February 22, 2024

The pioneering history of further education celebrated in new film

Author: angela.pink@jisc.ac.uk
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Jisc has launched a new film celebrating innovation in the further education (FE) and skills sector as part of #LoveOurColleges week run by the Association of Colleges.

Choices – the future is already here’ shines a light on how FE has always kept learners at the forefront of industry, as the custodian of a thousand years of skills transmission. As technology has evolved, so has FE.

The short film produced by Jisc was shot at Barking and Dagenham College and USP College, with some additional footage from Weston College.

Robin Ghurbhurun, Jisc’s UK managing director for further education, skills and FE/HE advice and training said:

“As the UK digital, data and technology agency for the tertiary education sector, Jisc has a responsibility to ensure our members are achieving digital transformation in a way that works best for students and staff.

“We are proud to introduce our ‘Choices – the future is already here’ film, made in collaboration with the UK FE sector, which highlights how further education has digitally adapted to meet the needs of our economies and our communities.

“We know through speaking to FE leaders that they do not want to be told how to digitally transform, they want to hear from colleagues across the sector who are doing it well and receive guidance on how this could best work for them.”

The film was premiered at an online event, hosted by Jisc, where over 60 attendees from 31 colleges got to hear from sector experts about digital innovations. Robin added: 

“Events such as this drive the conversation and encourage collaboration and innovation to improve the sector both now and in the future.”

Scott Hayden, head of digital learning at Basingstoke College of Technology said:

“Further education provides those second, third and fourth chances for people who do not learn in traditional ways, which is a large chunk of us. People who learn differently see things differently and those perspectives and skills are needed for the future of the workforce.

“Those skills aren’t necessarily traditionally academic, skills such as compassion, originality, responsibility, and empathy, what were once disparagingly called soft skills.

“Institutions with access to artificial intelligence, machine learning and technology can use these tools to augment and accelerate our lives and analyse where there are gaps in our learning, which students can then take back to the classroom. Research has found that retention of information is up to 70% higher when learning through mixed reality.

“For teachers, this means more time to spend one-on-one with students, ensuring they are prepared for the expectations of industry.

“When I consider the use of technology in education, I think of how it can enhance one-on-one learning, not how it can replace it, and a blended learning approach ticks all the boxes.”

At the event, Scott Hayden discussed the importance of digital wellbeing. Stevie Cooke, head of technology enhanced learning at Cardiff and Vale College, spoke about the initiatives and projects that have helped them develop as a college and a community. While Karen Spencer, principal and chief executive of Harlow College, reported on the benefits to students and staff as a result of their digital transformation journey.

Jisc will be exhibiting and hosting sessions at the AoC annual conference on 15-16 November 2022. Our Digifest lab will showcase the latest in our innovative solutions, technology that seeks to enhance and add value to your digital transformation journey. For further information, and details of how to register, visit the Jisc at AoC Annual Conference 2022 event page.

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