Moving FE Forward Together

My panel input for the C-Learning Event on 23rd June 2021. I’m sure to learn loads. Afterwards, don’t you always think, “Wow!” at everyone else’s stuff?


How has your practice improved and for those around you too? 

Where do I start? The levels of emotional intelligence I have seen in the past 16 months have been incredible. And also the intentional practice of care. I have seen how digital has facilitated relationships and enabled the conditions for independent thinking.

What does effective blended learning look like in design compared to traditional face to face and edtech integration?

It has the potential for relationship building, agency and independent thinking. The basic assumption that learning only happens when human beings are sitting in front of the teacher has been blown away. Asynchronous learning gives everyone the opportunity to discover different and powerful ways of learning, partly by being thrown back on their own resources, less passive. 

Synchronous vs asynchronous – best practice and learnings?

Synchronous – Thinking Environments, simple practical acts of discipline which build trust and community and enable independent thinking. Asynchronous – shared online spaces where people can learn alone and in community, bags of potential for social learning and co-construction but quiet times composting too.

Peer-to-peer connections and collaboration and how this can improve the learning process?

Before lockdown, decisions were often driven by the assumption that people would cheat if they had chance to work together. The last year has blown that out of the water. Peer-to-peer collaboration – transparent and ethical – builds trust and self-belief through the development of time-limited community: constellations. This is the revelation.

How can we support and coach others to improve their practice rather than just usual training and CPD?

The clue is in the question – coaching, but maybe not in a conventional sense always. Informal peer coaching has punched above its weight last year, in particular the Ideas Rooms, developed by JoyFE💛 and finding their way into FE organisations up and down the country. Here, educators come together to nurture seedlings of ideas, inspiring one another along the way.

Have you collaborated with more people outside of your organisation since lockdown?

1000% yes.

Just using edtech isn’t the goal in itself. How do we move forward?

  1. Acknowledging that relationship building is the foundation stone of any learning experience, even if its wholly asynchronous. Witness my 91 year old mum and her Scrabble bot, Zoe.
  2. Realising that we can both work towards outcomes and design our journeys using a practice of values. How is care practised in curriculum planning? How is equality practised in assessment? 

How do we ensure we use tech for delivering a wider curriculum not just subject (creativity, communication, critical thinking and collaboration)?

Embrace the right – whatever our overlords say – for education to have a social purpose. Begin to work in transdisciplinary ways. Plus the above.

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