Excited start with ideas aplenty at Northumberland College

We’ve just met the team at Northumberland College for the first time. We were hoping they’d be enthusiastic but were blown away by the amount of ideas they had and excitement they showed.

Danny and Sue demoed the modules to three teachers involved in the teacher training at the college. They will all be in charge of adapting one of the modules into their own teaching so it was great to see they were on board and excited about the possibilities.

Sue demoing e-learning modules at Northumberland College.

Exemplars in the use of ICT

The teachers involved were encouraged by the fact they will get to try enquiry-based e-learning with dedicated support. This is something they can then replicate in turn for their own students.

“We know we should use them more but sometimes we’re a bit hesitant because you tend to back off doing something that is a bit unfamiliar”, one of the teachers in the project team said.

e-Learning project team at Northumberland College.“The fact that there is going to be support all throughout the project is reassuring. I’m looking forward to developing new skills and becoming more comfortable with new technologies but also to motivating learners who are possibly a little unsure as well in using them.”

“One of the biggest challenges is to get them to apply what they learn in theory to actually do in a classroom themselves”, another teacher added.

“Often a trainee teacher will say ‘I get what we’ve done here but I don’t know how to use it’. This is a really good way of getting learners be more active and construct their own understanding.”

Re-invigorating the VLE

ashington3The project fits nicely into the college’s plans of reinvigorating their Virtual Learning Environment (VLE).

“Six years ago we had an e-Learning manager who was really pushing things forward”, Theresa Thornton, Teaching and Learning Co-ordinator, said.

“But we lost that post in organisational restructuring and lost that focus with it.”

Sparked by a recent Ofsted inspection which highlighted some areas for improvement in the use of ICT, Theresa devised a plan for re-invigorating their VLE. By chance, she came across our project and was keen to take part.

“I always feel you should be leading by example, so if you are training trainee teachers, you really want to be using e-learning resources that they would aspire to use or to give them some ideas how to do things differently.”