Roseline Fernandes is Digital and IT Business Partner at Reading Borough Council involved in IT projects and training.
In Autumn 2020, Roseline, then Digital Skills Curriculum Manager at New Directions College, the adult and community college of Reading Borough Council, was nominated for the EdTech Mentor programme run by the Education and Training Foundation (ETF). A total of 80 EdTech mentors were funded through the programme to provide additional support for staff delivering online or blended learning during the Covid-19 pandemic.
At the start of the programme, the ETF’s National Head of EdTech and Digital Skills, Vikki Liogier, introduced the new mentors to the CPD resources for EdTech on the Enhance Digital Teaching Platform. This sparked Roseline’s interest:
“In the mentoring sessions Vikki spoke about the bite-size EdTech training modules and I kind of got hooked on them. I started doing the basic ones, then implemented some of those key learnings. I didn’t teach per se in my role, but I was responsible for a couple of tutors and developing key digital skills, so I developed a lot of training content. I used the techniques I learned from the EdTech modules in some of the content I developed and some of the sessions I ran for staff.”
Roseline focused on training in the Accessibility category on the platform, and it had a direct impact on her preparation of training content:
“One of the key takeaways was ensuring that the content that I used for my training catered for all the different audience needs that could arise, so I had to ensure that the handouts and the presentations that I prepared were accessible for different staff members with varied needs. For example, I used the same content but developed short videos, PowerPoints and PDFs so that each learner could take what suited them best.”
She particularly liked the style of the bite-size training modules on the Enhance platform.
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Roseline used the training to help her mentor colleagues to develop their digital skills:
“With the pandemic we were thrown into using digital technology but not all of us had the necessary skills, each of us was at a different level and skill. The courses that are available on the ETF’s EdTech platform have really helped our staff pick up some key aspects of being able to teach online. We now have plans for a blended and hybrid learning approach where we will continue to use digital technologies even when we’re back in the classroom.”
Roseline has already taken her own CPD one step further and has started to contribute to the EdTech community of practice on the Enhance platform by posting reflections on what she has learned from the EdTech modules and commenting on other people’s reflections on the #EdTechSwap Awarded Practice Wall. This has helped her to gain digital badges recognising her achievements. She has successfully applied to gain a ‘Super Contributor’ badge on the platform which means posting 10 comments over a six-month period. Roseline really values the comments which she has received from colleagues on the platform and feels that she has learnt a lot from them, which prompted her to do the same for colleagues.
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Roseline would recommend the Super Contributor role to others who are using the EdTech training on the Enhance platform:
“It’s not really onerous, it’s just about visiting the [Enhance] website and ensuring that you do that regularly. I usually use my Friday afternoons to visit the site and read reflections. If you’re looking for something that can support your own teaching journey, you will find lots of resources and tips on there. You will learn a lot, so giving feedback on other people’s reflections on the site is not such a difficult task and it’s equally fulfilling.”
For more information on becoming an Enhance Super Contributor, visit the website.