Author on Tes: Video guides for differentiation

Alan Glasgow, aka Aglasgow, creates high quality video guides that allow students to learn at a pace that suits them, freeing up teachers to circulate and give support where needed.

Alan Glasgow

Alan Glasgow

Alan Glasgow, aka Aglasgow, creates high quality video guides that allow students to learn at a pace that suits them, freeing up teachers to circulate and give support where needed.


What do you enjoy the most about teaching?

I've been Head of IT and computer science for 14 years in a bustling and successful school just outside of Bath, England. One of the most satisfying parts of my job is knowing that whatever career path my students take, what I teach them day-to-day will be useful. We now live in a digital age where empowering students with skills to be confident users of technology is of the utmost importance.


How have your video guides created learning opportunities for students?

I teach a broad spectrum of abilities, often within the same class. Like many teachers, I used to find differentiation pragmatically difficult to implement effectively. This was before I started video guiding my lessons. By investing the initial time into producing high quality, instructional videos, I’ve seen a huge surge in attainment and engagement. The guides have allowed greater consistency of quality across my department and across other schools where I also manage IT and computer science. They’ve been particularly beneficial for non-specialist staff and teaching assistants and have helped raise the bar in terms of the rigour and depth of what students learn.


How do you use your video guides in the classroom?

When students are working on video guides, the teacher is free to circulate and build relationships which would have been difficult to foster with a room full of 'hands-up'. The guides have created a calmer classroom environment where students are immersed in their education, free of distractions around them. Students are able to go at the pace that is suitable for them. If they don't understand something the first time through, they can repeat or similarly skip/speed up, if they’re already confident.


What advice do you have for creating high quality video resources?  

For anyone considering embedding video guides into their teaching, I'd recommend getting a good quality microphone and making sure all your resources are set up in advance – so that you know what you're going to say. Try adding some faint royalty free music in the background to make the guides sound more interesting. Also create checklists which link to the guides so that students can keep track of their progress.


Which resource are you most proud of?

I've recently created a crash course on MS Excel, a tool that you can't escape these days. There are 66 videos which walk students through how to set up a concert booking system. I've also created 37 videos for 6th formers who want to learn about MS Access, a great database tool. As well as video guides, I’ve created a Game design unit of work that gets students to create some of the classic arcade games such as Pacman, Super Mario Bros and Space Invaders.


What tips do you have for teachers for using video guides in their classroom?

Clearly, video guides will never replace a classroom teacher. Students still need to be inspired by someone they know and trust. What is equally as important is not to 'over do' this style of teaching. Students want variety and need you to mix it up occasionally. If you're one of those teachers who always leads from the front, why not give video guides a try to shake things up a little? You never know, you may be pleasantly surprised with how your students respond!


Quick links

Aglasgow’s shop

MS Excel video guides

MS Access video guides

Game design unit