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Classroom Technology

Carl Barton Collaboration

The acceleration of technology in the last few years has brought good things (such as Zoom bringing me the freedom to be able to work in Cookie Monster slippers while teaching) and bad things (lack of the real conversations that can happen in the classroom with students and outside the classroom with colleagues and parents). 

But despite all this technology at the end of the day, the fundamental point is still the same, the transfer of knowledge between one human to another. At the height of the crazy times, I was sitting in a makeshift home studio speaking for one UK university transmitting to UNESCO who transmitted to schools in remote places all over the world. 

This got me thinking, we have all seen twinning projects with other countries? But what about other towns at home? Other local schools?  

What if there could be a pile of free resources that could be accessed by any teaching professional or NQT that could be remixed and re-uploaded to provide very specific solutions for our classrooms, schools and communities? Working with parents to get information about the jobs they do and the skills they use to make that career happen? Bringing the community into the learning journey and making them a part of our role as a centerpoint of the communities we serve. 

My job prior to teaching was in the Music Industry, and there is a whole subculture of remixing, and reimagining ideas to other scenes. So why can’t we make an education cake (sorry best example I have) made from all the individual educational ingredients we know work so well and match the schools and Ofsted benchmarking?  AND THEN SHARE THEM, so they can be remixed and re-released once again to make even more versions that target SEND students needs or match local history?  Joint school projects? 

So as with every blog I write for Nexus Education, this is only the starting point. The plan is for the comments below to become a list of links to cool places, requests for what your school needs, and teachers working on educational remixes together. 

Some people have already, I am sure, heard of Creative Commons for pictures and music. But there is an increasing number of useful educational tools and classroom plans. Some require an email to download, or a fee to join as a school for a year. But why not use these resources for ideas and titles and then use the amazing talent in your team to recreate and remix ideas whilst bringing the fun back into 2022?

If you are reading this and have not come across the Creative Commons before, in a nutshell, it’s a place where you can upload, share and set the licence for which work can be used. Some creators just put things into the universe, others insist you show where you had the work from usually with a bottom right credit or watermark. 

The rules are here and you can also decide your own rules when you create and upload.

Could we look at Creative Commons as a resource for our school? Are there staff CPD opportunities in creating these learning resources?  These are all valid questions but I would start with a different question. 

What is the idea I have to make the most impact with my class?

Links to start the ball rolling. Let’s make some magic happen 🙂 

You could also use the links below to kick off new ideas, to see areas that have been missed. 


Lots of resources but behind a paywall. But could be a worthwhile budget item. 

Twinkl SLT– the link below is initially free, but there is a monthly fee for a school to join.

This link has CPD and school management tools. Which could be used as best practice, including how to prepare for Ofsted inspection. But what would happen if we used this list as a starting point to share this training and CPD sessions to all local schools making our school a beacon for CPD for all in the area, making the resources freely available so that the social mobility of students in our care is a supported journey from pre-school to high school. Handshaking from one place of learning to the next. Benefiting everyone involved?

Giving the learning tools and technology away, working with twinning schools to find a shared connection and projects. 

Doesn’t that sound exciting? 

Creative Commons Open Learning Working Document, they have meetings and its free to join as a member.

Roots & Shoots

Jane Goodall’s Roots & Shoots programme is about making positive change happen – for our communities, for animals and for the environment. With tens of thousands of young people in over 60 countries, the Roots & Shoots network branches out across the globe, connecting youth of all ages who share a common desire to help make our world a better place. This powerful, youth-driven network fosters a fun, flexible and supportive environment where young people come together to share ideas and inspiration, implement successful community service projects and participate in special events and international campaigns.

A small donation to the charity gets you access to…

Some great ideas to get the juices flowing. 

Pics4Learning is a curated image library that is safe and free for education. Teachers and students can use the copyright-friendly photos and illustrations for classroom projects, websites, videos, portfolios, or any other projects in an educational setting.


Some really cool ideas on here. It could be the starting point for the next inventor in your classroom. My personal favorite I found so far is making a Halloween Party Buzzer game. 

Creative Commons

Sources of CC licensed content and how legally you can use this Creative Commons resource in your classroom. Below is the main list of resources they give on this page. 

The text below is copied from their page link above, to save you time if you’re just interested in a quick look with a brew 🙂 Their team advises……

If you’re looking for specific types of content, it can sometimes be easier to go directly to a website which hosts the type of CC material you are looking for. The table below outlines some good sources of CC material. For a more detailed list see this wiki on Content Directories and Smartcopying’s list of OER.

Source Description Content Website


Digital resources of Europe’s museums, libraries, archives and audio-visual collections including paintings, drawings, maps, photos and pictures of museum objects. Not all the works are openly licensed so be sure to check for usage rights.


Online photo album with over 80 million CC licensed images. CC licensed material can be accessed via the main site or through a dedicated portal. 

Open Photo

A moderated photo community with over 3000 CC licensed photos in various categories.


Australian-themed images hosted by the National Library of Australia. Some images are CC licensed.

ccMixter CC

Sound remix tool and archive. All the music on ccMixter can be remixed.


A good source of sound effects and background noises, all available for reuse.

Quick note from me, this added with Audacity and can make for interesting History lessons as the tools are all there for your students to make podcasts for the class. 


An Australian-based site that distributes videos about social justice and environmental issues in the Asia Pacific. All videos are CC licensed.

In closing, I would like to thank Nexus for asking me again to write for you, always a pleasure.

Please add ideas, links and resources below in the comments. Let’s make the comments a place where we can all make magic happen as we find it.  Always up for a zoom call if needed 🙂

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The author

Following a troubled time in his early teens, he almost made it to daytime Radio 1 before creating a “Plan B” business that left him with a short period of homelessness, serious emotional trauma and financial loss (almost 100k). He started a record label with a friend (and £10 from signing on) and within 4 years turned that into 4 albums, stadium shows, international radio play and used the success to pay off all his debt within 18 months to free himself in order to go to University. He later used the same skills to pay off all his student debt within 2 years of graduating. Setting up a community DJ school and taking back to the stage again to fund the next part of the journey. His business and production partner Damian passed away suddenly on tour in 2004, and Carl made the decision to hand all future royalties over to his family. And to walk away from chasing fame... Soon after he was recruited from a sales role within a major record label to become a Lecturer at Staffordshire University, teaching students how to survive on the rollercoaster of the music industry. Realising that many students were struggling with the pressures of studying, he qualified as a counsellor and joined the Universities trauma support team. 15 years later he realised he was being asked for his personal story and lessons learned, by more and more people. So he decided to leave the University and to create a set of shows to attempt to solve issues faced by young adults all over the UK. As a part of the research for the show he worked on the front line for 6 months, working for a mental health charity, gaining Safeguarding and Mental Health First Aid status along the way. He has also continued his work within the Radio industry helping create studios for another mental health charity. Alongside this he has spent the last decade as a go-to for various Motorsport teams, working with drivers to extract the best from themselves and their cars. This research was the basis of his MSc in Advanced Technology. Away from the stage, he is still obsessed with dance music and old VW’s.

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