A new year, and another new face at Titus HQ as Guy Thomas joins the team. Guy is a highly experienced Moodle developer and educator who has worked in educational technology in a variety of roles over the last 14 years. You’ll most likely recognise his name from his many contributions to the Moodle Plugins directory. Here he gives some insight into his expertise in the field, and what he sees as the most important upcoming developments.
Guy, how long had you been working in the educational technology field before joining Titus?
In 2004 I took my first job as a Web Technologies manager in a school. I began evaluating Moodle as a solution to the school’s online learning requirements. This lead to me working on commercial Moodle solutions with various companies and schools.
Along the way I’ve committed myself to the open source ethic of Moodle , developing various free plugins. I’ve also contributed fixes and improvements directly back to the core of Moodle.
Which areas of educational technology interest you the most?
I’m really interested in user experiences (UX) and how educational technology can be more intuitive and pleasurable to use. We are very lucky to be in age where UX plays a big part in the development of all successful online platforms.
I like to observe the user interface patterns from the tools I use everyday (Facebook, Twitter, Spotify , etc). I then evaluate how to best incorporate these patterns into educational technology. If we incorporate the same user interface patterns used by students outside of education, we lower the barriers to adoption and usage of educational technology.
What was it that attracted you to the role at Titus?
Titus has a great team and I’ve had the privilege of working with many of the team members in previous roles. I feel that my role at Titus will provide me with opportunities to develop new skills and also to contribute my existing skills and experience.
I wanted to do something different to the role I had previously (working for a major tech company). Titus offers an exciting dynamic that major tech companies struggle to deliver.
What do you think has been the biggest shift in educational technology during your time in the sector?
Possibly the adoption of open source platforms such as Moodle has been the biggest shift. When I started out most UK schools were using proprietary learning platforms that were costly, badly integrated and failed to deliver.
Open source software enables schools to be very creative in how they deliver online learning because there are so many plugins and solutions available.
How do you see educational technology developing over the next few years?
I’m hoping that the next big shift will be towards a focus on UX and software which is a joy for students and teachers to use. Also, as opposed to the ‘big data’ obsession of recent years, I’d like to see a focus on delivering the most important ‘micro data’ to students and teachers.
A student shouldn’t have to hunt for their important deadlines, a teacher shouldn’t have to hunt for the assignments they need to grade, etc.
What keeps you busy when you’re away from the keyboard?
I love spending time with my family, especially going on bike rides / visiting National Trust attractions together. Second to this I am a musician in a band and also performing as a solo artist. Click the links above to check us out on Spotify!
To get in touch with Guy, or any of the Titus team, fill out our contact form