A Big Change for Tom

What a glorious new beginning!

Back in 2014 I wrote a similar post at a time of transition. Today opens a new chapter in the unfolding story of how a high school English teacher from California morphs into a Web-based educator and contributor to the next era of education.  To re-cap, earlier parts of the journey included a fellowship at San Diego State University where we developed the WebQuest model, then a move to Australia and time as a Web developer and Ed Tech consultant with plenty of writing, software design and keynoting…  until I “got my first real job” since teaching when I joined Hobsons in 2014.  Although I explored positions in school leadership and returning to consulting, it was clear that the exact job didn’t matter so long as I was:

  • using all my skills
  • working on a great team
  • making a difference in education

Things clicked when I met the leadership team at Hobsons Edumate:

From Edumate …

For the past 2 + years I’ve really loved working with the great team at Hobsons’ Edumate.  As much as I’ve enjoyed this shift from the sometimes lonely life of an independent consultant, that fact that the Edumate suite also includes modules for attendance, enrolment, finance, and calendaring means that my passion for improving teaching and learning must be balanced with the overall needs of Edumate’s clients. I got and fully supported this. Those times I was able to harness the development team to work on the curriculum aspects of the software, I felt as though I was contributing – yet while other development needs rightly took precedence, I sometimes felt I wasn’t having the impact I hoped for. Recently the name “Literatu” began popping up with both current and prospective schools, so we decided to meet up…

To Literatu!

What I saw so impressed me that my curiosity was piqued and before long we’d kicked around ideas and found that my obsession with richer teaching and learning matched nicely with the powerful analytical insights provided within a very slick and user-friendly platform.  However, more than the software, I was very impressed with the Literatu leadership – Mark Stanley and Lidija Loridon. They definitely understand assessment, analytics, user interface and what schools need to turn data into insights.  Because this is only the first day on the job, of course there is a lot I don’t know (yet look forward to learning — which is a big part of the excitement!).  In the coming months (and years) I will share more about the power of this technology to humanise teaching and learning as I dig into it and we evolve it.  In particular I am (delightfully) tasked with helping schools and their teachers get early wins analysing their data and then build a plan where they nurture a culture of continuous improvement informed by their own unique goals and processes coupled with powerful data analytics. Look for more posts, Webinars and professional learning and consulting to support this journey into the future.  

3 thoughts on “A Big Change for Tom”

  1. Hi Tom, l’ very much interested in your wonderful research on bringing technology into the classroom. My name is Elena and I’m from Moscow, Russia, currently teaching students at the Moscow Institute of International Relations. I’ve been integrating WebQuests into the ed programs of teaching English to students since 2009 and they are a great success. I’ be also taken on-line courses to upgrade my teaching with technology: American English Courses and Michael Krauss ” Integrating the Internet into the Classroom”.
    Currently , I’m writing an article with an overview of WebQuests integration into English Language Program for Students. Yesterday came across “Look and Learn” – another of your brilliant ideas!
    Hope to stay in touch ,
    Best regards,
    Elena Baguzina,
    Assistant Professor
    Moscow Institute of Internatiinal Relations

    • Hi Elena,

      Thanks for getting in touch and sorry about the slow response. It’s great you’re interested and using WebQuests. I came up with Look to Learns as a warm-up and practice for the critical and creative thinking that WebQuests encourage. Like everyone, our students benefit from practice. Feel free to get in touch if I can be of service to your students or research. Kind regards, Tom

  2. Hi, Tom! Have been trying WebQuests with my university students for five years with great success. I’ m currently doing Skillful Couse (Macmillan Academic Skills), unit on Food and Nourishment. Do you happen to have any thought provoking imagines or videos on “Look to Learn”?

    Regards Helen Baguzina,


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