A blog for students on the FDLT and BALT courses at the University of Northampton

at Leicester and UN

August 24, 2015
by Jean

Using Google to support your learning at university

Using Google to support your learning at university

There are many tools available through Google that will support your learning at university. In order to access and use these you will need a Google account. You can easily sign up for one here:

Google Account



When you have your Google account you will be able to use a number of useful tools:


It is useful to have a gmail address to use to sign in and give you access to all the other tools available through Google even if you don’t use it for email.

Google Drive

Google Drive allows you to store documents (files, spreadsheets, slides) in the cloud so that they are available to you online. You can also share them with others so that you can work collaboratively to add and edit your work. We might have a shared document in a taught session that you could be asked to contribute to.

Google+ Account

Google+ allows you join Google communities of people with similar interests. We might set up a Google community for a topic or subject that you can join and interact on, sharing ideas and resources. Here is a link to a Google Community set up for FDLT students starting the course in 2015. You can make posts to introduce yourselves and suggest useful resources that you use. You will have to ask to join this community – this is because it is just for you and not for anyone else who happens to find it on Google.


August 17, 2015
by Jean

Thinking about education and learning

The Educators

theedTo start you thinking about education you could find this series of radio programmes on the BBC website at this link:

The Educators

In each of the eight programmes Sarah Montague interviewed a contemporary educator about their ideas. Here is the episode list:

1. Sir Ken Robinson

2. John Hattie

3. Tony Little

4. Daisy Chritodoulou

5. Paul Howard-Jones

6. Sugata Mitra

7. Jo Boaler

8. Salman Khan

You could listen to several of these through iplayer or download the podcasts. As you listen think about how what the educator is saying relates to your setting, your role and your own experience of education. You might like to add a comment below.

August 10, 2015
by Jean

Preparing your workspace

Before the university term begins you should invest some time in getting organised.

Have a look at this activity that explores setting up your working space, establishing a filing system and staying informed. It is available at this link:

Geeting Organised (by LearnHigher)


Think about setting up a paper folder for each module, as well as folders on your laptop.


You will need five:

PDT 1004 – professional studies

PDT 1005 – SEN, equality and diversity

PDT 1050 – work-based practice

PDT 1063 – subject based studies – English and mathematics

PDT 1064 – enriching the curriculum – within the school



You might like to add a photo of your workspace in the comments below!

August 7, 2015
by Jean

Starting the FDLT course

If you are starting the FDLT course in September you might like to read some advice from some of the students who have been on the course. You can find this above on the page called ‘Advice from students to applicants’.

You might also like to browse through the diary pages to get a sense of some of the activities students have participated in.

shoppingAt the interview this book was recommended. Looking at the early chapters about preparing to study would be useful over the next few weeks. There is a companion website here.