A North-east man is creating gardening videos to share with his students during lockdown.
The green- fingered lecturer is making YouTube videos to stay connected with his gardening students, and continue their teaching throughout the pandemic.
Martin Dear, 65, of Portlethen, teaches at north east Scotland College (NESCOL) and specialises in supporting people with a wide range of learning difficulties.
After lockdown was enforced, he decided to get behind the camera and keep his students entertained and educated on horticulture.
He said: “It was initially to engage with my students and turn a mostly practical subject into one that supports their aims to be successful.
“I then was able to adapt the videos into online assessments.
“This is not new, but for students with additional needs it is challenging.”
Each video demonstrates a practical task for the students, and upcoming clips will feature gardening tasks such as summer bedding of the plants, and sowing of the seeds and propagating.
He said: “It will see things through from seed to flower. I try to keep them around three minutes so I don’t lose their attention.”
As students are no longer able to attend their classes, Martin decided to bring virtual lessons to them in the comfort of their homes.
He said: “I can’t work from home and I can’t keep the poly tunnel and allotment going without visiting.
“The students had planted things before lockdown, so I’m bringing that to fruition.
“I didn’t want to waste it. It’s to show them the progress they’ve made and get them to answer questions.
“It’s also to support them through the qualifying units, so that’s where it all stemmed from.”
He added: “Once I’ve done these videos they can be used each year and hey will be a resource for the college even if I’m not there.
“Staff are engaging with it too because they’re isolated as well.”
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The videos have been a hit, and some have gained 1,000 views, with people from even further afield tuning in.
He said: “I’ve had requests from California and Australia to do one in the local accent.”
Martin is also a board member of Inspire PTL, which provides support to people with learning disabilities and additional support needs, including autism across the north-east of Scotland.
After learning that they were not able to hold their annual sunflower competition, he stepped in to help.
He said: “I offered the Sunflower plants that the students had started, so it was on their behalf that the plants were donated.”
As well as this, he is donating a surplus of tomato plants to people, in hopes that the will reach into their pockets and provide funds to NHS front line workers and Easter Anguston Farm, which supports adults with learning support needs.
Due to lockdown, the farm is in danger of closing its doors.
He said: “The other plants in excess of what we need will be offered out providing a donation is given to the NHS charity.
“All of this would not be possible without all students participating but particularly our Qualification for Work group.”