Embrace technology to survive the area reviews, colleges told

Will Martin

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Colleges which fail to evolve and innovate will not be able to survive the area reviews or provide appropriate provision for their learners, a technology expert has warned.

Bob Harrison, chair of governors at Northern College and a member of the Further Education Learning Technology Action Group (FELTAG), told the Bett Show 2016 that embracing technological advances should be hard-wired into providers' approach to teaching and learning.

"FELTAG is not something that is added – it underpins everything that we do in colleges," he said. "Your ability to cope with area-based reviews, Prevent and apprenticeships will all depend on digital technology. If we don’t have innovation, we don’t evolve. If we don’t evolve, we die."

FELTAG was established in January 2013 to make practical recommendations about the implementaion of digital technology in FE. In February 2014, FELTAG recommended that all publicly-funded FE courses in England should have 10 per cent of their content online by the end of this academic year – and half online by 2017/18.

Cathy Ellis, director of enquiry and emerging practice at Highbury College, said: "I think it's important to keep in mind what our business is. Our business is teaching and learning, preparing our students to go out into the world, into adulthood, to be digital citizens and proactive learners. As long as we keep that in mind we're always going to be looking for improvements in our technology."

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Will Martin

Will is a junior reporter at TES

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