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…]

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…]

Apprenticeships, employers, providers…

…what is the connection with technology and why should we care?

Well according to those enforcing government policy, not much and going by the services being meted out by high level consultations, such as with area reviews, even less. But for the learning providers on the ground it ought to be essential although there appears to be a severe shortage of impartial and up to date advice should they need it and unfortunately, many still do. For whilst there is much talk about FELTAG and online or blended learning there is precious little about ‘managing’ apprenticeships using technology which also addresses  teaching, learning and assessment, for the workplace. [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…]

Incentive8’s ‘Learning Technology Review’ is fit for purpose – Why?

Well check out the latest video from our creative content team which shows how the Incentive8 review differs from other ‘technology reviews’ which are invariably based on a form of ‘self-assessment tool’.

It’s no secret that the majority of colleges and independent learning providers are not yet realising the benefit of  using appropriate learning technology to ‘manage’ their learners, especially apprentices on work based learning courses.  Despite the evidence that the learning technology available in 2016 has been proven by hundreds of organisations to reduce costs, enhance quality, engage learners and employers and most important of all, put the control back in the hands of management by providing data in ‘real time and not by way of word of mouth, spreadsheets using methods spawned two decades ago and clung to by those avoiding change. Its not a myth, its a fact. 

[Read more…]

Chalk and cheese

incentive-8.info

Chalk and Cheese – “you usually get what you pay for.”

A statement reported to have been made by an SFA policy manager during a talk at Bett recently said “The Skills Funding Agency isn’t going to implement a cheap rate for online learning. I think we all appreciate that it’s not the cheap option” he added.

FE Week: Online learning ‘not cheap option‘.

Well speaking for myself, I never considered online learning as having much to do with being ‘a cheap option’. Simply the blindingly obvious thing to do and I wouldn’t think that many others in the business of steering FE & Skills into the 21st century do either and the government response to the Feltag recommendations which was what the conversation related to, simply states that they ‘will introduce an online only funding rate.’ Followed by an announcement by the then skills minister, in June 2014,“This will allow us to road-test the funding and audit implications of online delivery“.  Must have been a heck of a long road.  [Read more…]

Embrace eLearning and all its benefits

From guest writer, John Dalziel:

I wrote the notes, on which this post is based, just over a year ago with the view to add to my podcasts. It didn’t happen, for lots of reasons but, having found my notes again, thought I’d share it with you.

With or without the suggestions from FELTAG, does your organisation have a huge bank of courses to be developed and rolled-out to learners?

Are you, like so many other learning providers, unsure of how to approach this daunting task? [Read more…]

Technology and Blended Learning

incentive-8.info

There appears to be an upsurge of interest in the use of technology in blended learning, even I am engaged in a MOOC at this time and whilst it may not be high on the list of staff development for many, I thought it appropriate to refresh my page of ‘tools’  to see if former favourites remain so and I am pleased to say, they are.

These are just a few of the dozens of examples of software tools which meet my essential criteria to stand a chance of being used. They must be free or low cost, need little or no ICT skills to create content and appropriate to use alongside current Teaching and Learning practices. Including the essential ‘board and chalk’.

Please note: The list is by no means comprehensive and  this selection is simply to raise awareness and for readers to ‘try out’ and as always I suggest that they should be used within the framework of a Staff Development Programme or strategy. [Read more…]