Future proofing? What about giving them the skills for today?

Apparently managers aren’t doing enough to train employees for the future. There’s also a UK Government Industrial Strategy which is “a long term plan to boost the productivity and earning power of people throughout the UK”.

When I arrived in my new job delivering initial teacher training to FE staff it became swiftly apparent that managers aren’t encouraging employees to be fully equipped for the here and now, let alone build resilience to cope with the future. I’ve gone right back to basics with my learning tech. Just to give you some idea just how far back to basics here’s where I’m at:

  • I don’t have a virtual learning environment. There’s no scope to have one in the future either.
  • The extent of “using technology” when I arrived was the tutors uploading and mapping into the e-portfolio and using WebEx to deliver. Teleconferencing rather than VoIP too.
  • Limited digital capability of colleagues. Seriously. You would think I am a Master of the Dark Arts because I filter spreadsheets.

Clearly we’re not in Kansas anymore and someone has nicked my glittery red shoes. It does mean that I get to really practise my learning technology skills going back to basics, rolling back the clock many years and looking at this all with the wide eyes of someone on the edge of an abyss.

My first barrier was browsers; the first addition of learning tech was Padlet. After I’d reviewed all the recommended reading given to staff working towards their Award or Certificate in Education and Training (AET or CET), and more significantly ditched all the broken and redundant links I was able to see what we were actually left with. Here we are in 2017 still talking about PTLLS, LSIS and IfL. So out with the old, and in with the new resource packs for AET and CET.

Made with Padlet

As a fan of visual bookmarking it really helps collate the things I need, without the need for my learners to be logging into anything else and that they can access on whatever device they have available. Notes are easily copied, amended and updated. And most importantly the learners are using it. They’re reading around the subjects, they’re engaging with the technology and one of them has even asked me how he could use it in his sessions. So, without sounding like I’m blowing my own trumpet, I am also demonstrating some of the key Professional Standards for Teachers in what I’m doing as I:

  • Inspire, motivate and raise aspirations of learners through your enthusiasm and knowledge
  • Am creative and innovative in selecting and adapting strategies to help learners to learn
  • Promote the benefits of technology and support learners in its use

There are other things that I’m slowly implementing and updating: dragging people kicking and screaming as I go. They’re for another post. And another post after that. And other posts. So, whether you’re starting out new and don’t have the tools at your disposal and all the learning techs around you are talking about whizzy stuff that’s beyond your comprehension right now, OR if you’ve forgot how basic it can get (and maybe needs to be) back at the chalkboard I’ll be here sharing my insights.

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