who is Roger Frost?
In case someone once asked ‘who is Roger Frost’ … he’s a writer who collects ideas on using technology which you can now find on this web. He writes about introducing technology into the home while back in the day he wrote about introducing technology into school teaching.
Over twenty years, Roger Frost ran events to show teachers the value of using technology in school. Quite a lot of people invited him into their school to do that. He would write chapters for publishers and review resources for teaching. The aim was to enthuse people to improve how they taught. It did start a ‘think’ that there was something useful on the computer and eventually IT took root in school life. Over those years he got to learn about training : journalism : teaching science : making animation : publishing books : writing brochures : scripting voice-overs : making speeches : marketing : catching trains and planes and a great deal about sensors.
There’s a lot on this site because from 1988 to 2018 Frost wrote about pretty much everything made for teaching science. He would spread the knowledge about anything that could make science accessible. He also made software that made science accessible – and Organic Chemistry by Roger Frost does that for chemistry.
How it began, sort of
Roger Frost used to teach chemistry and science just yards from where he grew up in London’s East End. Here on the front line of teaching, he took his science classes to the computer room to experiment with ways to make some topics understood. Back in 1985 computers only sometimes worked so there was a lot of experimenting and failure was common.
Chemistry was a big subject up till the eighties when we weighed in pounds and fuelled in gallons. Those were its glory years. You could teach chemistry without the safety police on your back. But one day the safety police came to his school. They cleared the room of anything that might tempt a pupil to take up chemistry for the wrong reason. They confiscated a stick of potassium he was saving for millennium night. They cleared the shelf and just left a bottle of rock salt – adding the label “HARMFUL if thrown”. In later years the safety police would say that this was never their intention but frankly I think the CLEAPSS people helped to mess it up.
Frost mused on ways to regain the ‘risk’ that made chemistry experiments such fun. What could one do? The answer came after using the awful computers at school: if you really wanted something to blow up in your face, the school network was even better than potassium. So came the challenge to tame technology and find its potential.
In 1988, Frost became a school adviser at ILECC, the Inner London Educational Computing Centre and North London Science Centre, Islington. With his background in instrumentation, and after a call from adviser John Bertram, he turned a corner and became interested in data logging. He collected ideas for a booklet he gave to local schools. Soon school advisers were buying the booklets in bulk. So encouraged, he wrote and published a series of ideas booklets which became reference works worldwide. By 1992 he was working full-time as a freelance for the education press and running events in schools. Since then he has written brochures, manuals, adverts and reviewed IT products aplenty. This web site records his findings and experiment ideas. His CV is here.
But then there’s his remarkable chemistry animation. After years of never finding any help for teaching organic chemistry he developed some. It’s called Roger Frost’s Organic Chemistry It was made in partnership with his friends at White House Business Solutions and today in 2023 it’s being updated for re-release.
Does he have any other life? Yup! He has two sons into art. Roger himself can’t draw and has lost the skill of using a pen. The oldest son is artist and art lecturer Dr Alex Frost at www.alexfrost.com. The other one is an advertising copywriter and a social media prankster at www.olifro.st.
Roger can ski, ice-skate, dance, do ceroc & modern jive, paper the wall, program chips, automate the home and get drunk on a half-pint. He loves gadgets and owns a ridiculous collection of servers, cables and power bricks. He used to do a trick where you light a beer bottle filled with butane and burn your fingers as it goes whoop. He laughed it off by saying it’s just part of growing up. Actually, he laughs most things off and he is indeed still growing up even though he is retired. He now goes on walks, dances, helps his local u3a and messes about with home automation & the Raspberry pi. You can find him on facebook or linkedin links above. To get in touch you write a ‘comment’ below this page – it won’t be published but will get through.
Roger Frost worked on dozens of school projects and wrote these books:
- Data logging in Practice 1999 – 2005. ISBN 0-9520257-4-4
- Software for Science Teaching 1999 – 2005
- Learning Highways (NCET) – the government’s advice on using the Internet, written with co-author Roger Blamire
- The IT in Science book of data logging and control. ISBN 0-9520257-1-X
- The IT in Secondary science book ISBN 0 9520257 2 8
- Enhancing Science with IT 1994 co-author ISBN 1 85379270 5
- IT in Primary Science ISBN 0-9520257-3-6 – also in Dutch
- Information Technology (Nelson), 1993 co-author ISBN 0-17-438572-2
- and numerous textbook and software projects for education publishers
Home & work history
- Somerford Street, Whitechapel, London E1 – 12 years
- St Dominic’s Priory, Cuffley, Hertfordshire – pupil
- Old Montague Street, Whitechapel, London E1 – 8 years
- Central Foundation School, Old Street, London EC1 – pupil
- Mile End Hospital, London E1 – medical scientist – 3 years
- Hackney Hospital, London E8 – clinical chemistry – 7 years
- Institute of Education, University of London – postgrad – 1980
- Forburg Road, Hackney, London N16 – home – 3 years
- Mile End, Bow, London E3 – home – 3 years
- Dalston Mount School, Dalston, London N16 – teacher – 3 years
- Sir John Cass’ School, Stepney, London E1 – teacher – 3 years
- ILECC / North London Science Centre, Islington, London – adviser – 4 years
- King’s College, University of London – postgrad
- Hackney, Homerton, London E9 – home & work – 16 years
- Cambridge, UK – home – current