Assistive technology has undergone a revolution in recent years. There is a wide range of established commercial and free and open source software products available (such as screen readers, on-screen keyboards and spelling aids), as well as in-built accessibility features in computers and programs.
More people use mobile and portable devices with assistive apps. One significant benefit of technology is the provision of a voice for those who are unable to speak themselves. Apps for tablet devices for example that use scanning and a touch screen interface can now provide this at a fraction of the cost of some of the more complex and advanced hardware technologies.
In this guide, Jisc provides an overview of the types of assistive technologies available and how they might be used in a learning and teaching setting.
Digital skills are essential in today’s workplace; there are few jobs that don’t require them, yet employers report a shortage.
Building on the highly successful Blended Learning Essentials series of MOOCs, the third course entitled ‘Developing Digital Skills’ has just been launched and will start in October. This course, commissioned and funded by the Ufi Charitable Trust is designed specifically for the Vocational Education and Training sector.
Professor Diana Laurillard, one of the lead educators behind Blended Learning Essentials, says, ‘We’re hearing every day about the need for digital skills in all kinds of jobs in the modern workplace. The idea of this course is to help the FE and Skills sector with gearing up to supply the graduates industry so desperately needs.’
More information: https://www.futurelearn.com/courses/blended-learning-digital-skills.
Blended Learning Essentials is a free online course developed by the University of Leeds and UCL Institute of Education, supported by the Association for Learning Technology and funded by the Ufi Trust.
Applications are now being taken for the Postgraduate Certificate in Teaching and Learning in Higher Education (PgCTHE) which will commence in September 2017.
The PgCTHE will allow you to further develop your pedagogic skills and understanding, gain a professional HE teaching qualification, and gain Higher Education Academy Accreditation.
The course is available to the following members of staff;
1) Full-time staff who are teaching/supporting learning for a minimum of 50 hours over the duration of the course (12 months);
2) Part-time staff who are teaching/supporting learning for a minimum of 50 hours over the duration of the course (12 months);
3) Hourly Paid Lecturers who are teaching/supporting learning on a substantive contract (i.e., at least one unit).
Unfortunately, we cannot accept applications from research students. If you are unsure whether you meet any of these criteria, please contact us.
The PgCTHE is a 12 month Master’s level course which is delivered via face-to-face workshops and online sessions. Further information about the course can be found on our website at https://www.beds.ac.uk/pts/pgcthe.
To apply, please complete our online application form by 5pm on Thursday 7th September. You MUST provide two satisfactory references including one from your line manager confirming how you will meet the 50 hours teaching requirement.
The course is free to eligible staff but you MUST send us a completed fee waiver form which has been physically signed by your line manager to supplement your application. Once complete, please return to PTS Admin, Room F305, Luton. If any of these requirements are not fulfilled, we will be unable to process your application.
Thinking of using e-portfolios to support learning? Want to implement that strand of our new strategic plan?
This webinar from PebblePad will show you how e-portfolios are being used at scale at Plymouth and Bradford Universities.
If you want to know more about how to use PebblePad, contact Averil Robertson in the CLE – and look out for our switch to version 5 on July 4th!
We are now just over one week away from the start of our staff conference and fringe events. Click the links below to sign up – the CLE team will be appearing in many places!
If you have any other questions please email email@example.com.
Our team will be appearing in a number of places at the annual staff conference, both during the main event and in fringe activities. Hope to see you there!
Dr. Maria Kukhareva: ‘Every teacher is a bit of an actor’
Dr. Mark Atlay & Dr. Diana Pritchard: ‘Utilising the TEF to identify the learning gain of our students’
Averil Robertson & Megan Loveys: ‘Ten Days of Twitter: running a social media course for university staff’
Dr. Mark Atlay: ‘The power of introverts’
Mark Gamble: ‘Draw your future’
Nick Botfield: ‘Engaging students in large group teaching’ & ‘Creating a MOOC’
Averil Robertson: ‘Developing Open Badges to support student achievement’
Dr. Maria Kukhareva: ‘Object-based learning: promoting creativity and lateral thinking’
Mark Gamble: ‘The development of Course Metric Infographics’
We are now just three weeks away from our staff conference and fringe events; we hope to see many of you at the various sessions. Staff from the CLE will be presenting at both the main conference and the fringe.
You can find out more information from the links below:
In the meantime if you have any other question please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
In August 2016, we upgraded to V5 of PebblePad. Since then, Version 5 has been running concurrently with the ‘Classic’ version, in order to minimise disruption to those staff and students already working within it.
However, the older version will shortly cease to be supported by PebblePad, and we will therefore be switching as an institution to Version 5. The switchover will take place on July 4th at 8:30 a.m.
It’s important to note that the main difference in the new version is its ‘look’, and improvements to functionality – existing assets etc. will remain in your personal spaces. We have been working on a range of supporting materials (for staff and students), and will provide various hands-on sessions: for novice PebblePad users; for those who are transferring to V5; and for those who are already using it and just want to know more – look out for opportunities to sign up for these.
On July 12th, a representative from PebblePad will be at the University and available for Q&A and practical sessions – please get in touch if you would like to know more about this.
Please note that ATLAS is not changing in the short term, and all assessment activity (such as setting up assignments and marking) will continue as before.
Arts Week 2017: “Doing and thinking: methods in practice-based research”
Dr Maria Kukhareva, Educational Developer in the CLE, reflects on the interaction of creativity and academia following a workshop as part of Birkbeck Arts Week 2017.
We would like to draw your attention to a free online course ‘Inclusive Learning and Teaching Environments’ beginning on June 5th that is very relevant to HEFCE’s requirement to move towards a more inclusive approach, as well as the cuts in Disabled Students Allowance.
Who is the course for?
This course has been created for teachers and educators interested in inclusive practices, learning technologists and education design professionals. It will also be relevant for marketing and communications professionals working in training situations and those with disabilities who want to understand problems in education and how to overcome them.
This short course aims to introduce you to some of the main social media tools and how they’re being used in Higher Education.
Unlike most of our courses, this will not be a linear process – you can dip in and out and have a look at the tools that most interest you, over the course of two weeks.
We’ll include examples and some further reading so you can think of ways in which you can introduce these tools in your own practice to enhance student engagement and skills.
You can sign up here.
For more information, email email@example.com
Interested in finding out how you can use social media in an educational setting? Look out for our social media 2-week course, which will be running again from June 5th. More details coming soon!
A webinar on assessment and feedback in Higher Education was recently (April 25th) recorded by the HEA.
You can access the recording and the associated slides here.