New stories about Reflective Explorations in developing digital literacy

The Education and Training Foundation (ETF) has published two new stories exploring effective approaches to delivering Essential Digital Skills for life and work based on the national standards. The stories are part of a broader series launched in February about the outcomes from a range of Reflective Exploration projects funded by the Department for Education (DfE) in which teachers and trainers have adopted and reflected on new approaches to developing their digital skills as well as the digital literacy of their learners.

The Essential Digital Skills (EDS) Reflective Explorations have involved practitioners from different types of learning providers – colleges, local authorities and independent training providers – looking at:

  • how to deliver the new EDS qualifications at Entry 3 and Level 1 effectively
  • how to prepare learners with lower-level digital skills to be able to access the qualifications
  • how to embed EDS into vocational and other provision.

The stories focus on key points about what worked and did not work leading to a series of learning points to share with colleagues across the sector.

New City College, the largest national provider of EDS qualifications in 2020–21, tried out two approaches in their Reflective Exploration.

  • how vocational subject specialists in Health and Social Care and Early Years respectively could most effectively embed and contextualise EDS within their courses
  • how a digital skills specialist could help to prepare ESOL learners for EDS qualifications through RARPA funded provision, with a focus on vocabulary.

HSDC – which comprises college campuses at Alton, Havant and South Downs – looked at how to prepare for delivering EDS qualifications from September 2022 including:

  • how to address the digital skills gaps of Level 1 to 3 learners in using devices and handling information, one of the five key skills areas of the national standards
  • how to involve Foundation and Level 1 learners in creating and editing documents, another of the five national standards areas, to engage them and to produce outputs they could feel proud of.

Three other EDS case studies will follow looking at Reflective Explorations in Birmingham Adult Education Service, Runway Training, and the WEA.

Participants in the EDS Reflective Exploration projects have used resources on the ETF’s Essential Digital Skills website, part of the Enhance Digital Teaching Platform, as part of their professional development. The resources include a self-assessment tool for teachers and trainers to understand their own digital skills profile, together with 20 short online training modules mapped to the five areas of the national EDS standards with digital badges for completion, leading to an overall EDS course badge.

Vikki Liogier, National Head of EdTech and Digital Skills, commented:

“Our latest Essential Digital Skills stories provide valuable feedback from teachers and learners about effective practice when embedding Essential Digital Skills into provision and delivering the new EDS qualifications. They offer a variety of perspectives from those who are very experienced in EDS delivery and those who are transitioning to adopt the new standards and qualifications. We hope they will continue to generate a lively dialogue amongst practitioners and ongoing sharing of resources through our online community of practice on the EDS website.”

View the Reflective Exploration stories on the ETF website.

Visit the ETF’s Essential Digital Skills website.

Join the ETF’s community of practice for digital skills.

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