Providers urged to think about what technology ‘will do for learners’

Providers urged to think about what technology ‘will do for learners’

The impact technology has on learners is more important to Ofsted than the technology itself, a former inspector told delegates at the Association of Employment and Learning Providers’ Learning Technologies Expo 2015.

Kerry Boffey (pictured above), director of the Adult Learning Improvement Network, said providers needed to think about what technology “will do for learners”.

“Does it speed up their learning? Does it make it more enjoyable? More interactive? More accessible? What difference does it make to their learning?” she said.

“That’s how technology is used in your self-assessment and in your inspection preparation and while you’re being inspected.”

Ofsted inspectors, she said, “don’t want to see technology — they want to see how you use technology, and the difference it makes to those learners”.

“Technology is only good if we actually use it, if we embrace it, if we find out how to use it and think about the impact it’s going to have on our learners,” said Ms Boffey.

Meanwhile, Stewart Segal, speaking at the event held at the ILEC Conference Centre, London, on November 5, said technology was “no longer an option” for providers, and that he didn’t see “too many training providers surviving this change unless they maximise the effective use of ICT”.

He described the “era of flexibility” being opened up by government “standing back from telling providers how to deliver things” as an opportunity that training providers should “grab”.

“The challenge is great, the pace of change is great — but I think the opportunity is great,” he said.

“More employers will be paying for the training that they get, and more learners will be paying for the training they get, through loans. It’s really important that we use ICT to develop that focus,” he said.

However, he cautioned providers against thinking that technology is an “end in itself”.

“You can’t just buy yourself some new equipment and think that that is changing the way we deliver. But if you use ICT properly, it can reengineer your business,” he said.

In addition to the main speakers, the event featured 12 workshops grouped into three themes — e-learning, mobile learning and e-assessment.