Expanding the use of new technology is crucial to the way in which we are improving lives through learning. However, we also use innovative thinking to help our own tutors to deliver lessons in a more streamlined, effective and inclusive way.
Finding the best education technology can also support our team gain skills for themselves, as well as our students! This is called Continued Professional Development (CPD) and it is a core value of our services, as we believe in lifelong learning for everyone. Including those who deliver education.
Our latest EdTech project
Some of the ACL team recently embarked on an exciting project that used advanced Education Technology (EdTech) to explore ways to make education more accessible to a wider range of students.
This involved working with the Education & Training Foundation. They guided our team members through modules on their Enhance Digital Teaching Platform and supported them using something called a Digital Teaching Professional Framework.
What this all means is that the ACL tutors benefitted from both collaborative skill enhancement – working with each other and their project leader – and also bespoke training in the use of new digital accessibility tools.
What were the goals?
The ACL team members each had their desired outcomes from the project.
Jo Loss, Learning Technologies Manager, was particularly interested in how digital accessibility can remove barriers for learners. Could digitalising more education content provide students with improved access to documents, and could it break down language barriers too?
The welfare of students using remote learning tools was the primary aim of Gillian Brotherwood. Particularly screen time and digital wellbeing.
Jane Coughlan, Tutor, meanwhile, had a specific interest in something called flipped learning, which is a teaching strategy that creates more interaction between tutors and students.
The final project participant, Sharon Roberts, Tutor, hoped to develop a greater understanding of how EdTech can create greater digital inclusion, using the Dealing with Difference and Diversity modules within this new programme.
Part of the overall focus of this innovative project was to give ACL staff greater insights and confidence in how they deliver blended learning to our students. Supporting our community of learners with different delivery methods and tools is important. To enable them to learn at their pace and in ways that release their learning potential.
This is why the innovative partnership between ACL and the Education & Training Foundation set the theme as: “Where are you now and where do you want to be?”.
This question can apply both to the way our team use EdTech to enhance their own skills and education delivery systems, and the way we use digital tools to support students on their learning journeys.
The immediate results of this project are already clear. The way we deliver our adult education courses is being updated, by what our team members learnt.
The tutors have also gained a better understanding of their own digital welfare (such as taking rest periods when delivering online education), as well as new abilities to use digital methods to extend learning to a more diverse range of students.
How does this impact our learners?
Let’s look at one outcome of this EdTech project.
It showed our team how best to use a collaborative approach to homework. Supporting students to co-work outside the classroom.
Gillian Brotherwood said: “The learners seemed buoyant about having the opportunity to work together. They left the class inspired about completing their homework. The well-being of the learners increased positively. “
This perfectly sums up our vision of providing students with lifelong learning opportunities that are not only beneficial academically, but also enjoyable and inclusive!
Browse our site for course options for adult learners, or feel free to contact us to discuss your goals and any accessibility questions you have.
Do you know someone who lacks confidence engaging with technology?
It’s becoming increasingly important to use technology to stay in touch with one another, buying goods and services, and accessing important information. Some of us need help to feel confident and safe doing this.
Delivered in our centres across Essex, we offer FREE Digital & Computer Skills courses to help people:
- Improve understanding of their devices
- Help people communicate online with family and friends
- Feel more secure browsing the internet
- Gain the advice, support and guidance they need