#216 – VocTech Now: three college stories, responding to the pandemic
What’s in this episode?
VocTech Now was part of Ufi’s response to support the vocational learning sector in the UK during the Covid-19 pandemic.
It addressed the immediate barriers being faced by supporting vocational learning providers to rapidly transition to remote teaching and training and deliver accessible learning at a time of significant change. This was done with small grants of between £10k and £25k.
In this episode, you’ll hear stories from three colleges; Lancaster & Morecambe College, the Isle of Wight College and South West College in Northern Ireland. Our guests talk about some of the Further Education challenges they faced during 2020, how their collaboration with VocTech Now had a positive impact and we delve into some of the lessons they have learnt along the way.
Enjoy and follow the conversation using #VocTechPodcast and #VocTechNow.
Experienced Learning Technology Manager with a background in education technology.
Melissa Grimes, Learning Resource Centre Coordinators, South West College (Dungannon site)
Ian Grayling, Project Account Manager for Ufi VocTech Trust and Executive Director at thelyceumpro
Ian has now notched-up 40 years working in the Education and Training Sector. In this time, he has taught in every part of the sector, from voluntary organisations (WEA), independent training provision and further education colleges through to higher education at both undergraduate and postgraduate levels. He has also trained teachers, trainers and assessors working in each of these sub-sectors.
Originally trained in psychology, Ian retains a passion for achieving ‘human potential’ whether in the classroom, the workplace or in life, in general. Over the last fifteen years, he has been at the centre of national developments in the teaching and learning, as executive direct of the East Midlands Centre for Excellence in Teaching and Training (emCETT), the CETTacademy and now ‘thelyceumpro’. In these roles, he has led, designed and delivered a significant number of national improvement programmes on behalf of the Education and Training Foundation and its predecessor organisations (LSIS, LLUK, IfE, QIA, etc).
As vice-chair of the national Education and Training, Trailblazer group for five years, he was the chief architect of the new standards for Educational and Skills Teachers, Assessor Coaches and Learning Mentors.
Having spent 11 years in a mixture of teaching and church support roles, Mark found his niche at Capita, where he developed his skills as a learning technology solutions architect. This allowed Mark to grow in all sorts of directions – developing sales propositions, managing online communities, building websites, running projects, designing systems, and working closely with technology suppliers.
Twelve years later, in 2012, Mark was ready to spread his wings and jump full-time into running an independent consulting business – helping all sorts of organisations find, design and use appropriate technologies to meet their training, education and communication needs.
Mark is now living in France, still doing similar things, but as a French “auto-entrepreneur” – the approximate equivalent to the UK’s “self-employed”. His clients are mostly English-speaking, either in the Euro zone, or in the UK.
Sophie is the founder of the iTunes new and noteworthy, The Edtech Podcast. The mission of The Edtech Podcast is to improve the dialogue between ‘ed’ and ‘tech’ for better innovation, through storytelling. The podcast is downloaded from over 145 countries with the UK, US & Aus in the top 3. Sophie has spoken and moderated at a variety of events including SXSW EDU, Yidan Education Prize, ASU GSV Summit, and the Next Billion Edtech Summit. She is an industry mentor and advisor, including to the UCL Knowledge Lab initiative EDUCATE, a Reimagine Education, GESA Awards, Bett Awards and XPrize Adult Literacy judge, and previous Edtech50 and Edtech Digest winner.
Sophie is passionate about lifelong and everyday learning. If she’s not interviewing a University Vice-Chancellor, Edtech Investor, School Leader, or StartUp about education innovation, she’s engrossed in Teach Your Monster to Read or wrestling her lockdown baby. A keen cyclist, she has recently relocated to West Devon which she considers the English version of the Pyrenees. She is very lucky to work with a distributed team on The Edtech Podcast.
Quotes from this episode
References from this week’s episode
- Ufi Voctech Trust – Website, homepage
- Ufi Voctech – Twitter
- Ufi Voctech Trust – LinkedIn
- Ufi Week of VocTech – Website link
- Catch up on previous episodes of the VocTech Podcast series here – The Edtech Podcast website link
- Catch up on episode #215 – ‘VocTech in the Criminal Justice System’ here – Website link
- VocTech Now – Part of Ufi’s response to the Covic-19 pandemic – Website page link
- VocTech Seed Grants For Early Stage Projects In Vocational Learning are open from 21st January – Ufi website page link for more info
- Ty Goddard – Twitter
- Education Foundation – Twitter
- Edtech Demonstrator – Twitter
- Edtech Demonstrator – website
- Association of Colleges (AoC) – Twitter
- AoC analysis Spending review – document link
- Kev Jones – LinkedIn
- Kev Jones – Twitter
- New City College, London – Twitter
- Kingston Maurward College – Land-based college in Dorset – Twitter
- Kingston Maurward – website
- Moodle – Twitter
- Microsoft Teams – website
- South West College, Northern Island – Twitter
- Louise Woods – LinkedIn
- Ian Grayling – LinkedIn
- Dawn Smart – LinkedIn
- The Isle of Wight College – Twitter
- Pinnacle – video creation software website link
- Canvas LMS – Twitter
- Isle of Wight College – Twitter
- Burnley College – Twitter
- Lincoln College – Twitter
- West London College – Twitter
- Google for Education – Twitter
- Google for Education – Website
- Google Education: Professional Development – Website link
- Iain Parkinson – LinkedIn
- Lancaster & Morecambe College – Twitter
- Mark Berthelemy – LinkedIn
- Mark Berthelemy – Website
- Prof Sarah Gilbert: The woman who designed the Oxford vaccine – BBC News Article, 24 Nov 2020
- Time stamps for the episode
- 2:58 Ty Goddard of Education Foundation
- 6:40 Some Headlines
- 9:00 Kev Jones for Ufi VocTech Trust
- 14:35 Melissa Grimes and Louise Woods of South West College
- 19:50 Ian Grayling for Ufi VocTech Trust
- 28:25 Dawn Smart of The Isle of Wight College
- 38:40 Iain Parkinson of Lancaster & Morecambe College and Mark Berthelemy
- 54:00 Some final learnings from the VocTech Now collaborations
- 57:50 Episode wrap up and reminder about the VocTech Seed grants opening soon!
Thank you to the Ufi Voctech Trust
Our aim is to help improve vocational skills in the UK’s workforce by funding digital solutions for vocational learning. We only fund activity that is ‘scalable’ through technology, ie projects that use digital methods to widen access to vocational learning. While digital learning solutions are potentially open to all, we are especially keen to assist digital projects which involve post-school age vocational learners that have failed to be engaged by the education system. Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org, Head of Communications, Ufi Voctech Trust.
Tell us where you are listening in from
We’d love to hear about innovative technology or approaches you are developing or using in adult education. Leave your stories in the comments below. Alternately, record a quick free voicemail via speakpipe for inclusion in the next episode. Finally, you can post your thoughts or follow-on links via twitter @podcastedtech or via The Edtech Podcast Facebook page.