Pioneering programme is launched to improve the nation’s digital skills

Teachers are being given the opportunity to improve their technology skills, enabling them to better support young people in the expanding digital economy.

The Career Colleges Trust launched its new programme of pioneering digital CPD at the House of Lords this morning, during a breakfast event hosted by Lord Baker. Over 40 guests attended, including the Minister of State for Apprenticeships and Skills, Robert Halfon MP.

Commissioned by the Education and Training Foundation to develop the online training, the Career Colleges Trust has worked in partnership with Ideas4Learning and Coralesce to design four 5-hour bitesize courses. These are aimed specifically at educators working across schools, colleges and learning providers.

The new training focuses on helping teachers to develop digital skills in the following areas:  Video learning; Social Media in Teaching and Learning; Online Assessment; Effective use of Online Meeting and Webinar Technologies.

Addressing guests at today’s event, Minister of State for Apprenticeships and Skills, Robert Halfon MP, said:

“It is extremely encouraging to be here today, hearing about work being done to improve the digital skills of our nation. As we are all aware, modern Britain operates in a digital economy and this is set to expand further over the coming years.

“We must prepare and equip the next generation with the skills they need to go into employment – where chances are they will need to either work with, or develop, digital technology.

“This is, undoubtedly a priority for us. I am therefore pleased to hear more about the work being done by the Career Colleges Trust, in association with the Education and Training Foundation, to develop accessible CPD programmes. An educator-focused approach is key and will be of huge benefit to both young people and our economy.”

Founder of the Career Colleges Trust, Lord Baker, welcomed guests to the event and said:

“We are living in an increasingly digital world. It is imperative that young people are equipped with the skills they need to operate effectively within this digital economy – and for this to happen, we must ensure that educators themselves understand this technology.

“The Career Colleges Trust puts focus on developing digital skills of its students. The Education and Training Foundation recognises this expertise and has charged us with developing and delivering cutting edge CPD programmes to help teachers across the FE and skills sector.

“I would urge colleges and training providers to take advantage of this new, innovative CPD. The bitesize online courses are accessible to all and will undoubtedly help improve the confidence of teachers to use technology in the classroom to the benefit of their students.”

The new training programmes will launch in January, but are open for registration now. On successful completion of one or more of the courses, learners will be eligible for direct progression onto the nationally-accredited NCFE Level 4 Technology Enabled Educator award, run by the Career Colleges Trust.

In addition, the Trust will be developing a ‘Train the Trainer Pack’. This will support a cascade model of delivery to ensure institutions investing in the CPD will get maximum benefit for their organisations.

The ETF will be subsidising the digital skills courses with only a small fee being charged when enrolling. However, to encourage maximum take up of this valuable CPD, the Career Colleges Trust is offering a free digital skills analysis of staff (www.edtech-assess.com) for every organisation booking 20 places or more (worth around £2000).

For more information about the project, please see the ETF Course Descriptions or email the programme co-ordinator, Bev Jones, on bjones@careercolleges.org.uk

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