I’m Martin Waller and I’d like to welcome you to my blog. I am privileged to be part of many educational initiatives but, first and foremost, I am a full-time classroom teacher. I believe in learning through doing and try to advocate this approach through both theory and practice. My main teaching and research interests are founded in multiliteracies, new literacies, critical literacy and creativity in relation to the curriculum and educational change. I’m also fascinated by children’s popular culture and how this can impact on learning.
Primary School Teacher and Curriculum Leader for E-Learning
I work full-time as a classroom teacher in a large primary school in the North East of England. I am also part of the school’s Senior Leadership and Management Team with particular responsibility for strategic leadership with digital technologies.
During my time in the classroom I have developed a range of context-driven projects with my classes which I have been fortunate to be able to share these with colleagues across the globe. I believe that the education system should equip children with the skills necessary to successfully participate in today’s society. My teaching therefore reflects this ethos. I passionately believe in learning through doing and try to get my classes to see links with learning and the real world.
In recent years my work has been characterised through the deployment of social media in the classroom through Twitter and the @ClassroomTweets project. This allowed young children to learn safe practices within online social networks as well as develop digital literacy skills within an online community of practice. More recently I have advocated blogging as a way of engaging children with audiences across the globe while developing new and traditional literacy skills.
I spent five years teaching in the Key Stage 1 (Year 2), developing playful pedagogies and early new literacy skills. I then moved to teaching Upper Key Stage 2 (Year 5) and have enjoyed exploring new approaches such as Badges for Learning with my classes.
In addition to classroom teaching, I coordinated Creative Learning from Nursery to Year 6 for four years and led the development of the Growing Greener creative learning programme. More recently I became Curriculum Leader for E-Learning and Computing and became a member of the school’s senior leadership and management team.
Working with a range of organisations
As a researcher I have worked independently with a range of organisations across the globe. My work in recent years has been via the United Kingdom Literacy Association and a Special Interest Group focused on digital literacies. In addition I have consulted on a range of projects with organisations such as Futurelab. In 2011 I completed an MA in New Literacy Studies at the University of Sheffield.
My main threads of research have been based around the use of social media in schools. I have authored three pieces of research on this area – three book chapters and a journal article. More information about my current research can be found in the research area of this blog.
I have also presented my findings at a range of events across the UK including three UKLA International Conferences and the recent ESRC Seminar series, Children’s and young people’s digital literacies in virtual online spaces. In September 2011 I travelled to the University of Tasmania in Australia to present findings from my research into social media and education. This work was featured on Australian TV News:
I have also delivered training for trainee teachers at the University of Durham and Birmingham City University.
If you would like to know more about my work then I can be contacted through:
Email: martin.waller [at] beyondnewhorizons . com
More information can be found on my LinkedIn page.
I appear across the web mostly through the avatar of MultiMartin. The nameembodies my interest in anything relating to multimedia, multiliteracies and multimodality.