EdTech and Digital Skills Support

In this section

The Education and Training Foundation (ETF) is committed to supporting the FE workforce to gain the skills needed given the growing importance of digital skills. The ETF has developed initiatives and services to help change the sector’s perception of new technologies and promote the use of EdTech and digital to enhance teaching, learning and assessment.

Digital strategy and framework to support the FE sector

Our EdTech Strategy, released in Spring 2018, looks at how best the ETF can support the FE sector in harnessing new technologies to maximise learning outcomes – it is a three-year road map for digital technology to ensure excellence in teaching, learning and assessment.

The ETF’s Digital Teaching Professional Framework (DTPF), produced in November 2018, is underpinned by the strategy to support the transformation of our country’s technical and vocational education system; with EdTech and Digital performing a crucial role in delivering this step change. The DTPF helps to define what good pedagogy looks like and what digital skills progression means in three stages of personal development.

The full version of the DTPF is designed to be used mainly by leaders, managers and HR professionals. It provides a foundation for professional development plans, can assist staff development approaches and be used as part of a digital skills strategy. There is a shortened version of the framework more suited for use by mainstream practitioners, which will include the most immediately useful competences.

For more information about our EdTech/ Digital Skills offer, please contact vikki.liogier@etfoundation.co.uk.

Digital Skills learning and training

The ETF’s focus has been on how technology can help teachers and trainers in their current professional practice, develop their understanding of how to redefine their pedagogic approaches with learning technologies.

To affirm and support teachers, trainers and assessors in using technology, the ETF developed the Enhance Digital Teaching Platform which offers free, bite-size, certified online self-learning training modules mapped to the Digital Teaching Professional Framework (DTPF). In September 2019 the ETF launched a Management Dashboard that enables employers to capitalise on the Enhance Digital Teaching Platform’s EdTech resources across their organisation and support staff development. To support teachers and trainers to use the platform, the ETF created the Start your digital CPD journey with the Enhance Digital Teaching Platform guide.

The ETF has recorded a series of free, online webinars to support colleagues across the FE sector who work from home to support students. Each webinar has supporting modules on the Enhance Digital Teaching Platform, more information on the webinars and the supporting modules can be found on the Support for remote working webpage.

The Department for Education (DfE) has introduced a new essential digital skills (EDS) framework and associated national standards. Adults aged 19+ with no or low digital skills will be entitled to take EDS qualifications free of charge under the Adult Education Budget from September 2020, in line with existing entitlements for English and maths. DfE has commissioned the ETF to deliver a blended EDS CPD programme to prepare teachers, trainers and leaders to deliver the new qualifications based on the standards.

The EnhanceDTP communities of practice

The review by Dr Tricia Odell for the ETF examines two of the Enhance Digital Teaching Platform communities of practice: 

  1. The EdTech Awarded Practice Wall 
  2. The Essential Digital Skills Community of Practice  

The study assesses the value these communities of practice bring to practitioners and managers, for example by providing dedicated online spaces to network with colleagues.  Barriers to engagement are also explored, as well as enablers.

Projects to reduce barriers for embedding learning technology

Early in 2018, the ETF commissioned a series of Outstanding Teaching Learning and Assessment (OTLA) Digital projects. The projects, now complete, used action research to evidence ways to spread and embed effective practice in the use of technology to achieve measurable improvements in teaching, learning and/or assessment to improve learner outcomes.

Student-staff partnerships

A toolkit for providers, offering a step-by-step guide to creating staff-student partnerships and reflecting the key findings from four pilots that took place in 2019, is available to download from the Excellence Gateway free-of-charge. It includes downloadable models and approaches, case studies, examples and tools.

This work was carried out under the auspices of the ETF’s Outstanding Teaching, Learning and Assessment (OTLA) programme. It responds to the need to use digital and new technologies more effectively in teaching and learning, a training priority identified by the ETF-published Training Needs Analysis report.