At a recent Inside Government event, FELTAG 2017: Embracing Digital Technology in Further Education, I followed speakers including Bob Harrison, one of the original FELTAG members like me, and William Cutler, Head of EdTech and Digital Skills Co-ordination, Department for Education, giving a keynote, and mine was on workforce development to maximise Learning Technology impact. I approached my topic in in three ways: first, I set out what questions we need to ask about skills and capabilities, second, I explored how and open online course can support workforce development and third I showcased how ALT’s accreditation scheme, CMALT, can help increase intelligent use of Learning Technology.
As chief executive of ALT one of the questions I think about most is how we work in learning, teaching and assessment, what skills we need to do our jobs well and how we develop and recognise those skills. ALT’s work is usually focused on a specific group of professionals, those with Learning Technology as part of their role. But as Learning Technology becomes a bigger part of what institutions do, more and more roles develop a Learning Technology component and more expertise is needed. The results of ALT’s Annual Survey, for example, highlights a trend for more senior roles with a focus on Learning Technology as well as an overall increase.
At the Bett show we heard from two Ministers, who each shared their vision for the future of technology in education. In my work for the Association I have been involved in Education Technology Action Group (ETAG), as well as the Further Education Learning Technology Action Group (FELTAG), and I listened with interest to find out which ideas and recommendations would be included in their speeches.
On Tuesday 10 November I had the opportunity to give oral evidence to the Commons Select Committee for their digital economy inquiry. ALT had already submitted written evidence representing our members, and this opportunity to speak to MPs about skills and professional development in a digital economy was a rare chance to have our voice heard.
The Government's response to the FELTAG report was published last week. I have written about FELTAG, the Further Education Learning Technology Action Group set up by Matthew Hancock, MP and Minister of State for Skills and Enterprise, previously - and many of you will have contributed to the work of the group in some way over the past year.