Going Digital

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What does it take to get FE & Skills off the fence?

The word on the street, blogs, forums etc. Is that the use of technology to deliver teaching, learning and assessment is not as high as one would believe possible. [Read more…]

Roll up, roll up – become an Apprentice

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Roll up, roll up – become an Apprentice, you know it makes sense because everyone says so.

Well that rather depends!

In my opinion it depends primarily on the quality controls of the Learning Providers, the relationship they have with employers and the skills and dedication of the personnel meeting the needs of all concerned. But from the would-be Apprentice point of view, the offers will all look the same on a whizzy website. So how will they choose? [Read more…]

How using social media can make literacy and numeracy lessons more engaging

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As a Skills for Life consultant, I have been holding workshops which promote the use of social media in supporting the development of literacy and numeracy skills.  Most young people live their lives through social media, so introducing tools that they enjoy using and are familiar with makes SFL delivery more engaging and enjoyable.   I frequently hear from trainers and teachers who proudly announce ‘I don’t have a mobile/I have never tweeted/my students don’t have access to a computer – ever!’ and I see a familiarity with my own learning experience, when teachers told me they didn’t own a television set or disparaged my choice of newspaper. I wasn’t impressed. The gap between the teacher and student only widened. [Read more…]

The barriers to implementing technology Q & A

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But do you know what Questions to ask in the first place and who do you rely on to provide the Answers?

I was recently asked if I would share my views on what was described as ‘questions that learning providers ask themselves about common obstacles to implementing technology’. In that we could discuss the questions we both try to address daily and hopefully we would be able to offer learning providers some answers. [Read more…]

Problem, what problem?

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When running a food manufacturing company in an earlier life, a young engineer that I had called in to address a packaging machine problem, asked about the antics going on at a different machine which had operators going to great lengths to ‘keep the production line going.’ I explained that we hadn’t time to shut down for the few days it would take to fix it, as we would be late delivering orders and so would make do until we could find the time to sort it out.

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It’s alright for you John, but how do I keep up with all that’s out there?

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…this was one of the most frequent questions I was asked when I was working as an eLearning Adviser for the North West Regional Support Centre (Sadly no longer with us). [Read more…]

I haven’t got time to use technology

technology

“I haven’t got time to use technology”: Have you really got the time not to?

For quite a few years now I’ve been enjoying the benefits of teaching and learning tools, which can be accessed via the Internet, that are free and very easy to use. I’ve been delivering staff development in the use of technology, to teachers and lecturers, for more than ten years. I have found, that for anything to be widely accepted, it really does have to have both of those components, the very short learning curve being the most important. [Read more…]

Professional development for FE & Skills Practitioners

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CPD1How would you feel if you went to…

a doctors and, while waiting for your appointment, discovered that the doctor hadn’t had any Professional development 4 practitioner training since they qualified in the 70’s? [Read more…]

Days of Staff Development, are they effective?

Staff Development

After a few weeks of chasing students for missing work, internal verification meetings and forward planning, you could be forgiven for thinking, great , now relax, here comes the summer holidays. But don’t break open the suntan lotion just yet, you’ve still got one more hurdle to climb and it’s a big one. It’s staff developments days. [Read more…]

Is Work Based Learning Fit for the 21st Century?

I have been very fortunate to have spent more than a decade dishing out advice, supporting and occasionally nagging, learning providers about the fantastic and often simple technology available to them. But here we are beginning the fifteenth year of the 21st century when I  feel the need to make the following observations which may touch a nerve with some, bewilder others and perhaps, just perhaps, encourage a few to reconsider their organisations methods of delivering Teaching, Learning and Assessment in Post-16 education. Particularly in the FE & Skills sector.
[Read more…]