Flexibility is the byword for most educators at the moment as unpredictable circumstances dictate the need for hybrid models of teaching and learning – usually involving some form of educational technology, or so-called “EdTech”, and some deft digital skills.
Teachers and trainers in the FE and Training sector working in very diverse settings are looking for help to develop their digital practices.
The Education and Training Foundation (ETF), the expert body for professional development and standards in FE sector, has developed a user-friendly online training service, the Enhance Digital Teaching Platform (EnhanceDTP), designed specifically to help FE sector staff with scarce time for CPD to respond just in time to self-identified training needs. The focus is on effective teaching, rather than technology, with a structure that puts teachers in control of their digital CPD.
The platform features two core offers – the first focused on EdTech and the second on Essential Digital Skills. If you are an educator in the FE sector, here is a handy overview on where to start with each one.
The ETF’s Edtech offer is based on our national EdTech competency framework, the Digital Teaching Professional Framework (DTPF), which was developed collaboratively with the sector. This helps to define what progress using EdTech looks like, with three stages of development – Exploring, Adopting, Leading – across seven areas of competence.
The DTPF is a good place to start as it provides a useful framework for reflection to help you identify your training needs. The EnhanceDTP includes an interactive version of the DTPF framework which signposts relevant online training, all of which is free. Each element of the DTPF has been mapped to a series of bite-size training modules which are highly interactive and enable progression from Exploring to Leading. Each module can take as little as five minutes to complete.
You may want to explore all the modules in one competency of the framework, such as element F: Accessibility and Inclusion, or you may wish to explore horizontally across one stage of competence, for example doing all modules at the Exploring stage. There are 37 modules in the Exploring stage which would take 4 hours in total to complete. In practice, of course, you will find that your competence will vary in different areas. The framework and the platform are designed to enable personalised progression, so you can tailor your own training journey. You may prefer to follow a pathway through several training modules linked to specific topics or themes. The EnhanceDTP features a series of Narrative Progression Pathways which will enable you to do this as well.
As you complete bite-sized modules you will be awarded digital EdTech badges. Like the modules, the badges are at different levels – 1 star for completing modules, 2 stars for submitting a reflection and 3 stars for submitting a reflection and sharing a resource. The badge recognition system provides a sense of progress and achievement, an opportunity to reflect and get expert feedback, and a chance to share resources.
Found on the EnhanceDTP, the Essential Digital Skills offer provides an alternative range of short, online modules which map onto the new national standards published in April 2019. These flag up essential digital skills for life and work across five key areas of competence:
The starting point for this offer is an online self-assessment which asks 17 key questions to help you assess your confidence. Once complete, you receive a capability profile which signposts you to relevant short training modules or even specific parts of training modules to help you develop your skills and confidence. In all, there are 20 training modules, again fully funded and free to use. Once you have completed the relevant training modules for a skills area you can gain a digital badge and once you have completed all 20 training modules you will receive a course badge – a valuable mark of competence for your CV.
Both the DTPF EdTech modules and the Essential Digital Skills modules address training needs to support remote or hybrid teaching models. In all, 55 modules (49 EdTech and six EDS) are highlighted in a Guide to Remote Working which is on the EnhanceDTP platform. This offers seven guided learning hours in total.
A new series of DTPF EdTech training modules will be released this autumn, focused on ‘Connected and Effective Learning’ to support teachers and trainers to deliver in the “new normal” context, managing learners’ expectations and fostering communities of learning.
Visit the Enhance Digital Teaching Platform to start your learning journey.