Enhancing Practice: exploring innovation with technology in further education
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As ever more intuitive technologies continue to emerge the task is to explore how we can harness the opportunities that these new technologies bring to address some of the challenges facing further education, and how we can support staff and learners to use their technological proficiency in their learning.
This guide focuses on innovative applications of new or existing technologies to support learning in further education.
The case studies featured in this publication show how staff at further education colleges sought innovative ways of using technology to enhance learning; they aimed to engage learners and help them achieve their goals, and to help deliver high-quality learning efficiently.
Many of these projects have the capacity to benefit not just those directly involved but also the wider community, encouraging collaboration and the sharing of effective practice. This approach extends the learning gain so that people can replicate and build on the successes of others and avoid failures.
The publication focuses on how the technologies were used to engage students, enhance learning and achieve sucess.
Technology offers new ways of engaging and communicating with learners, employers and communities, opening up opportunities to extend support and learning beyond traditional boundaries as well as overcoming obstacles to participation.
Technology provides opportunities to enhance learning; for example, using the social and collaborative features of mobile and games technologies enables us to create deeper and richer learning experiences. Technologies that encourage greater communication between peers and between learners and teachers increase opportunities for pastoral support, which creates a sense of community and extends learning beyond taught sessions.
Learners who are engaged, motivated and well supported are more likely to achieve their learning ambitions. Most of us appreciate that technology can do things faster, more easily, more accurately and more efficiently than before, and have an expectation that the technology we use in other areas of our lives will be harnessed to support both our learning and the management of our learning.
Although technology is becoming increasingly intuitive, some learners need encouragement and support to develop confidence to use it effectively for learning. The rewards when they do can make a huge difference to their learning and earning potential.
The growth in open source systems has made it possible for providers to achieve organisational and efficiency savings by designing bespoke systems with comparative ease, although the design process may require technical expertise. The true test of these systems is the impact they have on the overall learning experience and how they support learners’ progress.
How JISC is supporting innovation in further education
Since 2003, JISC has funded over 100 projects that involve further education either as a lead institution or through a higher education partner.