It is hard to believe it is almost five years ago that the Government published its response to the recommendations of the Further Education Learning Technology Action Group established by the then FE and Skills Minister Matt Hancock. In summary, it was a wake-up call for Colleges, policymakers and FE agencies:
“FELTAG will aim to best support the agile evolution of the FE sector in anticipation of disruptive technology, for the benefit of learners, employers & the UK economy as a whole.”
The recommendations came under six major themes:
- 1 Horizon scanning and context
To what extent does the College have the leadership and vision to not only see the digital future but plan for it?
- 2 Learners and Learning Technology
To what extent do the Learners use their own technology and expertise in their learning?
- 3 Employers and Learning Technology
How close does the College work with employers and their digital technology?
- 4 Regulation and Funding
Does the current funding and accountability systems support of hinder the use of digital technology?
- 5 Investment and Capital Infrastructure
Is the investment policy and capital infrastructure sustainable, sufficient, safe and robust.t
- 6 Providers Capacity & Capability
Does the workforce have the confidence and competence to use technology effectively for teaching, learning and assessment.
Many FE Colleges welcomed the recommendations and embraced the spirit of the FELTAG. The regulatory and funding bodies OFSTED, OFQUAL, ESFA and other Government bodies were less speedy in their response and some still act as an inhibitor to the innovation needed to ensure Colleges stay relevant to the changing digital world and consequent change in learning habits.
Support, funding and cpd, is available from a range of sources as it is really dependent on individual Colleges to develop their own strategies for the future and these include:
Education and Training Foundation https://www.et-foundation.co.uk/about-us/
Chartered College of Teaching https://chartered.college/
Blended Learning Consortium http://www.blc-fe.org/
This article was written by Bob Harrison, Chair of Governors Northern College, Board member Oldham College, UfI Trustee and former Education Adviser for Toshiba Information Systems Northern Europe.
Follow him on twitter @bobharrisonedu