May 21st, 2015

Digital Learning Fellowship

Digital Learning Fellowship Overview

Prospects College of Advanced Technology – PROCAT, supported by the Education and Training Foundation (ETF) is leading a transformational project to develop and implement a digital learning strategy, for delivery of vocational education of the future. The college has now embarked on an ambitious programme of activity designed to enhance the digital experiences of students, led by Katharine Jewitt, the newly appointed Digital Learning Fellow at PROCAT.

Digital Learning Community of Practice

“PROCAT is leading the development and use of digital learning technology to empower learners and their employers and support new ways of delivering education and skills. We need to maximise the use of digital technology and incorporate digital technologies into the curriculum to enable greater access to learners and enrich and enliven their learning experience. The use of digital technologies will enable employers to access their apprentice’s progress so that they can further support their progress on-the-job and encourages and enables independent learning and research to take place. The development of digital technology is intrinsically linked to the strategic goals of the college.” Katharine Jewitt, Digital Learning Fellow

PROCAT is the first UK College of Advanced Technology, with technical apprenticeships at the core of our offer. We specialise in training for key sectors such as engineering, aviation, rail, construction and the built environment, and focus on training that delivers highly skilled and competent people for industry.

As a crucial next step in PROCAT’s evolution, there is significant scope to change and improve the way that vocational education and training is delivered, through embracing and embedding outstanding digital learning and teaching practices.

Research for the FELTAG inquiry, McLoughlin Report and 157 Group report: Further Education 2020, has highlighted that whilst the FE sector has invested heavily in computing and has taught its use at elementary level, digital technology is not being widely used to change the nature of learning or radically enhance its accessibility.

Areas of effective practice exist where the sector is tackling this head on and applying innovative and successful solutions. As with all sectors however, there is much variation and not only will this fellowship explore specific areas for the application of digital learning, but also support the wider adoption of good practice in the sector.

A particular area for exploration is the potential of student owned mobile technologies to enable much wider use of independent learning for students to acquire knowledge at their own pace. Another is widespread use of digital technology to enhance work-based learning, which would include employers having real-time access to their apprentices’ progress, so that on-the-job and off-the-job curricula can be better coordinated.

Wider and more whole scale use of digitally enabled learning is needed in the FE and skills sector; one that balances ambitious top-down vision with a collaborative bottom up responsibility for innovation. This Fellowship is to create a well-researched digital learning strategy for an FE and skills environment, focussed on vocational training and work based learning and to implement that strategy to improve outcomes for students, providers and employers. The lessons learned, methodologies, initiatives and techniques used are to be analysed and reported upon for the use of other FE and skills sector providers.

Contact:

Katharine Jewitt, Digital Learning Fellow: Katharine.Jewitt@procat.ac.uk
Please visit the fellowship website at: www.procatdigital.co.uk

References

Feltag (2014) Further Education Learning Technology Action Group Recommendations [Online]. Available at http://feltag.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2012/01/FELTAG-REPORT-FINAL.pdf (Accessed 1st March 2015).
McLoughlin, F. (2014) CAVTL Commission on Adult Vocational Teaching and Learning [Online]. Available at http://repository.excellencegateway.org.uk/fedora/objects/eg:6878/datastreams/DOC/content (Accessed 1st March 2015).
Sherlock, D. and Perry, N. London, Further education in 2020: making the system work 157 Group. [Online]. Available at http://www.157group.co.uk/sites/default/files/documents/further_education_in_2020.pdf (Accessed 1st March 2015).

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.