Tail Wags Dog?

Having been away from ‘the front line’ of the sector until recently, I was pleased to attend an event put on by a learning provider to share with other providers, their experience in developing a range of dynamic learning materials in a major project. During the course of the day the guest providers were also invited to share their own progress for introducing technology into the mainstream of teaching and learning. I was a little surprised with the answers.

[Read more…]

Learning Technology self-assessment tools are OK…

…but it rather depends on who’s ‘ticking the boxes’.

It’s well known that the majority of colleges and independent learning providers are not yet realising the benefits of technology to deliver courses online, or to ‘manage’ learners such as apprentices. This despite evidence that the learning technology available today has already been proven by hundreds of organisations to reduce costs, enhance quality, engage learners and employers and in the case of apprenticeships, put the control back in the hands of management. [Read more…]

Right time to take the tech challenge?

A response to the FE Week Technology Supplement September 2016

“Right time to take the tech challenge?” Is the title of the opening piece by Jude Burke for the Technology Supplement-2016 published by FE Week, which looks at ‘all things technology-related for the FE and Skills sector.’ Collating views and opinions of key stakeholders and sharing some of the many ways that colleges and other providers are embracing new and emerging technologies. But the right time? When was the right time, Jude? [Read more…]

eAssessment Portfolios: Making a silk purse out of an outdated, inefficient…

12 months ago today I published an article on the subject of ePortfolios (same old, same old) and the fact that so many learning providers were sitting on the technological fence, effectively ‘staying as they are’ using paper portfolios to manage competency based qualifications such as apprenticeships.

It would appear that the situation hasn’t moved on too much. So who are you going to call? [Read more…]

ePortfolios for apprentices: A guide for providers and employers

(as well as: QCFs, NVQs, BTECs, Key Skills, short courses and all criteria-based qualifications).

Overview

Despite previous articles suggesting the contrary, I don’t consider all statements on the use of technology from the past as being ‘out of date’, far from it. My concern is when agencies which purport to ‘lead the way’ in the use of technology for Post-16 education, choose to ignore what has already been established for years. Such as the findings and recommendations from the Becta report on ePortfolios for apprenticeships 2009, which begins with this statement:

“We think that e-portfolios are going to be important for apprenticeships.”
In Harnessing Technology: Next Generation Learning 2008–14 (2008)

Well I didn’t see that reflected in recent advice and guidance. [Read more…]

Is your information past its sell by date?

All too often I read a report or survey on Learning Technology to find that although it is presented as though new, on closer inspection, I find that the information it relies upon to form a conclusion may be traced back to information from over a decade ago or even further. This particularly applies to technology for the work based and adult learning sector such as e-Assessment Portfolios for apprenticeships which some organisations appear to ignore – which begs a few questions: [Read more…]

FELTAG, an objective or a bit too difficult for the SFA?

As many will know to their cost, I have often had plenty to say about the FELTAG recommendations right from the publication  in 2014, when it was the main topic of an RSC Northwest (Regional Support Centre) team meeting, when I was a member of a brilliant team of e-learning advisers. Until today in this final rant following an abysmal cop-out of a report by the SFA during a special webinar arranged by ALT, last week.

Special as it was important to learn what the SFA findings were from various studies after an incredibly long delay. But not so special as it most certainly wasn’t worth the wait other than at least I know where we all stand and what comes to mind is the Monty Python ‘Dead parrot sketch.’ Inasmuch as although the spirit of FELTAG, is alive and well, I was pretty sure that this parrot might as well be deceased, were it not that agencies perhaps with a vested interest to state otherwise, keep poking it. [Read more…]

Area Reviews: what colleges apparently don’t need to know

It would appear that they don’t need to know too much about the effect that technology has on key review questions such as reducing costs or raising quality and efficiency. Not to mention the need for colleges to ‘be equipped to respond to the reform and expansion of the apprenticeship programme.’  An important area that warrants serious use of the ‘right’ technology.

I may be wrong as I am only going by the objectives of area reviews and the criteria stated for consultant’s (as in cash for) which still doesn’t include specialist knowledge in technology. But I would have thought by now that even those in high places should be aware that using a few ‘techie’ sounding words here and there will not suffice. Not if it impacts on the bottom line it doesn’t. [Read more…]

Technology in Education, the new Industrial Revolution

From guest writer Judy Bloxham.

We are now at a point two years on from Feltag, so has anything changed?

The Feltag panel discussion at Jisc Digifest, whilst it revealed some examples of good practice, returned to many of the pre-Feltag issues we have long observed. There are three main areas that need to come together to help improve the uptake of technology on learning and teaching in the FE and Skills sector. [Read more…]

Walking in Virtual Worlds

From guest writer Judy Bloxham.

This week I have participated in two conferences. Open Badges in HE at Southampton University, a mere 800 mile round trip in a day. Then Virtual Worlds Best Practices in Education, a conference involving people from all over the world from my office desk. At the first I was just an attendee, but the VWBPE involved presenting in the virtual space with a colleague about our observations of the difference Augmented Reality could make to learning.

So what is this Virtual Reality, how does it differ from Augmented Reality? [Read more…]