From education to employment

Technology can change so much for the better

I’ve been a teacher for 30 years now and I know what the challenges are with teaching different year groups and difficulty levels, and meeting the needs of people with disabilities of various kinds – one male in ten is colour blind, for example, and the same proportion of people are dyslexic. I, myself, have got dyslexia so I know how it feels to struggle in a classroom.

I also know the difference that technology can make for everyone. It can be as simple as giving people resources in formats that work for them. Technology can empower a learner to do something they’ve never done before, give them independence, or enable them to do something quicker, or a bit better, than they did before. I’ve seen those differences again and again. I was totally won over to the idea of using digital in teaching, so I became an ambassador for it. Technology can change so much for the better.

Now I work at a very large institution and we use the Microsoft Educator Community. There are thousands of courses on there, all badged up and all within a community where people work together and encourage each other. At Grimsby Institute there’s a hugely positive culture around technology and our principal believes in leading from the front on this. She does the courses and she’s got more badges than I have.

We’ve got lots of free courses and we encourage our staff to do these to help them find smarter ways to work. So much so that we built something called Level Up, which won the AoC Beacon Award for digital staff development. When they do a course and achieve a pass, that’s one digital thrill, and then we photograph them with their pin badge and we’ll post it on Yammer so everyone can see their achievement. After that, they nominate two colleagues so my team know who to go to next to start training.

Deborah Miller

Related Articles