eAssessment Portfolios: Making a silk purse out of an outdated, inefficient…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articles suggesting the contrary, I don’t consider all statements on the use of technology from the past as being ‘out of date’, far from it.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…]

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…]

Doing more for less in FE and Skills

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During a week of disturbing headlines for education, the article Public Accounts Committee to look at FE ‘financial meltdown’ caught my eye, relating as it does to the ongoing saga of FE college finances. Including a reference to the report by the National Audit Office (NAO), which in July stated that the ‘financial health of the FE college sector had been in decline with 110 colleges recording an operating deficit in 2013/14.’   Well clearly the circumstances won’t have improved much since then.  [Read more…]

When is a eLearning adviser, not an eLearning adviser?

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For several years my role has been known as an eLearning Adviser, or is it e-Learning Adviser? With or without the hyphen it is an unhelpful title as it means different things to different organisations and to coin a phrase initiated by Craig Taylor several years ago – when are they going to take the ‘e’ out of ‘eLearning’ anyway. Well, when are they? [Read more…]

Making a silk purse out of an outdated, inefficient…

incentive-8.info

In conversation with the marketing manager for one of the leading suppliers of Educational software the other day, he confirmed what I had suspected but didn’t really appreciate the enormity of, that a large percentage of their learning provider customers still hadn’t rolled their system out across their organisations. Despite one or two departments proving the benefits and would never go back to the ‘old system’, the ‘old’ system was alive and well and staggering along like the sows ear that we know and I loathe. Somewhat bemused that a learning provider, having researched, planned and purchased a system, presumably tested and proven to be the right direction, continues to use an outdated, inefficient process to manage learners for the significant ‘rest of’ their organisation. So he quoted me the figures and neither of us could make sense of it at all. He referred to them as those still ‘sitting on the fence’. Well it must be one hell of a fence. [Read more…]

Leadership and management

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Leadership & management in education is receiving bad press recently, the latest related to under performing schools, but clearly the increased number of learning providers in the FE & Skills sector ‘requiring improvement’ may also have something to do with senior managers either not best equipped to ‘manage’ but have ‘got the job’ anyway. Or simply assume that the rapidly changing world affecting every aspect of human life, doesn’t relate to their organisation. I am of course talking about the use of so called technology. The technology that learners, employers, parents, grandparents take as normal and businesses strive to find new ways of using to improve their products and services to be competitive or simply stay in business. [Read more…]

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…]

When is an IT strategy, not an IT strategy?

Strategy IT

In the context of using technology in the FE & Skills sector, all too often it’s when there isn’t an up to date strategy in the first place, other than in the minds of the executive and or the IT department. Many strategies were produced/written when Becta or LSIS had money to give to colleges for technology enhancements which required an IT strategy. Not many have been updated since.

Even allowing for some truly remarkable exceptions, it is my experience that many Learning Providers in the FE & Skills sector, do not have a comprehensive vision for using and or introducing technology in a cohesive manner and often no formal strategy or action plan to make appropriate use of departmental purchases of hardware or software, let alone make it part of a strategic objective. We know this because? [Read more…]