Wednesday, 5 March 2008

LSC and BECTA Technology Exemplar Network

By now all work based learning providers should have received information about the joint Becta and LSC Technology Exemplar Network. If not you’ll find a summary here. As part of this initiative 10 learning providers have now been selected for “leading the way in the effective use of technology for learning” and noted as having Exemplar Status. They will now work with other providers to help share and develop the use of technology across the sector. (A full list of these Exemplar Status Providers can be viewed online).

What’s worth noting now, is that now “up to 50 providers (including work based learning providers) can apply to join the Technology Exemplar Network as developing providers.” Those selected as part of this process will be able to benefit directly from these exemplars’ knowledge and experience to improve the way technology is used to support their own learner achievement”.

Revenue grants of £7,500 and Capital grants of up to £50,000 are available to support providers participation in the Network. More information and documentation is available online.

The deadline for applications is 19th March.

More Interactive Whiteboards

I must say I was quite surprised at how positive a response we had to upcoming Interactive Whiteboard workshop that we have scheduled for next week. The session became oversubscribed very quickly indicating that there is a fair old demand for this type of training in the region.

Apologies to all who wanted to attend but couldn't get in this one. We have however set up a waiting list which may lead to us offering another free session in the future. Watch this space and our events page for details.

We will also be sharing a number of resources relating to using Interactive Whiteboards on the web after next weeks workshop. These may also prove useful for staff who cant make any of the sessions, so when I've finished uploading them I'll also signpost a link on here.

Look forward to seeing many of you next week!

(Image courtesy of dougsymington)

JISC Legal Advice for Learning Providers

As a work based learning provider, does your organisation have an email/internet policy? Does your website have a privacy statement?

The use of IT in learning raises many legal issues and work based learning providers need to have awareness of these and of any associated legal risk. That’s where JISC Legal now comes in. A Joint Information System Committee (JISC) funded service, JISC Legal now offers high quality legal information free to the work based learning sector. The service explains the implications of IT law by making current legal information available to staff working with IT in the sector.

JISC Legal is an information service, they are not a firm of solicitors and can’t give professional legal advice – any material provided is for informative purposes only. However, the use of JISC legal services can save providers time and money, if only in ensuring their staff are fully briefed in legal issues relating to the use of IT.

They maintain the JISC Legal website, which offers a wealth of useful information as well as a form for online queries. They have also compiled a very useful Software Management Checklist which is designed to help learning providers manage the licensed software on their machines. A list of Frequently Asked Questions outlines a number of key topics based on queries the service has received to date. They also have a number of publications that cover topics such as monitoring internet use, issues relating to copyright, inappropriate use of computers and data retention.

JISC Legal is just one of the advisory services currently available to the work based learning sector (I’ve mentioned another on wobble previously). A full listing of JISC services can also be found on Innovate. For more information on how any of the JISC services can be used by your organisation please get in touch.

Tuesday, 4 March 2008

Innovate for Work Based Learning

Do you want somewhere you can get answers to your e-learning questions, share ideas and discover what other WBL providers are doing with ILT and technology? Then Innovate is a resource designed especially for you.

Innovate is a freely accessible online web site designed to support the Work Based Learning Sector in their adoption of ILT and e-learning. As a national resource, it provides the opportunity for WBL staff to engage in peer support and to join networking groups on various topics including e-portfolios, mobile learning and staff development.

You might ask… How can it be used and by whom?

The Innovate resource site and its related discussion forums can be used by all staff within Work Based Learning organisations. Its still brand new but the site already has almost 60 registered members!

For managers it offers advice on inspection, strategic advice and guidance etc. For delivery staff it offers resources that include “how to guides”, case studies, free content creation tools, teaching and learning resources and more. Innovate can also be used as a reference for anyone wishing to keep abreast of issues facing the WBL sector.

Is there a cost?
No, Innovate is entirely free to use. It was also set up using freely available online tools as a way of demonstrating what can be achieved with no, or very little cost.

Is registration required?
No. You are not required to register to use Innovate however registration will allow you to actively participate in discussion with peers, join online groups that focus on specific topics and ensure you are kept fully up to date on issues that might be of interest to you.

How can I get started or learn more?
Visit the main Innovate website, join the Innovate WBL community or contact us at your local RSC.

Like the Innovate model?
All of the Innovate site was created entirely with free tools which I’d be happy to tell you more about or demonstrate ways these can be used in your own WBL organisation. For ideas or advice simply get in touch.