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Further education’s top ten social media superstars revealed

List showcases the best examples of people using social media to help spread best practice and boost engagement

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List showcases the best examples of people using social media to help spread best practice and boost engagement

From lecturers to college managers, further education’s most influential social media gurus are revealed today by ed tech company Jisc.

The top ten further education social media superstars are those individuals who are leading the way when it comes to embracing all that platforms ranging from Twitter to YouTube have to offer.

From creating online networks and teaching resources to finding work placements for students, the list recognises the most influential individuals in FE when it comes to social media.

The top ten have been selected by a panel of FE and social media experts including Tes columnist and founder of UKFEChat Sarah Simons and Paul McKean, head of FE and skills at Jisc.

Mr McKean commented: “It’s great to see the variety of ways practitioners are using social media to support their practice. The top ten use a whole range of platforms in many diverse and exciting ways”.

The top 10 social media superstars

Scott Hayden, digital learning ambassador, Basingstoke College of Technology

In charge of a team that trains staff in creative and innovative approaches to teaching and learning.

Judges’ comments: “His ongoing exploration of how communication platforms can be used to support students and staff alike is both exciting and inspirational. He clearly cares about what he does, about the people he works with, and those he works for – his learners”.


Tony Payne. student experience manager, East Kent College Group

Runs @lvpnet, which is a network for Learner Voice practitioners across the UK.

Judges’ comments: “Tony’s uses social media to advocate for the value of Learner Voice and in doing so, in collaboration with the NUS, has created a powerful tool to enable institutions to improve their own Learner Voice offer”.


Jade Easton, deputy head of commercial services, Kingston College

Pioneered the college’s use of Twitter, setting up @KC_SportBTEC.

Judges’ comments: “She has built an account that attracts the attention of potential employers and future applicants to Kingston College by documenting and celebrating the journey of current and former students through pictures, hashtags and frequent engagement with other Twitter accounts”.


Lisa Shields, lecturer in marketing and retail, City of Glasgow College

Has used Twitter since 2010, when developing her teaching practice as a new FE lecturer.

Judges’ comments: “Lisa ties the importance of engagement with social media to her teaching curriculum and skillfully engages learners. This is an excellent example of modelling good practice.  This is an inventive and committed use of social media platforms”.


Anshi Singh, IT lecturer, Reading College

Uses social media to connect with educators across the globe as well as finding work experience placements for students.

Judges’ comments: “She shows great enthusiasm for creating new online connections, harnessing the medium as a tool to instigate work experience opportunities and industry collaboration. The college project she is leading to teach responsible social media use demonstrates her commitment to leading learning and good practice”.


James Donaldson, Head of additional learning needs and wellbeing, Cardiff and Vale College

Uses social media to promote, share and teach technology online and is co-organiser of Teach Meet South Wales.

Judges’ comments: “James’s enthusiasm and engagement with the wider FE community has led to sharing good practice through real life and online meets. His research into how analytics can help support ALN learners is an interesting project and has potential for far-reaching implementation”.


Aftab Hussain, strategic lead for information learning technology, Bolton College

Showcases the work of his college in a blog.

Judges’ comments: “The team has used social media as a way of continuing to support students at the library, countering the lack of time available for face-to-face contact. They use social media to its fullest advantage, not only in terms of in-college promotion but to the wider public”.


Simon Reddy, teacher, City College Plymouth and the University of Plymouth

Uses social media to help engage apprentice plumbers, with Facebook groups for tutors, assessors, college managers, directors and apprentices.

Judges’ comments: “Simon has created a platform for his students to develop professionally in the safety of an online Facebook group, which is an excellent use of the platform, and one that other teachers can learn from and implement easily (and at no cost!)”.


James Kieft, learning technologies manager, Activate Learning

Promotes technological tools on his blog and YouTube channel, where he suggests how they could be used to benefit teaching and learning.

Judges’ comments: “By investigating what’s on offer and curating what he finds useful, he has successfully removed a barrier in tech engagement – colleagues’ lack of time. James has created a highly useful means to support colleges and share good practice, within his college and beyond”.


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