Late last year ETBI and SOLAS launched ‘Support Connect Inspire’ – a Strategy for Technology Enhanced Learning in Further Education and Training 2016 – 2019. It is available on line at http://www.solas.ie/SolasPdfLibrary/TEL_Strategy.pdf
The focus of this strategy is on using technology to enhance learning for students in Adult Literacy programmes and all Further and Adult Education programmes. The strategy aims to have a focussed effort so that learners can become more confident in using technology and so that all adult education practitioners become more confident about using technology in the teaching and learning process. As the Strategy states ‘Technology is increasingly part of how we live and thrive in our day-to-day lives. The ‘internet of things’ has become a reality, where everyday tools, services and other objects are designed and connected digitally, and people need digital competence in order to access and benefit from these innovations. In modern education and training, it is essential that all learners are equipped to understand and exploit the full advantages of technology in their work, at home and within their communities’.
Here in the Adult Literacy and Basic Education Programme in Kerry there are great examples throughout the county of technology enhanced learning taking place. The introduction of smart technology in some classrooms has helped in this. Tutors have made great use of the technology for teaching, evaluation, engagement and building motivation. Many of you have heard me comment on how I have observed a change in the ‘geography of classrooms’. Students are up and at the top of the room using the Interactive White Screens to learn, to show others what they know, to work alongside the tutor. In the coming year we will focus on providing you with opportunities to enhance your own knowledge and confidence around using technology in the classroom. We plan to run sessions on using the Interactive Whiteboards and on using smartphones and i-Pads and a variety of apps. All of these enhance the teaching and learning experience for both learner and tutor.
It is important that we deliver our services in line with national policy and that we identify ways to support technology enhanced learning during the lifetime of this strategy. We will support you in that journey over the coming years.