A Welcome Note from Katharine Jewitt
I am Katharine Jewitt and I have been appointed as the Digital Learning Fellow at PROCAT.
The fellowship role is funded by the Education and Training Foundation.
In my role as Fellow, I will be sharing with you all the latest research in educational technology to inform you of the upcoming trends in digital learning and also carrying out further research into effective practice whilst at PROCAT.
I have studied for eight degrees, including a Doctorate in educational technology, a Master in Education, a Master in Online and Distance Education and a Master of Research in lifelong learning. My most recent research was in the role of 3D technologies in the development of virtual learning and training for Apprentices whilst in the workplace.
My previous research project was implementing an online learning system for young people excluded from school who no longer had access to mainstream education. The system is now being used by County Councils in the UK and enables learners to study from home online. I researched the experiences of young people aged 14 – 16 excluded from school and using technology to learn at a distance. The research explored what they identified as the positives and negatives involved in the use of digital technology for learning.
I have worked at The Open University since July 2005 in a variety of roles including Associate Lecturer, Operations Manager and Course Writer. I’ve worked on developing the virtual learning environment (VLE) whilst at The Open University and been a tester and trainer.
I founded an education and management consultancy and publishing house in the mid 1990s and subsequently consulted on education and management change projects for many of the FTSE 100 and leading UK colleges and universities.
I have worked with many large organisations ~ SunMicrosystems, IBM, McDonalds, M&S, Tesco, Sainsburys, Asda, Fujitsu Siemens, BT, Boots, Action 4 Employment, The Open University, Preston University, Staffordshire University ~ in a variety of roles: Programme Management, Management Consultancy; Organisational Change; Procurement and Supply Chain Logistics; Project Management; Human Resource Management, ICT; Training, Coaching and Personal Development.
I will be working hands-on with PROCAT to develop a digital learning strategy with a framework for implementation and devising action plans. Also, providing support and training in areas where digital learning will enhance the teaching and learning experience.
My approach will focus on supporting you to become better informed and empowered to make decisions about the provision and use of technology which meets learners’ expectations, develops their digital literacies and prepares them for employment.
I will focus on four key areas: infrastructure, inclusivity, practice and resilience; which involves understanding the digital landscape for FE; developing the college digital environment, building capacity to support new kinds of learning and enhancing the digital experience for all learners and wrapped around all of this is nurturing the right kind of culture.
Some of the things I’d like to work with you on and will be discussing with many of you soon are:
(1) Introducing the role of Digital Student Ambassadors to drive engagement, provide training and support and encourage collaboration.
(2) Building a branded PROCAT virtual learning environment (VLE) for both teaching staff and students to access and share learning resources, with integrated version control check-in and approval.
(3) Develop an online library for staff and students with all the syllabuses online, practice tests etc.
(4) Build an online helpdesk, so that students can access resources, access FAQs and be directed to resources and if their answer is not covered, that they can ask the question and this would be directed to the relevant staff member.
(5) Introduce e-portfolios – getting as many as possible involved in a trial for this September ’15 and full rollout in 2016.
(6) Developing the use of skills builder for maths, English and ICT, promote the use of skills development and independent learning. I’d like to build a suite of resources to help with study skills and for students to learn how to learn, how to be an independent learner, with support available where necessary.
(7) Introduction of online tutorials and peer mentoring groups for self-learning and collaboration to empower and motivate students to lead their own learning.
(8) Provide a range of engagement techniques and introduce a variety of technology and tools in traditional face-to-face instruction, paper-based and technology enhanced delivery to change classrooms and workshops into interactive and engaging learning environments.
Over my first few weeks, I am aiming to see all staff and students, but do come and say hello and introduce yourself if you see me first.
I am looking forward to working with you. Please visit this PROCAT Digital Learning website often to keep up-to-date with all the project progress and gain lots of useful hints and tips. The website will grow as the project progresses. Be involved by sharing effective practice, feedback and ideas.
You can see what has happened in the first three-months of the fellowship by clicking here.
Visit PROCAT Prospects College of Advanced Technology
This PROCAT Digital website is produced to report on activity from the Digital Learning Fellowship at PROCAT Prospects College of Advanced Technology, funded by The Education and Training Foundation.