How to teach Shakespeare to students

As you may already be aware of, Shakespeare is not the easiest of writers to understand, especially with modern day teenagers, however he is regarded as the greatest writer of the English language. Groans fill the classroom when one of his plays is mentioned, children are just not interested. Could this be down to the outdated language and plot lines? Who knows! Here are 6 tips on how to get children interested in Shakespeare:


  • Make them aware most of todays language was invented by Shakespeare!  We would not use todays language if it was not for him. Phrases such as ‘Heart of gold’ and ‘Laughing stock’ were created by the man himself.


  • His plays are full of murder, love and sexual innuendos which make very interesting reads. Sometimes children do not understand what is going on in the play but by making it understandable, they can begin to enjoy it.


  • Choose Shakespeare books with chapter analysis and translations of words to read. This helps them understand if they are getting extra help on some of the most difficult writing.


  • Focus on small chunks at a time. Do not tire students out by making them read for hours on end, short chunks of work will help retain concentration and interest levels.


  • Attend Shakespeare events – There are plenty of days out that focus on retelling Shakespeare’s life helping students put the plays into context and make it more interesting.


  • Watch the films of the play – Like most books, it helps watching clips of the book as it creates visual imagery and you can see the emotions of the characters acted out in front of your eyes.




Cahootify – The best way to create a professional online presence?

How can social networks help in recruiting staff to get involved in a new media or film project?

In various careers, but especially in media and the arts, it is important to create an online profile. As job roles become more difficult to secure, it is essential that you create the best possible chance for marketing yourself to potential employers. This way, you can become more easily noticed and therefore increases your job prospects. For example, a film maker looking to recruit lots of different people for various roles will not have time to go through numerous amounts of CV’s and information, they prefer a quicker approach as the industry is always changing. As new films are continually being created, roles such as actors, camera men and makeup artists need to be hired. Is the best way to do this advertising for a job and asking people to submit their CV prior to interview? Or could there be a more efficient way of carrying out this process?

How to create a professional online presence and why a good online presence is important

The term professional online presence means marketing yourself online in a professional way that would be acceptable for employers to look at. Examples of professional online presence includes having a picture of yourself which represents what you want other people to view you as. This picture should include you looking smart and presentable and should be clear and suitable. If you question whether it may not be suitable for certain types of people to look at then it should not be placed online as you want the best possible representation for yourself. Throughout your social media platforms, it may be a good idea to use the same photo to represent yourself as this shows consistency throughout your social media and makes you recognisable incase people following or visiting your account on other social media platforms do not know it is you. Another way of being professional online is ensuring that any information you write about yourself pictures you in a good light, therefore there should not be any taboo language featured in your online presence (unless it is suitable directly for the purpose) and you should ensure that only positive information is written. It would be bad practice to publish information you would not want people to see, for example bad mouthing a previous job you did not like as this would hint that you are an unprofessional individual and limits your abilities. This ensures that when somebody comes across your online presence, they deem you as professional and suitable otherwise aspects such as your future job prospects could be tarnished.

An introduction to Cahootify

Cahootify is an online platform which allows professionals in the media and film industry to create a portfolio and market their talents to people seeking their skills. There are various ways you can use cahootify, the first being you create your own online profile as an individual looking for job opportunities and this way you can search them and show your interest whether they be paid or collaborative. It allows you to list your own skills and project experience and also to state the names of people you have worked with on previous roles. Another way is a professional advertising a job role trying to recruit individuals that will suit these roles. The project that is advertised can already be in progress which allows the professional to add people to the project page that are currently on the project meaning new individuals interested in the role can see if they would be suitable or if they know anybody currently on the project through previous connections.

The way Cahootify works is through the use of folksonomies and taxonomies. The website includes a search bar which enables users to search for people or projects they are already aware of. Also it enables the searching of key works such as ‘cinematographer’ which, when searched, will bring up everybody who has used that tag on their profile. This allows easy access to people you are already aware of which helps to connect people together.

There are many benefits that Cahootify has to offer. As we live in the modern age, social media has become almost the centre of our lives. Therefore people regard social media as being essential in today’s society. Therefore this means that it must always stay current and updated otherwise will be seen as out of date and not fit for the purpose it is supposed to be. As filmmakers want to create the best professional online presence possible, marketing online makes this possible as all content will have to be current and continuously updated to reflect the modern age. This means that professionals advertising their skills will be able to make successful use of this platform by always reviewing the content they post and making sure it is current and updated.

Another benefit of Cahootify is that it quite possibly could become the best way of advertising and finding job roles in the future is continually developed and opened to a wider range of job fields other than just the media and television industry. Employers, as mentioned previously want to hire people often based on their existing skills and job experience. Cahootify allows people to provide this information and employers can instantly view it as it is clear and concise, often unlike a CV.

Cahootify is similar to Linkedin in that it allows its users to link with people that they know and find their profiles. This is a useful concept as it is often more helpful for professionals to hire people that have been recommended by others they have worked with as it gives them the confidence that they are suitable for the role.

How Cahootify can be used alongside existing social media platformssocial media buttons.jpg

There are many ways you can use social media to create an online presence which will help promote your online presence and ensure it is successful.

By using Twitter, the downside is that you can only ‘tweet’ 140 characters meaning that you would not be able to write a detailed description to advertise yourself and so Cahootify would be more suitable for this purpose. However Twitter could be used for tweeting a link to your followers to view your Cahootify profile so that it can be viewed by as many people as possible. You can also use Facebook in a similar way by posting a link to your Cahootify profile except Facebook allows you to write a much longer word count than Twitter. Both Twitter and Facebook use folksonomies and taxonomies to promote popular content through the use of hashtags and tagging which makes your content more visible to others, classing it as good online content.

You can make use of the platform youtube, especially for filmmakers by creating short projects to upload to youtube and then copying links to your Cahootify profile to advertise your project experience. This means that employers can see your work and also the reception it gets from other people by the amount of views it has received on youtube.

The future of Cahootify

There are many steps Cahootify can take to ensure they become a popular platform that people can use. One is that it is currently only available for use in the media and television industry but could widen its audience by opening up to other job sectors. Also it is currently free to use but could introduce a charge for hubs or private projects to make a profit. There is currently space to include 5 skills on your profile which could be increased if developed. Finally, it could introduce funding for projects to help upcoming filmmakers explore their talents.


1299 Words

Favourite Fake Tan

For this blog post I have teamed up with Alice Marshall ( to co-write.


Not all of  us have the luxury of going abroad all the time to catch the sun. So everyone needs a fake tan that they love to be able to get a all year round tan, even if it is fake!

I’ve tried hundreds of different self tans over the years! I have eczema on my arms so I have to find one that doesn’t stick too any dry patches but still has a nice bronzed colour. Other needs on my list for a good fake is that it doesn’t smell too much (fake tan biscuit smell) and comes off evenly.

My favourite fake tan is No7 Self Tan Perfectly Bronzed Mousse Medium- Dark. It’s £14.50 which isn’t the cheapest fake tan you can find but it’s more than worth it as it ticks all the boxes.

It is a gradual tan, however when applied you have an instant tan straight away.  It it is recommended that you leave it on 3-5 hours for it to develop before washing it off, but I find it easier to sleep in it and wash it off in the morning to get the deepest glow.

I always exfoliate and moisturise before applying the tan  (with a mitt) to guarantee an even finish. The texture of the mousse is light weight and moisturising so it works amazing over dry skin locking in the moisture and preventing streaks and patches.


Same as Alice, I believe fake tan is an essential part of any going out outfit to achieve that bronze glow. tan

It is essential when applying fake tan to do two things:

  1. MOISTURISE MOISTURISE MOISTURISE! There is nothing worse than having patchy fake tan due to dry skin so it is essential that you moisturise everywhere, especially the driest parts of your body (your ankles, knees and elbows).
  2. Always use a mitt to apply fake tan, it helps avoid streaks, uneven patches and very brown hands.

There are two types of fake tan, gradual and instant. They are pretty self explanatory, gradual means it takes a few hours to develop and for the colour to fake tan and instant means instantly the tan shows up.

One of my favourite fake tan products is St. Moriz. It comes in three shades; light, medium and dark so is perfect for all skin tones. Its tag line is ‘For a healthy bronzed tan all year round, A professional flawless tan for a golden sunkissed glow’.

st morizThis product suits all types of skin as it comes in a mousse, lotion and spraying mist so there is plenty to choose from. Also they have a special edition version containing body shimmer if you fancy a bit of a sparkle.

The best way to use this product is to apply it the day before going out, that way it has time to dry and gradually get darker. It then allows you to have a shower when you wake up the next day which helps get rid of the fake tan smell. By having a shower, the colour looks more natural and even. You can also apply another layer on top of the existing one if it is not dark enough for your liking. You can still use it the same day as going out, I have fake tanned an hour before going out before, it just looks less natural and does not smell as nice.


A night at the MOBO’s

Leeds First Direct Arena saw the arrival of The Music Of Black Origin (MOBO) Awards on Wednesday 4th November, a star studded event in my own home town.

first direct arena

The event, broadcasted live by ITV 2 saw the likes of Rita Ora, Stormzy, Krept and Konan, Lethal Bizzle, CeeLo Green and even an appearance from Lenny Henry who received the ‘Paving The Way’ award.

The 2015 winners include:

The benefits the MOBO’s brought to Leeds were big, pumping an estimated £1.35 million into the economy and seeing more than 10,000 people arriving in the city that night, certainly helping put Leeds on the map internationally.

Councillor Judith Blake of Leeds City Council stated “This is a real coup for Leeds and a fabulous celebration of music and diversity that will lay down an ambitious marker in our bid to be named European Capital of Culture 2023.”

The awards brought alight the Grime genre of music, which emerged in England in the late 1990’s to the early 2000’s. Pioneers of this genre include Skepta, Wiley, JME, Stormzy, Lethal Bizzle and Dizzee Rascal. Originating in London, artists used pirate radio stations such as Rinse and Deja Vu FM to promote this genre of music. From being barely known 10 years ago to achieving MOBO awards, Grime has come a long away, suggesting 2015 really is the year of the revival of grime.


24 year old MC, Bugzy Malone from Manchester says “The nature of grime artists is that it is very underground and bedroom-based. But the genre is now becoming more respected and it’s inspired a whole new generation of MCs to feel like now we are working towards something.”

Grime is also starting to break through to America thanks to this years MOBO’s. HOT 97 in America has recently been interested in UK music, interviewing the likes of Krept and Konan, Stormzy and Skepta to talk about their new music. They even came across the pond and hit the red carpet and backstage alongside MOBO TV to interview all the nominees and winners.

When asked what people can do in America to help bridge the gap, Krept of Krept and Konan replied “We just want you guys to listen. We’re not asking you to buy our music. Just listen and explore the UK, and listen to what’s going on over here.”

Therefore as well as promoting diversity within the music industry, the MOBO’s also helped pump more money into the economy of Leeds and bring light to the Grime genre of music.




Good Online Content

Ever wondered why a certain news article or youtube video became popular on the internet this week? It most likely will contain features of how to become a good piece online content.

After thinking collaboratively about this with my media class, we came up with ideas about what makes online content good. Here are a few of the popular ideas:

  • Strong headline – This increases search engine optimisation and most importantly why click on content which seems boring from the outset, who will that appeal to?
  •  Originality – If somebody has already written about it before or had the same idea, why would you want to view it regurgitated again?
  • Interactive and Visual – It must not bore the target audience otherwise will not become popular so is a good idea to break large text down with visual imagery.
  • Must be continually updated – You cannot have one good piece of content and then leave it there, for people to continue viewing your work, it must always be current.
  • Be shareable – There is no point in having good content that is not able to be shared by the public, how else would it become popular?

Share Button

This week saw the trend of Drake’s original Hotline Bling video  being turned into vines featuring different music and including drake doing all sorts of things. This was built on the way Drake dances in his video which amused people. It became the most shared topic this week, encouraging people to make their own vines to share on the internet.

This news video contains the most shared Drake vines this week

The same happened to British singer, Adele as this week saw the release of her new single ‘Hello‘ after three years without releasing any material. When it was released, it became the biggest trend on twitter instantly, as a result of the hype built due to a long time without releasing music and how the public warmed to the single.

Like Drake, vines started to be created about Hello, unlike Drake’s which focused on his dancing in the video, this time it mimicked the lyrics of the song.

Others decided to combine previously made vines with Adele’s new song, all becoming an instant hit on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.

Trending on Twitter right now twitter

As it is National Stress Awareness day, right now the hashtag #NationalStressAwarenessDay is the top trend. It includes the public tweeting about their own experiences with their stress and how to deal with is, as well as companies and businesses tweeting, partially as a way to promote themselves.

stressTwitter has introduced the option for you to tweet a poll allowing users to vote on the question asked. This is featured quite frequently on the hashtag using various different questions and is a successful way of finding out the views of twitter users very quickly (after the poll closes).

Google Trends  google

The most googled topic of today is regarding Lewy Body Dementia. This arose as a result of new information being released regarding Robin William’s suicide. His wife revealed the disease he suffered from during an interview and people have been interested in finding out more about it. This is also a reason how content online becomes popular, through the use of popular news articles.

Most Liked photo on Instagram instagram


Here is the most liked photo on Instagram to date, beating Kim Kardashian and Kanye West’s wedding picture as it received over 3.1 million likes and 140.9k comments, posted by Kim’s half-sister Kendall Jenner.

Get to know Instagram

Instagram is a fairly new social network, online mobile photo and video sharing service  allowing users to take pictures and videos and share them on a variety of social networking platforms such as facebook and twitter.

In order for your content to become popular on instagram, and subsequently ‘get lots of likes’, it must be easily found by users. The main way to get your content found is by using the internal classification system.


Here is one of my instagram posts. As you can see I have used the hashtag ‘#nofilter’ on my caption. This is an example of instagram’s internal classification system and a way to get my content found. Users can click on this hashtag and find other posts that have also used the same hashtag in their caption.

FullSizeRender hashtag

Therefore if you hashtag popular hashtags, more people are going to click on that hashtag and therefore your content will be displayed and viewed, hopefully gaining you more likes. Popular hashtags include ‘#throwbackthursday’ or shortened to ‘#tbt’ and ‘#selfie’.

Another way for people to view your content is by adding a location to your posts, for example as you can see on my instagram post above, it is tagged as ‘pejo’ which is the name of the ski resort. So subsequently instagram users can click on this, just as they would with the hashtag and will be able to view all other posts which have been tagged with that location.

You can also tag other users in your posts, for example if they are in the content with you, adding a tag on them with their username allows you to then click on their profile easily and view their posted content.


Starting University

For me, starting university was an exciting challenge I was extremely looking forward to. But then came the summer holidays and I got used to having no work to do and spending my days as I please.

Soon September rolled round and it was time to start thinking about preparing for university life and my new home at Leeds Trinity University.

Move in day arrived and as I carried my possessions from the car to my new home for the year, I was eager to see who I would be sharing with. Friendly new faces surrounded the halls and it was much easier to talk to lots of new people than I thought.

One of the things I was most looking forward to was freshers week!

Advice for freshers week


The idea of going out every night with a bunch of new people sounded fun, I couldn’t wait for the first night.

That feeling however slowly deteriorated as it got to half way through the week, tired and having developed freshers flu, the thought of going out again didn’t seem so fun after all. But we all made it through and we deserve a gold medal.

After still feeling drained from freshers week, lectures began to start and trust me, they were weird at the start!

Throughout school I was helped so much in lessons by teachers, I was helped little at Sixth Form having to become an independent student but here although independence is very much part of my degree, having to organise myself and find out the work I have to complete, I feel fully supported by my lecturers and can approach them at any time with any issues.

As I start my first year, I hope I still have this positive attitude throughout the years of my degree, enthusiastically completing my work and I cannot be more happier that I chose a university which is perfect for me.