Martin Waller

Proud to be a Classroom Teacher!


Martin is a full-time classroom teacher with an interest in creative learning and multiliteracies. He believes in learning through doing and advocates this approach through research and practice. Martin has shared his approaches and research findings at a range of events and conferences around the world. He has also authored book chapters about the use of social media and digital technologies in the classroom.

Martin is “first and foremost a classroom teacher” who has worked with classes from the early years to upper primary level. He currently works in a large primary school in the North East of England and is part of the school’s Senior Leadership and Management Team with the specific role as strategic Curriculum Leader for E-Learning and Computing as well as being the Key Stage 2 Phase Leader.

During his time in the classroom, he has developed a range of context-driven projects with classes and has been fortunate to be able to share these projects with colleagues across the globe. Martin believes that the education system should equip young people with the skills necessary to successfully participate in today’s society.

He spent five years teaching Key Stage 1 (Year 2), developing playful pedagogies and early literacy skills with new technologies. His work in this area was characterised through the deployment of social media in the classroom through Twitter and the @ClassroomTweets project. His Year 2 class was the first class in the world to use Twitter as a learning tool and this work has been reported and emulated within the global educational community, as well as being featured in the national and international press. He has also published widely in the field of social media in education and has recently completed his fourth academic book chapter focused on the area of online safety for the National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children (NSPCC).

Martin currently teaches in Upper Key Stage 2 (Years 5 and 6) where he has developed whole-school approaches to blogging to engage children with writing and popular culture through work with NASA Astronauts and Everest Explorers. In 2014 he became involved in the “Tesco Eat Happy Project Online Field Trips” where he acted as a consultant for Tesco Plc and other professionals at the British Interactive Media Association (BIMA), advising on positive ways to engage with education and improving children’s learning experiences. He also acted as a consultant for the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) on their school-based television drama “Waterloo Road.”

Martin has presented his research findings and classroom projects to a range of audiences and sectors across the globe. He has presented at multiple international conferences for the United Kingdom Literacy Association (UKLA) and was a core participant in the ESRC Seminar Series “Children’s and young people’s digital literacies in virtual online spaces.” In September 2011, he was invited by the University of Tasmania in Australia to present a conference keynote about social media in education. He has also presented information to the police and social services in the UK about maximising the potential for interactions online with digital technologies. In September 2014, Martin was invited by the European Educational Publishers Group (EEPG) and Zvaigzne ABC Publishing House to be a keynote speaker at their “Better Tools, Better Learning” conference in Riga, Latvia.

A full profile of Martin’s work, including his CV, can be downloaded here.

Further information can be found at his Beyond New Horizons blog.

Martin has worked in an advisory capacity for the following organisations:


“Martin’s comments reflect a convergence of all the qualities and attitudes central to how an exemplary teacher might think about using any new media text in the classroom – finding ways to integrate it naturally into a critical literacy program where texts are analysed, produced, challenged, and discussed from alternative perspectives”
Dr Angela Thomas – University of Sydney (Knobel and Lankshear, 2010: p181)

“Thank you for all that you do for education and our young people. The future is bright!”
Barbara Radding Morgan (NASA Educator Astronaut)

“Sitting alongside Greg Sage, community director at Tesco, we shared some insights from our work on the retailer’s Eat Happy Project. But the undoubted star of the show was Martin Waller, a primary school teacher from the north-east, who shared his experiences as a classroom teacher and as the technology lead for his school in County Durham.”
Jon Davie – Managing Director of Zone Ltd

Selected Presentations

Engaging with Education (Invited Keynote)
Back to School – How can brands best support teachers in the classroom? For British Interactive Media Association and Tesco PLC, London, UK (2014)

Subject to Change: Social Media, Education and Contentious Literacies (Invited Keynote)
Better Tools, Better Learning II Conference, Goethe-Institut Riga, Latvia (2014)

Maximising the Potential for Interactions Online (Invited Keynote)
Managing the Safe Use of Social Media and Online Gaming Conference – Capita Conferences, Manchester, UK (2013)

Subject to Change: Social Media, Education and Contentious Literacies (Invited Keynote)
New Literacies, Digital Media and Classroom Teaching Conference, University of Tasmania (2011)

A fixed point in time and pedagogy – Bringing the new into the primary classroom (Invited Keynote)
ESRC Seminar Series: Children’s and young people’s digital literacies in virtual online spaces (2010)


‘It’s very fun and exsiting’ – Using Twitter in the Primary Classroom
English 4-11

Contributions to Books

‘Everyone in the world can see it’ – Developing pupil voice through online social networks in the primary classroom.
The Student Voice Handbook – Bridging the Academic/Practitioner Divide (2011)

More than Tweets: Developing the ‘new’ and ‘old’ through online social networks
Virtual literacies: interactive spaces for children and young people (Edited by G. Merchant, J. Gillen, J. Marsh & J. Davies, Routledge – 2012)

Subject to Change: Social Media, Education and Contentious Literacies
English Teaching and New Literacies Pedagogy – Interpreting and authoring digital multimedia narratives (Edited by Len Unsworth and Angela Thomas – 2013 [in press])



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