Learning and Skills Improvement Services (LSIS)
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Technology conference

More than 100 delegates attended the fourth annual Technology for Success Conference.

Participation and contributions confirmed the continued commitment to adoption and adaptation of technology across the sector.

Organised by LSIS, the conference is a national showcase for innovation and inventive practice in the Further Education and Skills sector, with a clear focus on improving the quality of teaching and learning.

This year’s event took place on Thursday 8 March in Birmingham and highlighted some of the technological advances being embraced by the sector, by making imaginative use of technology, particularly low cost solutions.

Technology has an important role to play in improving the quality of teaching and learning. One of the advances that was highlighted was a pioneering method of conducting classroom observations at Tyne Metropolitan College using a freestanding camera. The camera allows staff to record themselves teaching in the classroom and then play it back in order to observe their performance. One of the benefits is that the footage can be viewed with a mentor, meaning that staff don’t have to take time out from their busy schedules in order to observe colleagues, and can view footage when it is more convenient. Consultant Tim Kelly, who has been delivering the LSIS-funded project said: “The early signs from the College are that the teaching staff are enthusiastic about this advance which it is hoped will help with reflection skills.”

Other projects featured at the event included newly-formed Woodspeen Training’s cost-cutting online delivery of staff training to sites in Yorkshire, the Midlands and the South coast. Providers are rising to the new challenges and opportunities in the sector by making imaginative use of technology.  Mainstream developments were represented at the event too, including Walsall College’s use of ITunesU and South Devon College’s implementation of the latest generation of virtual learning environments.

Head of Organisational Efficiency and Curriculum Development at LSIS, Peter Munday, said: “There are countless examples of creativity and invention in providers in all parts of the sector. Innovation with teaching and learning is commonplace, but it is often hidden. This conference is one part of a wider LSIS’ strategy, working closely with partners such as JISC Advance, to stimulate local ingenuity, to share the outcomes with a national audience and to deliver the benefits of technological innovation to all of our learners nationwide.”

The conference concluded with a closing speech from Stuart Edwards, Deputy Director, Learning, Quality and Systems, the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills, who applauded delegates’ commitment to innovation in technology for learning and teaching. He encouraged providers to continue to identify and share the impact that the technology is having on their organisations, so that other managers have the confidence to continue to invest in infrastructure and skills.

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