Michael Johnston

Lecturer, Researcher, Author, Creator

Plain Sailing?

It seems like every good ‘overnight success story’ is years in the making. And mine is no different, years of toiling in the dark have brought my career to a point where everything I’ve worked on in coming to fruition and within my career, I feel like I’m just getting started…

Window Dressing?

Window dressing looks good – because it’s designed that way. The research and planning that goes into this process is normally unseen, but it’s always there.

I’ve learned the hard way that while style can get you in the door, it’s the substance that keeps your seat at the table.

Not Always Quick, but Effective

My recent love affair with cycling has taught me once again that there is no challenge that cannot be defeated. Whether it’s a 180km Gran Fondo endurance challenge, or taking on a new challenge in work, keeping those legs turning the pedals is the surest way to get through the problem.

“Design is not just what it looks and feels like, design is how it works.”

Steve  Jobs

Pixels Edited
Projects Completed

My Teaching Areas of Interest (Level 2 & 3 BTEC)


Developing small scale animated solutions with students to develop their skills in animation. Quite the irony given my performance in third year art.


This combines business with IT. The major focus here for me is teaching students to look at their information system, not only as a technological project, but as a live system that an end user will interact with and how this changes and informs their design choices.


This is my personal studying. There are aspects of my current research that will inform my teaching – project planning, app design, website design, research.


Projects can fail for a number of reasons. I teach all aspects of project planning so that students can understand there is more than one way to successfully complete a project, but that one method may work better or quicker for them.


This is my central skill. I have taught many levels of web design and development. I currently teach this to degree level.


This is also impacted my by current research. I design apps for all markets, but mostly for fun and to further my own learning – only after we leave the comfort zone can we learn new skills!

My Higher Education Areas of Interest (Foundation Degree)


Such an interesting topic to research and prepare teaching material because it is always changing.


Web design comes at the core of my areas of interest – not only how do we do something, but how can we share it online?


I love the scope for individual learning that this topic affords – students take a Raspberry Pi and create! Showing them how innovation and ‘tinkering’ connects to the world of IT product development may spark the next big product!


I enjoy learning about how we learn. The topic is so broad, deep and rich that I will spend a lifetime learning and still not know what I want to!

Apps Design

This is coming through in my personal studying. I enjoy the concept of taking a design and making it work. The problems addressed, solved and fought over are part of the learning process!


This is also being developed in my personal study. To take a mass of data, make sense of it and develop new lines of inquiry is going to be fun!

Recent Posts

person writing on white paperEducationPedagogy

Systematic Instructional Design – Part Two

These are the two types of test that the instructional designer will make most use of: The Pre-Test The Post-Test The Pre-test will assess what prior learning and knowledge the…
row-of-books-in-shelfEducationPedagogyResearchTechnology Enhanced Learning

Systematic Instructional Design – Part One

And we're back to Instructional Design! There is something that keeps drawing me back to this topic! As much as I might be loathe to admit it, a lecturer during…
image of home workstation with pink lighting to determine what people notice first for the purposes of identifying what we observe in our environment from a cyberpsychology perspectiveCyberpsychologyResearch

The Rise of Cyberpsychology

When you look at the featured image, what do you see? The magenta lighting? The Apple iMac? The non-Apple keyboard? The content on the screen? The picture of the couple…

What Effect Does Social Media Have on Students?

What do we say about social media that hasn't been said before? We know why we use social media - we want to stay connected with our circle of friends,…

Do We Understand Our Long-Term Impact?

Are you a teacher? Do you understand or are you aware of the long-term impact you have as a teacher on the children in your class? Like most modern TV…

If You Build It, They Might Slack off…

Voice Calling Simplify your social life by communicating via voice. Individual Channels For conversations that are topic specific Available Where You Are Slack App is available on Android and iOS…
1+1=3 mistake imageEducation

When Mistakes happen

The Oxford University website defines plagiarism as: "Plagiarism is presenting someone else’s work or ideas as your own, with or without their consent, by incorporating it into your work without…
EducationTechnology Enhanced Learning

Blogging with Students

Blogging is a great thing. I read blogs, write blogs and you, at the very least, read blogs...well you're here! The scope for learning is phenomenal! Anytime, any place access…

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