Everywhere you turn at the moment the education sector seems to be talking about learning technology. From the hype around MOOCs through to news of disruptive technologies that are promising (or threatening!) to revolutionise education, there seems to be a real awakening (at last!) towards the impact technology can have on delivering a more efficient skills system and engaging teaching and learning experience.

I have spent almost 25 years in the skills sector and in that time I have seen the phenomenal change that has taken place in technology adoption. Children being born right now will expect and be motivated by a completely different learning environment than I, and many of my peers in FE, enjoyed.

I've been concerned in the past that despite all the noise and talk, the pace of change that technology and digital can bring has not been reflected in the FE community up to now. But I sense a change and a growing realisation, even better an acceptance, that technology in learning needs to be adopted and made central to any college strategy for growth. I also know from conversations with practitioners across the sector that there are pockets of innovation and tutors who are successfully experimenting with learning technology. However, we have to move faster and invest more to ensure the gap between what learners expect from their college environment and the experiences they actually have inside and outside the classroom don't grow ever wider.

Earlier this month we saw the FELTAG recommendations to Government to encourage better adoption of learning technology in FE. What I took from this report, and something that I wholeheartedly agree with, is that the sector needs to be empowered to make the changes from within. FE leaders and senior managers need to encourage the experimentation that is already happening across the sector and there need to be better facilities for sharing ideas and developments across the sector. The funding system must also adapt to provide the right environment for innovation to happen and to recognise best practice in digital adoption. We must also invest in innovation as a sector alongside investment from Government.

At City & Guilds we've already recognised this need to provide a platform for best practice sharing which is why the Think Out Loud Club was born. A community of learning technology evangelists who are willing to share the pleasure a pain of technology adoption, the Think Out Loud Club is effectively trying to answer one of the FELTAG recommendations by providing a safe space where people can get together and inspire each other about what is possible. We held our first big think last month and I was overwhelmed by the energy and passion in the room and the willingness of everyone to come together and learn from each other.

Building these supportive communities is important for nurturing curiosity about new technology but there will be no real change without action. Part of the sector-wide support needed to improve digital adoption is around the capabilities of individual teachers to understand and apply new technologies. It's no good inspiring people about the possibilities if they are then not given the tools to make these possibilities a reality.

Organisations like City & Guilds also have our role to play in supporting the sector's transition to digital. We are embedding digital content and services into all of our qualifications and a great example of this is our new 14-19 programme of study, the TechBac©. Learners studying for the TechBac© will have access to an online portal that helps them get the skills employers often say are lacking among young people, and those that are not necessarily gained through technical or academic qualifications. Tutors will also be armed with the right support and tools to help them make the best use of the new technology embedded throughout the TechBac©.

A technology that we have been exploring in the Think Out Loud Club, and which came up in the FELTAG recommendations, is Mozilla's Open Badges. Despite challenging the traditional qualifications model, I am excited by their potential and at City & Guilds we been working with Mozilla to explore how we can integrate them into our certification process.

Being open to change, both as an individual and an organisation, is so important to make sure we keep giving today's learner what they need to have an enjoyable and successful education and, ultimately, to provide them with the tools for employment. In a world so driven by technology, now is the time for the FE sector to make the switch.

Kirstie Donnelly is UK managing director of City & Guilds Group, the awarding body

You may also be interested in these articles:

Sponsored Video

Register, Login or Login with your Social Media account:


Upcoming FE Events

Advertiser Skyscrapers

Newsroom Activity

Solvendis added a new event yesterday

Designated Safeguarding Lead Training (Zoom Conferencing)

A provider’s Designated Safeguarding Lead (DSL) plays a critical role in its approach to safeguarding its learners, training its staff, providing...

  • Wednesday, 15 September 2021 10:00 AM
  • Zoom Conferencing
Solvendis added a new event yesterday

Level 3 Award in Education & Training (Zoom Conferencing)

  • Thursday, 23 September 2021 10:00 AM
  • Zoom Conferencing
Solvendis added a new event yesterday

Ofsted Inspection Nominee Training (Zoom Conferencing)

Within inspection, Ofsted invites providers to nominate a senior member of staff to act as the main link with the inspection team. Ofsted suggests...

  • Friday, 23 July 2021 10:00 AM
  • Zoom Conferencing

Latest Education News

Further Education News

The FE News Channel gives you the latest education news and updates on emerging education strategies and the #FutureofEducation and the #FutureofWork.

Providing trustworthy and positive Further Education news and views since 2003, we are a digital news channel with a mixture of written word articles, podcasts and videos. Our specialisation is providing you with a mixture of the latest education news, our stance is always positive, sector building and sharing different perspectives and views from thought leaders, to provide you with a think tank of new ideas and solutions to bring the education sector together and come up with new innovative solutions and ideas.

FE News publish exclusive peer to peer thought leadership articles from our feature writers, as well as user generated content across our network of over 3000 Newsrooms, offering multiple sources of the latest education news across the Education and Employability sectors.

FE News also broadcast live events, podcasts with leading experts and thought leaders, webinars, video interviews and Further Education news bulletins so you receive the latest developments in Skills News and across the Apprenticeship, Further Education and Employability sectors.

Every week FE News has over 200 articles and new pieces of content per week. We are a news channel providing the latest Further Education News, giving insight from multiple sources on the latest education policy developments, latest strategies, through to our thought leaders who provide blue sky thinking strategy, best practice and innovation to help look into the future developments for education and the future of work.

In Jan 2021, FE News had over 173,000 unique visitors according to Google Analytics and over 200 new pieces of news content every week, from thought leadership articles, to the latest education news via written word, podcasts, video to press releases from across the sector, putting us in the top 2,000 websites in the UK.

We thought it would be helpful to explain how we tier our latest education news content and how you can get involved and understand how you can read the latest daily Further Education news and how we structure our FE Week of content:

Main Features

Our main features are exclusive and are thought leadership articles and blue sky thinking with experts writing peer to peer news articles about the future of education and the future of work. The focus is solution led thought leadership, sharing best practice, innovation and emerging strategy. These are often articles about the future of education and the future of work, they often then create future education news articles. We limit our main features to a maximum of 20 per week, as they are often about new concepts and new thought processes. Our main features are also exclusive articles responding to the latest education news, maybe an insight from an expert into a policy announcement or response to an education think tank report or a white paper.

FE Voices

FE Voices was originally set up as a section on FE News to give a voice back to the sector. As we now have over 3,000 newsrooms and contributors, FE Voices are usually thought leadership articles, they don’t necessarily have to be exclusive, but usually are, they are slightly shorter than Main Features. FE Voices can include more mixed media with the Further Education News articles, such as embedded podcasts and videos. Our sector response articles asking for different comments and opinions to education policy announcements or responding to a report of white paper are usually held in the FE Voices section. If we have a live podcast in an evening or a radio show such as SkillsWorldLive radio show, the next morning we place the FE podcast recording in the FE Voices section.

Sector News

In sector news we have a blend of content from Press Releases, education resources, reports, education research, white papers from a range of contributors. We have a lot of positive education news articles from colleges, awarding organisations and Apprenticeship Training Providers, press releases from DfE to Think Tanks giving the overview of a report, through to helpful resources to help you with delivering education strategies to your learners and students.


We have a range of education podcasts on FE News, from hour long full production FE podcasts such as SkillsWorldLive in conjunction with the Federation of Awarding Bodies, to weekly podcasts from experts and thought leaders, providing advice and guidance to leaders. FE News also record podcasts at conferences and events, giving you one on one podcasts with education and skills experts on the latest strategies and developments.

We have over 150 education podcasts on FE News, ranging from EdTech podcasts with experts discussing Education 4.0 and how technology is complimenting and transforming education, to podcasts with experts discussing education research, the future of work, how to develop skills systems for jobs of the future to interviews with the Apprenticeship and Skills Minister.

We record our own exclusive FE News podcasts, work in conjunction with sector partners such as FAB to create weekly podcasts and daily education podcasts, through to working with sector leaders creating exclusive education news podcasts.

Education Video Interviews

FE News have over 700 FE Video interviews and have been recording education video interviews with experts for over 12 years. These are usually vox pop video interviews with experts across education and work, discussing blue sky thinking ideas and views about the future of education and work.


FE News has a free events calendar to check out the latest conferences, webinars and events to keep up to date with the latest education news and strategies.

FE Newsrooms

The FE Newsroom is home to your content if you are a FE News contributor. It also help the audience develop relationship with either you as an individual or your organisation as they can click through and ‘box set’ consume all of your previous thought leadership articles, latest education news press releases, videos and education podcasts.

Do you want to contribute, share your ideas or vision or share a press release?

If you want to write a thought leadership article, share your ideas and vision for the future of education or the future of work, write a press release sharing the latest education news or contribute to a podcast, first of all you need to set up a FE Newsroom login (which is free): once the team have approved your newsroom (all content, newsrooms are all approved by a member of the FE News team- no robots are used in this process!), you can then start adding content (again all articles, videos and podcasts are all approved by the FE News editorial team before they go live on FE News). As all newsrooms and content are approved by the FE News team, there will be a slight delay on the team being able to review and approve content.

 RSS IconRSS Feed Selection Page