Category Archives: Uncategorized

Addressing Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs with Technology

A thought provoking article from the Learning Renaissance.

User Generated Education

A major criticism I have of most educational institutions is that their primary focus is on students’ intellectual and cognitive development.  Too often individual learner’s needs do not enter into the equation of their educations.  Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs is a useful model for educators to use to help insure that they are addressing more of the whole child.

Applying Abraham Maslow’s theory of a pyramid-shaped hierarchy — physiological needs, personal safety, social affiliation, self-esteem and self-actualization — to education is an ideal way to assess lesson plans, courses and educational programs. By asking themselves whether these needs are being met in their school or classroom, educators can assess how well they are applying Maslow’s hierarchy to their teaching practice (How to Apply Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs to Education).

Some general strategies for addressing these needs in the classroom can be found at Addressing Our Needs: Maslow Comes…

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The Purposeful Use of Technology in the Classroom

The Learning Renaissance

I think this might be over-egging the pudding in its assertions as there are limits to how well the technology can be used which reside outside the control of the individual teacher, but for what it is worth, this has some useful pointers to effective learning with technology applied…

artist: Sylvia Duckworth artist: Sylvia Duckworth

Infographic art by Sylvia Duckworth
Source: 7 Characteristics Of Teachers Who Effectively Use Technology | TeachThought

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Cambridge University Summer School (2013)

A great example of a summer well used to explore university life!


Last summer, I went to Cambridge University for a summer school from 12th-16th August.

When applying for the Sutton Trust summer schools, I found that Durham and Cambridge were the universities which offered the sort of courses that I was the most interested in. I’ve never been to Durham before. I had been to Cambridge before (the shadowing scheme in February of that year) but loved it so much that I really wanted to go back. So, I applied for Biological Sciences at Cambridge.

The five days I spent at Cambridge were absolutely amazing. I learnt so much, not just from our lecturer/mentor/supervisor (not sure what to call him – he asked us to call him Paul), but also from the friends I made.

We had breakfast at 7.30am everyday and activities for the day began at 8.30am. We learnt about enantiomers and 3D films, zoology, physiology, drugs and enzymes…

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About John Wilson

John Wilson is the Principal of Acorn House College in Southall, London. He was appointed to this role in January 2015 to lead the College as it begins a new chapter in its successful  fifteen-year journey.

His previous role was as Director of Studies/Vice principal at Ashbourne College on High Street Kensington in Central London, where he led the academic staff and oversaw unprecedented improvement and academic success at A level and GCSE.

John was educated at state schools and colleges in the North East of England before graduating in 2000 from Oxford University with honours in biological sciences.  He has spent a significant proportion of his career as an advisor to students in the UK and throughout the world on making the best possible university choice and the strongest possible application.  Having attained a PGCE in secondary science from Cambridge University he is also a qualified and experienced teacher of biology and science specialising in sixth form/tertiary education at A level.

John is a lay member of the university admissions panel for medical school undergraduate entry at UCL (University College London) and has also performed this role at Imperial College and Queen Mary University in London.

He has been invited to speak on a number of occasions in Hong Kong by the British Council to share his knowledge and experience of the British education system and on making applications to British universities.  In particular he has made presentations on how to choose a university and how to make the best possible application to British universities.

From 2007 to 2010 he planned and prepared Ashbourne College for its inspection by Ofsted and led the College to a judgment of “outstanding” with specific reference made in the report to his “dynamic” leadership.

John is passionate about education and about the opportunities it can create for young people.  He believes fundamentally that academic success can open doors and empower young people and that this success depends not only outstanding teaching but on the delivery of a rounded, holistic education with the learner at its core.

John has completed four marathons in competitive times, is a below-average musician and is happily married with one young daughter. is John’s personal website and the views expressed are his own.