Perfect ICT (Every) Lesson

By: Mark Anderson


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Products specifications
Attribute name Attribute value
Size: 124 x 174mm
Pages : 148
ISBN : 9781781351031
Format: Hardback
Published: August 2013

Technology is at the heart of learning for all of us and every teacher needs to be using social media, mobile technologies and transformational digital learning opportunities as an integral part of their range of strategies for helping students make the maximum progress.

In this book in the Perfect series, Mark Anderson, 'the ICT Evangelist', takes the technology-related elements of all the recent subject reports from Ofsted and using them offers clear and practical strategies that are proven to be successful in classrooms and offers up ideas for how they can be turned into a daily reality for all teachers.

The key subject is the use of ICT, however many other subjects are covered, i.e. the book is applicable to all subject areas across all key stage areas and readers will learn about how ICT can be used in every lesson across both primary and secondary phases.


  • Practical advice and examples set against backdrop of real-life examples
  • Practical advice on how to cope with the E-safety aspect of an Ofsted inspection
  • The use of education hash tags including: EdTech, MLearning, iPaded.

Picture for author Mark Anderson

Mark Anderson

Mark is a former assistant headteacher, lead teacher for ICT, a successful head of computing (before it was trendy) and a driving force behind one of the UK's most successful iPad 1:1 initiatives. Mark is an influential award-winning blogger, bestselling author and international speaker. Recently recognised as the most influential person in education technology in Europe and the winner of the Education Blog of the Year 2015' in the UK Blog Awards 2015.

Championing the importance of a pedagogy first approach to using technology in the classroom, Mark's book Perfect ICT Every Lesson has topped the Amazon education book chart twice. Mark is also an Independent Thinking Associate and has significantly contributed to many more best-selling books and education publications. With more than 20 years classroom experience and responsible for some of the UK's most innovative and creative teaching practice; Mark is a passionate advocate for developing the modern educator's toolkit. Mark regularily writes about education in the leadership section of the TES. See more here.

Click here to read Mark's article on InnovateMySchool.

Click here to listen in on Mark's podcast with Pivotal Education - How not to waste money on tech'.

Click here to watch a video interview with Mark as part of The Education Foundation's series of Education Britain Conversations.

Click here to read Mark Anderson’s blog.



  1. This book by Mark Anderson, aka @ICTevangelist, is, I have to say, pretty good. Although it's not very long (129 pages before we get on to the references section), it packs in a lot of good, practical advice.

    There are good sections on the SAMR and SOLO models, though Bloom's Taxonomy seems to have been omitted-”perhaps because it is already familiar to many teachers.

    I liked the fact that the ideas are not only good, but doable. Also, it's good that Anderson provides information about useful programs along with their website addresses.

    It's pocket-sized, and I think if I were new to use education technology in the classroom then I'd carry this around with me and dip into it every so often for inspiration.

    I have to admit to having some doubts about this book even before I opened it. First, I was in the classroom for 22 years and in all that time I never once delivered what I considered to be a perfect lesson. If you're a teacher you will immediately identify with this: there is always something more you think you could have done, another tweak you could have made to that activity, a perceived missed opportunity for a great, if tangential, discussion.

    I did once, as an Ofsted inspector, observe what I considered to be a perfect lesson, but even then that was my subjective interpretation of the Ofsted (England's inspectorate) criteria. So I would take the word “perfect” with a pretty large sack of salt.

    Second, the term “ICT” in the title is unfortunate, given that, in England at least, it is now regarded as a damaged brand. Given that the book was published in 2013, meaning that it was probably written in 2012, I think that could probably have been changed at the last minute (the title, not the brand).

    Third, the frequent references to Ofsted, no doubt a strength when the book was first published, now date it to some extent because there have been at least one update to the Ofsted “rules” since then. In my opinion, lessons should be good in themselves, and achieve (for the pupils) what they were intended to achieve. If they do, then they should satisfy Ofsted criteria anyway-”and if they don't, then probably the criteria need changing.

    Despite these initial doubts, however, I found that the advice doled out by the book still stands. Perhaps some of it will need to be adjusted in the light of the most recent update to the Ofsted criteria (substantially in September 2015, with a relatively minor update in January 2016), but that would be a matter of fine detail. On the whole, good practice should stand the test of time. Three years after publication, the advice given in this book still does.
  2. This book is likely to be just as useful for teacher trainers as for teachers wanting to take advantage of information and communication technologies, or -˜ICT'. The chapters are: Taking ICT from zero to hero; ICT learning resources for every classroom; Activities in the ICT suite; The e-safety framework; Mobile technology; Literacy, digital literacy, and ICT; Social media. Has great promise as an introduction for the ICT novice as well as a rich source of additional information and ideas for the ICT intermediate. We cannot comment on what it might offer to readers whose familiarity with exploiting ICT is more advanced!
  3. Many teachers lack confidence when using technology in the classroom because of their concerns that they do not know how to use it properly; or worry about the reliability; or agonise about the speed of accessibility, so they would rather dismiss the option of using tech rather than add the potential of stress. However, in his book, Mark Anderson provides tips and guidance to get teachers from zero to heroes for working with ICT, integrating technologies into everyday lessons, allowing confidence to be enhanced in those needing that encouragement. This is not a book about teaching ICT, but more so integrating technologies across the curriculum to support teaching and learning; asking the reader to think about why you're using digital rather than analogue methods -” what does using technology bring to the learning?

    Ideas on brightening up those classroom walls, using sites like Tagxedo (click here to see how teachers are using word clouds in the classroom); using QR Codes; and flipping your classroom are discussed at a uncomplicated level ; as well as considerations for using the ICT suite, e-safety, and mobile technologies, which is now at the forefront of most edtech innovation.

    Anderson flies the flag for the professional development opportunities that are available by using social media, and the positive merits of using the #UKEdChat platforms, website and setting up your own Personal Learning Network (PLN).

    This is a great book to get the non-tech teachers on-board with integrating technology into lessons in a positive, creative and engaging way for learners. There are still many people scared of technology, often fed by sensational and hyperbole news reporting which needs to be taken into context. Used sensibly, creatively and with imagination, technology can open many different avenues in teaching and learning, with this handy book being able to support those who lack the confidence or ideas in making those first steps.
  4. Which of these sentences do you agree with most?

    'The pace of technological change is one of the most exciting things to affect teaching in the last few years.'

    'The pace of technological change is one of the most scary things to affect teaching in the last few years.'

    Both statements are true but, chances are, you'll side with one more than the other. As a rough guess, the first sentence is the one that will chime with most people who read this (reading this on an educational blog is a strong clue, as is the fact you probably came via Twitter). For this first group of people, technology is something they are comfortable teaching with - a fantastic tool to enhance their students' learning.

    But what of the second group? The speed at which devices, software and networks have been developed in the last fifteen years or so has been astonishingly quick. Schools have done their best to introduce and use this technology, but it's still true that many teachers have felt left behind. Wonderfully, our students have an innate capacity to find their way around new technology quickly and love doing so. Unfortunately, teachers don't all feel the same. For this second group, the scariness arises from the fact that their students know more about (and are proficient at using) the latest technology, even if they've never seen it before. Imagine a teacher teaching French vocabulary to a roomful of exchange students fresh over from La Rochelle. “These kids know more than I do-¦” would be a completely valid concern. And so it is with ICT.

    (Incidentally, despite the fact that those behind Sparky Teaching taught Upper KS2 ICT for nine years, learned to hand-code this website and don't mind -˜playing' with technology, we'd say that developments in ICT to us are exciting and fear-inducing in equal measure.)

    The beauty of Mark Anderson's book, -˜Perfect ICT Every Lesson', is that it hasn't been written specifically for either group of teachers. Whether you teach at a school where students can bring their own devices and you're ahead of the game when it comes to the latest classroom-friendly apps, or if Powerpoint is the extent of how far you're willing to go in the name of ICT, it doesn't matter. Anderson (you may know him from Twitter as @ICTEvangelist) explains things for non-techies, but without for one moment lessening the pace of the book or leaving out inspiration for those who are more tech-content.

    As you might be aware already, Independent Thinking (whose books we love and review many of!) have a series called -˜The Perfect-¦' - Maths Lesson, English Lesson, School Governor and so on. It was a clever move to rearrange the title of this particular book to -˜Perfect ICT Every Lesson'. It's not about the best ICT lesson you could teach, it's about the best use of ICT in any lesson. Not only that, Mark Anderson encourages us to “always ask why you're using digital rather than analogue methods. What does using technology bring to the learning?” In other words, this is -˜Perfect ICT For Every Lesson Where Technology Brings Something Concrete To The Learning Party And Not When It's Just To Wow Ofsted Or Jazz Things Up'.

    Mark Anderson, as we've mentioned already is known on Twitter as @ICTEvangelist and therein lies the secret to his writing. In Biblical terms, the evangelist's job is to spread the good news to those who haven't heard it yet and to those who aren't persuaded. In -˜Perfect ICT' (and, to be fair, in his work on Twitter, in TeachMeets and training others), the author makes a daunting subject decidedly less so and is an encouragement to those who aren't au fait with the latest technology or aren't persuaded by it.

    -˜Perfect ICT Every Lesson' provides clear strategies and ideas to help you use ICT in a learning-boosting, Ofsted-friendly way.

    These are proven strategies and Anderson cites examples of how various teachers and schools have used this technology or that application to make progress. Particularly fascinating was the case study describing how David Mitchell's introduction of blogging (and Julia Skinner's 100 Word Challenge) in Heathfield Primary, Bolton affected literacy results. We were well aware of the benefits of blogging in terms of writing for an audience, evaluating work via comments and enthusing students, but never knew that the rise in results was so marked (9% L5 Writing beforehand, 60% L5 Writing afterwards-¦ Wow! There's hope for us yet!)

    Amongst other things, Mark Anderson deals with learning resources for the classroom, activities (and things to consider) when teaching in the ICT suite, e-safety*, mobile technology, literacy/digital literacy and social media. Each of these merits its own chapter and a host of case studies, ideas and links to explore. Reading -˜Perfect ICT' will enthuse you to try new ideas and excite you with the possibilities that technology offers us in the classroom. This isn't just a book of tips, though. The author takes time to quote from Ofsted reports as a starting basis for each topic and deals with broader issues such as policies and AfL strategies. If technology is to be used effectively it needs to be a whole-school thing, not just “in Mr J's classroom because he's a whizz with all that.”

    Possibly the most fascinating section in -˜Perfect ICT' is in Chapter One. In -˜Taking ICT from zero to hero', Mark Anderson explains the SAMR taxonomy with a clarity and relevant we hadn't seen before. There is a tendency, as you'll be aware, for educational jargon to creep into our language as teachers where it's not needed. And, to make matters worse, ICT as a subject is well-known for a language all of its own (BYOD and flipped classrooms, anyone?). The problem with jargon like this is that, no matter how important or useful it is, many people switch off if they don't automatically understand what it refers to. It's a shame. To be honest, we'd seen the initials SAMR before in many tweets, but never bothered to enquire further.

    Thanks to Mark Anderson's clear explanations, the SAMR taxonomy now seems to us to be crucial to how we use technology. Understanding those four initials will help you massively in placing what you do with ICT, why you're doing it and how you can make better progress.

    The move from simply Substituting an analogue task with a digital one (e.g. typing out a poem using a word processing program), through to Augmenting it, Modifying it and, finally, Redefining that original task (e.g. recording a version of the poem as a podcast and sharing it with a partner-school on the other side of the world who adds extra verses to it) is extremely helpful to understand. It struck us as we read it that the SAMR move in how we use ICT is all about collaboration and connecting with others. A task often becomes redefined as learners use technology to work alongside others and share their work with a wider audience.

    What needs to be perfectly clear, however, is that whatever level you are at on this taxonomy for generating learning using technology, it is perfectly OK. Deploying technology in the classroom with pupils is an exceeding good way of engaging them in learning activities. Young people are familiar with new technologies and devices, even if you aren't, and you will be making small wins that will help you find your feet when it comes to using technology in the classroom in a more integrated way.

    In other words, don't let technology or your students' abilities with technology daunt you. Go for the small wins. Set them a collaborative task and learn from them as they work on it. You don't have to be a tech-guru. The pace of technological change is only a problem if you stop listening to your class. -˜Perfect ICT Every Lesson' is the book to give you the confidence to start doing so.

    *If you're particularly interested in e-safety messages (and in getting those messages home where they are are of most use), you'll like our e-Sense Travelcards. They've been bought by schools in the UK and United States, used for Digital Literacy Day, e-Safety parents' meetings and to give to students.

  5. Mark Anderson is a master craftsman when it comes to ICT and his 'Perfect ICT Every Lesson Book' is in itself a true reflection of his mastery and genius as a guru of ICT for education. Speaking from the heart he has cleverly engrossed me as a teacher, consultant and 'learner' of using ICT in lessons. His step by step guide to supporting us as educationalists in using ICT effectively in every lesson is to be highly commended, along with his magical way of sharing what can be complex into a simple approachable set of guidelines. Also, the attitude of 'give it a go' is truly refreshing. Mark, (@ICTEvangelist) is not only a great writer but a pedagogical genius of the art of sharing and explaining what is needed for us to meet the needs of our 21st Century learners - and if we do not meet their needs then we are being second rate teachers. A great thanks to him for bringing us this book which every teacher, educationalist and school should have in their back pocket - because when you need him most, the power of his book is there with you 24/7.

    This is an essential purchase for any teacher in the classroom or educationalist who wants to develop their own ICT skills. Thank you Mark.
  6. Jam packed full of accessible and inspirational ideas, the ICT Evangelist has created a companion for every teacher in the land. Mark's real life shop floor experience instills the reader with the confidence in which to switch on the laptop and start experimenting. Be prepared - this is exciting stuff!

  7. Mark has written an incredibly useful book, the title of which clearly suggests what it is about; it is not about a -˜one off' ICT lesson but about integrating ICT in meaningful ways in every day lessons to support and extend the pupils' learning. It starts with a clear explanation of the SAMR taxonomy, challenging us to think of ways in which we can truly plan for use of technology that will not merely replicate or substitute what could be achieve in a more traditional way; instead, there are illuminating examples of what our pupils can achieve that would have been impossible before. A strength of the book is its plethora of case studies and concrete examples of tasks, with a strong focus on sound pedagogy. Another strength is its plain language and Avoidance of unnecessary jargon, making it really teacher-friendly.

    Mark addresses current debates such as the use of mobile devices in schools, including a look at the BYOD strategy adopted by some schools. You will learn from this book - I certainly did - a sure sign of a great read.

    Hélène Galdin-O'Shea @hgaldinoshea
  8. In this book, Mark provides us with an exceptionally clear and dynamic vision; full of fantastic strategies, case studies, -˜top-tips' and suggestions on how to use ICT to transform learning in and out of the classroom. For someone who considers themselves tech-savvy, I still found it packed full of -˜Well, I didn't know that' information which had my brain whirring with new possibilities for my own teaching and my school's approach to use technology as a platform for providing deep, creative and memorable learning experiences.
  9. Mark Anderson has a well-deserved reputation for his knowledge and enthusiasm for ICT in schools. He has a superb understanding of how ICT can enhance and even transform learning; it's not about innovation for the sake of it or lots of flashy gimmicks. `Perfect ICT Every Lesson` provides an excellent framework for using ICT at a whole-school or classroom level as well as giving teachers ideas for a range of different strategies and applications. Mark has a gift for making things seem possible. Reading this book will give teachers the confidence to try out some new approaches without worrying that they're not ICT experts. It's an intelligent book which many teachers will find useful and inspiring.

  10. -˜Perfect ICT Every Lesson' seeks to remove the fear some educators have when using ICT to enhance learning. The book dispels the myth that embracing technology in the classroom takes hours of discovery and days of practice before it is exposed to learners. Mark Anderson skilfully discusses techniques and tools whilst maintaining interest in the possibilities that are available to all. The developing pedagogy is outlined to the reader with relevant case studies and examples. There is real craft in the way the learning process is discussed with reference to a tool that should only be used where it is appropriate. Mark successfully informs and relaxes the reader in equal measure. Simple explanation scaffolds the wealth of experience that Mark possesses and it is testament to the author that we are eager to find out more about each suggestion.

    I would highly recommend -˜Perfect ICT Every lesson' to all educators seeking to continue their own development and enhance learning for their students. This book will sit on top of the reference list when it comes to improving my own methods and I'm thankful it has come along at this stage in my career.

    Daniel Edwards @syded06
  11. Mark Anderson's 'Perfect ICT Every Lesson' is the most comprehensive, yet accessible, overview of how ICT can be used by all teachers to enhance student learning that I have come across. Quite simply, there is something in it for teachers at every level of responsibility.

    What I like most about this book, though, is that it constantly and unerringly sticks to Mark's fundamental principle that it is the learning, not the tech, which is paramount. This is extremely refreshing coming from one of the most technically knowledgeable and proficient educators out there, and I thank him for it.

    Fundamentally, the measure of any good educational book is what you learn from it and what you take away from it to implement in your practice. In 'Perfect ICT Every Lesson' Mark has handed me the metaphoric 'fish' of some tweaks to make my PowerPoints more PowerFull and to help me use search engines better. More importantly, this book has given me the 'fishing rod' of a far clearer understanding of the SAMR taxonomy, a framework that will help me to think and plan carefully in order to move towards the 'perfect ICT' of the title.

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