The VocTeach FE Symposium

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The first VocTeach Symposium (#VocTeach20) takes place this week. With the support of Ufi VocTech Trust, the event brings together FE educational experts and practitioners, EdTech experts, awarding organisations and other stakeholders, aiming to kickstart a broad community to support the aggregation of high quality learning resources for online FE education.

Hosted by the Open University (OU)
The Symposium will be chaired by Prof John Domingue, Director of the Knowledge Media Institute.  John is scientific director of a EU-funded project which is road-mapping how education will be transformed due to the impact of blockchains, AI, data and augmented and virtual reality technologies.

To open the event, Prof. Ian Fribbance will make a scene-setting introduction.  Ian is Professor of Economics Education and the Executive Dean of the Faculty of Arts & Social Sciences, the largest faculty of its kind in Europe with over 60,000 students. He has 30 years’ experience of Higher Education and 5 years in Further Education too. The current global pandemic has exposed issues and enforced changes across many sectors including within education. Teaching online obviously is very different to teaching face to face. The OU’s 50+ years of distance teaching experience has taught us that a key success factor for online education is founded on the use of high quality teaching resources.

Meet the Speakers

The first session will present the VocTeach Vision. Rebecca Garrod-Waters, Ufi CEO, will explain their Mission, Vision, and Strategy.  This will be followed by a joint presentation by the  Open University’s Dr Amel Bennaceur, VocTeach Project Coordinator and Dr Petr Knoth, the Technical Lead.  They will explain how the project aims to aggregate, organise and provide easy and harmonised access to teaching resources for Further Education teachers and vocational educators and give a preview of the VocTeach platform, a prototype, which is currently in development.

Next will be the Keynote Talk from Bob Harrison, an educator, adviser and Visiting Professor at Wolverhampton University. In his talk entitled ‘FE Landscape in Covid: Challenges and Issues’ Bob will explore what ‘EdTech’ needs to drive change in the system.

Presentations from FE-sector leaders:

Tony Cann CBE and Founder of Learning by Questions (LbQ) will explain the activities required for ‘Making Remote Pedagogies Work’. Tony Cann founded Promethean which was set-up to develop interactive whiteboards and the associated teaching pedagogy to improve teaching and learning in schools and reduce teacher work-load.

Dr Maren Deepwell, the CEO of Association for Learning Technology (ALT), shaping the direction of education technology and driving the field forward internationally. She will present insights into the data collected during the recent AmplifyFE – Communities of Practice Sector Audit.

Vikki Liogier, is an EdTech & Digital Capability Expert at the Education & Training Foundation (EFT), who will talk about Fostering sustainable communities of practice on the Enhance Digital Teach Platform.

Caroline Wright, Director General of the British Education Suppliers Association (BESA), will give the final invited talk on Supporting schools through lockdown – LearnED and LendEd a BESA case study.

An opportunity to interact with our Panel and Roundtables….
Our Panel theme is: Future of Aggregations of Online Educational Resources for FEProf. John Domingue will chair the panel comprised of keynote speaker, Bob Harrison, Robin GhurbhurunManaging Director UK  (Further Education and Skills) Jisc speaking, Amy Hollier, Director of Blended & Online Learning at the Heart of Worcestershire College, and last but not least David Monk, E Learning Development Coordinator in Harlow College’s innovative digital team. Registrants are invited to submit a question or highlight an issue to be considered by the Panel.

Roundtables on Requirements and challenges in FE
The audience have an opportunity to interact with the event speakers & panellists in virtual breakout rooms to consider the afternoon’s proceedings and agree the next steps towards building an FE network and kickstarting a community of practice.  Participants will hear how to keep in touch with the project team, to how to get early access to the VocTeach demonstrator in 2021.


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