Vikki Liogier, Head of Learning Technologies, Education and Training Foundation

Since its launch at the Bett show at the end of January, the ETF’s new Enhance Digital Teaching Platform has come a long way. Those present at that preview session will recall we demonstrated just a handful of modules that day.

Today (1 Apr), funded by the Department for Education, there are forty modules available and we are pleased to say that they are being well-used and favourably appraised. The modules cover a really wide range of subjects to help you embed digital technologies in your delivery. They include using virtual and immersive reality to engage learners, designing mobile-friendly learning, using hashtags, digital problem-solving skills, and developing collaborative study skills.

In addition to the variety and quality of the content we have developed, there are many other things that recommend the platform. Each of the modules is bite-sized, making it easy and convenient to undertake them during your busy working life. They are also linked to the Digital Teaching professional Framework, to ensure that you build a portfolio of digital knowledge and skills by using them.

The modules are pitched at three different levels – exploring, adopting and leading – helping practitioners develop their skills – and a built-in algorithm makes helpful suggestions about which modules you may wish to undertake based on your previous usage. Completing the modules will help practitioners demonstrate their professional development. Crucially, the Enhance platform has been designed not to become obsolete in the way that some do, because it does not lean heavily on the use of particular products or sites that come and go, but instead concentrates on pedagogy.

I hope that the platform will help many practitioners feel more confident in their use of digital technologies because they can be a transformational force in education. Innovations that improve accessibility, such as translation software or solutions for sight problems, are becoming more prevalent. At the same time, the use of virtual or augmented reality is something that many of you will have seen in action. If you have, you will be aware of the significant promise this technology has. Its potential stretches across the curriculum. It can be used by art and design students to illustrate the processes they have gone through to produce a work, or to create immersive learning environments to teach health and safety to construction students.

While the benefits of harnessing digital technologies are clear, doing so is not always straightforward. A number of barriers to the adoption of digital technology in the sector were identified in a 2018 report for the Education and Training Foundation by Sero Consulting. It pinpointed both practical considerations – such as a lack of access to Wifi, unreliable IT infrastructure and hardware, and difficulties in accessing tools and resources – as well as a lack of staff confidence in their own digital skills.

Practical considerations can be a very real problem. In my own career I’ve worked in colleges with Wifi that could be described as erratic at best, where the signal was strong in corridors, but almost non-existent in some classrooms. I’ve seen, too, institutions invest in kit or software that is either incompatible with existing provision or that becomes obsolete very quickly. Such problems suggest issues with planning across different teams and departments and the answer to them is better coordination.

The issue of individual staff members lacking confidence in their own digital skills is a different one. If you are reading this and recognise yourself as someone who falls into the category of digitally-unsure, then I encourage you to take the plunge; acquiring these skills isn’t as foreboding as it may seem – the ETF offers a free online basic digital skills course – and your confidence will quickly grow.

Students are digitally-ready; the vast majority have digital devices with them all the time and are prepared to experiment to overcome unfamiliarity with technologies. For them, technology is an opportunity rather than a challenge. That preparedness can be leveraged, and I have seen for myself instances where something as simple as getting students involved in filming a learning experience on their phones has a massive impact on their engagement with the lesson. Their involvement can also boost a teacher’s own skills and confidence.

Facilitating, enabling and being open to learning from those you are teaching, opens up possibilities that digital technologies can help you take advantage of and that can make you a more impactful practitioner. I encourage you all to grasp the opportunities.

Vikki Liogier, Head of Learning Technologies, Education and Training Foundation

You may also be interested in these articles:

Sponsored Video

Advertisers

Upcoming FE Events

Advertiser Skyscrapers

Newsroom Activity

NCH London added a new event 5 hours

New College of the Humanities is pleased to announce that...

New College of the Humanities is pleased to announce that we will be taking part in National Apprenticeship Week 2021 #NAW2021 On the 9th February...

  • Tuesday, 09 February 2021 09:00 AM
  • London - Online
Vanessa Skinner has published a new article: Supporting Student Wellbeing During a Pandemic 11 hours 46 minutes ago

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 May 2020, FE News had over 120,000 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.

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.

Podcasts

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.

Events

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