. Paul advised us to use Book Creator for year 7 & 8, and Explain Everything for the older years in school.

We also got introduced to a website called Padlet. This allows pupils in the classroom to upload posts onto a board, which could be useful for summative assessment. It could also be used in the middle of a module to identify any areas of study that the pupils are not confident in so far, and gives you the opportunity, as the teacher to correct that.File 25-11-2015, 11 22 31 (2)


The last technology we got introduced to was Plickers. This was my favourite thing of the day! It involves each pupil in the class having their own piece of card which is registered to them, and involves using quizzes. It would be extremely useful for schools who do not have the resources that are needed to download the different various apps that are needed for the technologies above. I think pupils would respond really well to Plickers in school and I will definitely try it out on my final placement in January!

As someone who isn’t very ‘tech-savvy’ I found the day’s session to be insightful, educational and also fun.

SOLO & Technology at Holly Lodge

Year 2 RE Undergraduate students prepared for their placement with a visit to one of our partner schools Holly Lodge Girls’ College where Former Edge Hill graduate Terri Lee is Head of RE and led the informative and useful session.  The afternoon began with a quiz using Socrative, to assess our prior knowledge.

Then Colin Riddell, Lead Learning Innovator at the school, went through some of the theory surrounding SOLO taxonomy, including Lego and y8 science examples.

Rachael Douglas: The session really enthused me. I loved learning about solo taxonomy and want to apply this method of teaching if I can. Good to visit the school as well.

Applying this to RE,  Terri showed us an example of how she used SOLO taxonomy in her practice- an example from A Level Business Ethics.

Students then had opportunity to work on their own lesson plans structuring the planning using SOLO taxonomy.

Jade Parke: I thought it was really good and I’ll definitely use the resources they gave us in my lessons on placement! I thought the solo taxonomy was really easy to understand and is very student friendly 🙂 also I like the idea of using all that technology in classrooms

Next, Colin showed us Triptico, an Internet based collection of interactive resources which enable imaginative teachers to create engaging learning tools.  One of the features  is the ability to move and create hexagons on an interactive whiteboard, clearly linking to SOLO.

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Next up was Edmodo, described as a bit like Facebook for schools.   This is completely free! and gives teachers the ability to communicate safely with pupils.  Terri showed us how she uses it with her A level students for discussion and younger pupils as a way of sharing resource which she suggests is particularly useful for stretching higher level students.  By signing up and joining the classroom, we were all able to access the resources from the day.

Christie Kennedy: I really enjoyed the session, I thought the technology stuff was really good and I think solo taxonomy would be really good to use in the classroom (need to try and get my head around it a little more though)

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Lastly, Terri showed us progress books, which look good in principle – as a way of tracking progress throughout a pupil’s school career, Fillling these out by hand could be can be quite tiem consuming, so creative staff such as Terri and Colin have used Google forms to generate this feedback in an efficient way.

 Nicola Lyon: I think it was really useful. Solo taxonomy was good 🙂 and all the computer stuff makes life a while lot easier 🙂 I learnt a lot

Using Technology in RE

Nationally recognised as the leading figure in using Technology to enhance the teaching of RE, Paul Hopkins has again been to Edge Hill to show our final Year Undergraduate and Postgraduate students some exciting ways of integrating technology in their teaching.

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I thought it was very good.  Some great ideas to use in the classroom. -Adam

Paul firmly rooted all he talked about in  a thorough understanding of pedagogy.  Technology should be used only when it will enhance the teaching of RE.

RE IT pedagogy

That said he was able to demonstrate a number of great way of using ipads and other technology in the classroom.  QR codes, Aurasma and Nearpod were but a few of the apps which students got to use during the day.

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The students ended the day by using the ipads to create little films of a religious story!


Technology Enhanced RE

Paul Hopkins spent a day with Year 3 RE Undergraduates to outline how new technologies can improve teaching and learning and how assessment can be made easier with IT.


Paul  pioneered the use of ICT in the RE classroom and has widely lectured both nationally and internationally on the use of ICT, e-learning and pedagogic development. He has produced CD-ROMs, TV programmes, academic papers, books and many websites. He has, and continues to give papers at conferences and run many courses up and down the country on RE, education and IT matters and has is, or has been, a consultant to the DfE (DfES/DCSF), QCDA (QCA), TDA (TTA) and BECTa on educational matters.  He joined the staff at the University of Hull in 2009 to lead the PGCE in RE but now works on a number of educational programmes including leading the Masters in  Learning and Teaching with New Technologies course and continuing to research into technology enhanced learning.


Paul helped the students to understand the theory behind using technology as a pedagogic tool, considered issues such as access and e-safety, before moving on to more practical experiences of IT in the classroom.  These included using ipads, QR codes and a variety of websites.  The most enjoyable part of the day was saved for the end of the session when students showed the short videos on the 5Ks that they had made.  Students were able to go away from the sessin with concrete ideas about when and how they could use technology in the RE classroom.


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