Up in Manchester today for the Westminster Briefing on the use of learning technology in Further Education.
A great panel chaired by my good friend Rachel Challen from Loughborough College, discussing how we encourage lecturers and trainers (and the organisations they work) in to embed technology and develop the digital literacy skills of both themselves and their students.
Some really interesting points from Kevin Campbell-Wright of NIACE and Deb Millar of Blackburn College on getting whole organisation buy-in for blended learning which overlapped and reinforced those in my presentation on what’s being done at Heart of Worcestershire College:
- All staff need to be ‘sold’ the wins that will come from using technology in learning (Deb calls this ‘baiting the hook’)
- Teachers need to be given the time, access and opportunity to develop their digital literacy and learning technology skills
- Individual teachers, departments and whole colleges need to take a collaborative approach to design and development
- We need teachers to advocate to teachers on the benefits of edtech and have opportunities to share their pedagogy, digital designs
- We need to actively collect and reflectively use learner feedback
All of this means investing in both staff support and in development and design time. Blended learning isn’t the ‘cheap option’ and it shouldn’t be seen as that – it is an opportunity to provide more inclusive and flexible study programmes which reach more learners and build the digital literacy skills they need for the future.
There was also some good news from Steve Nichols of the SFA who said he hopes that a ‘carrot rather than stick’ approach can be taken when it comes to funding the blended curriculum.