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learningTECH


Free modules on accessibility are now at your fingertips


By Liz Wallis


A new batch of free, bite-sized EdTech training modules about accessibility has been launched on the Enhance Digital Teaching Platform, the Education and Training Foundation’s (ETF’s) EdTech training service. These free resources offer concise information about different aspects of accessibility and provide guidance on how to design learning and assessment activities that are inclusive.


The 11 new modules all focus on element F – accessibility and inclusion – of the ETF’s Digital Teaching Professional Framework (DTPF), the national EdTech competency framework. The modules are: Learning benefits of text to speech; What is assistive technology?; Creating inclusive content – principles; Creating inclusive content – practice; Accommodating the learner’s digital context; Equitable


access to digital technologies; Influencing and promoting policy for equitable access; Making learning accessible – a whole organisation approach; Supporting special learning needs; Learning for independent living; Bring your own device (BYOD) – teaching strategies.


The new modules bring the


total number of bite-size training modules on the Enhance platform to 51, with 49 more in the pipeline. By the end of March there will be 100 EdTech training modules on the platform, covering all aspects of the DTPF. The DTPF is now available interactively on the Enhance platform, meaning users can click and see which training module can support development of their competency in each area of the framework. For more information and to access the new accessibility modules, visit: enhance. etfoundation.co.uk


IT


IDEAS


By Geoff Rebbeck Education technology’s progress is a story of being faster, bigger, more reliable and better integrated. It is commonplace now for learners to use sound and video content in collaborative learning, and to meet in groups online, supporting each other in collaborative learning. Here are three good contemporary examples of services that can aid collaborative learning. Soundcloud (soundcloud.com)


offers users up to 180 hours of free audio storage online. From a learning perspective, sound files can be produced by students or tutors and shared with others in collaborative learning, as well as ‘pointed to’ as evidence in a presentation. A video equivalent is Vimeo


Liz Wallis


is founder and managing director of SERO, a specialist education and skills consultancy. She has worked with the ETF to develop the DTPF and the Enhance Digital Teaching Platform.


(vimeo.com), which offers a video store and place for publishing and sharing videos. This is a paid-for service but is ad-free and gives learners a channel to ‘showcase and share’. Group calls on the web are a


Kerr Gardiner runs an independent educational technology consultancy specialising in digital transformation – www.kerrgardiner.co.uk


Academic integrity is something that is of concern to all education providers: plagiarism, cheating, impersonation, and essay mills have all made the news in recent months. So how do you know a student’s work is their own, that they haven’t paid somebody to write their assignment, or even stand in for them in a practical assessment? Plagiarism and integrity tools are perhaps more commonly used in HE, but the issues are there in FE and training, and simple web searches are no longer enough. At the recent Turnitin user group in Newcastle I saw a new piece of software called


Authorship which goes far beyond simple checking. Authorship provides data which may signal cheating. It has the ability to analyse the language used in students’ work and it can collate learners’ past assignments for comparison. I believe that such tools will become increasingly essential in education. To find out more, go to: www.turnitin.com/products/authorship


growth area and there are a number of services offering teachers the chance to hold tutorials or meetings with learners who cannot make it to a class in person. Whereby (whereby.com) is worth exploring, supporting small groups of people in a video and content-sharing call. There is no log-in or any installations required and it is ad-free, making it easy and convenient. All three services provide new


ways to design learning and for learners to collaborate online and share content in group work preparation.


Geoff Rebbeck is a further and higher education teacher. He is an award-winning expert in e-learning and is a Fellow of SET. Visit Geoff’s website at www.geoffrebbeck.com


inTUITION ISSUE 38 • WINTER 2019 33


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