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How Cardiff and Vale College is embedding digital competence and developing its digital vision

Darllenwch y dudalen hon yn Gymraeg

The journey to digital transformation is not an easy one and doesn’t happen overnight. Here’s the approach we’re taking at Cardiff and Vale College (CAVC).

DCF CAVC Hannah Profile Pic 300dpi

We are driving digital transformation in a number of ways, firstly through staff training and secondly through cultural change and change management.

Training is crucial, so we are using INSET days, workshops, one to one sessions, and departmental Digital Leaders providing bespoke training to support the teachers with Technology Enhanced learning (TEL) experiments, via the Microsoft Educator Community (MEC) website and the Microsoft Imagine Academy.The MEC enables staff to follow the Microsoft Innovative Educator pathways, and gain other badges in courses in their own time, to improve their digital competence in Microsoft products and technology enhanced learning. The Imagine academy provides up-to-date resources to train and certify students and educators on Microsoft products and technologies. TEL Experiments have been running over the last year, where staff have been exploring the use of learning technologies that will enhance their teaching and learning, and then produce a case study to demonstrate the impact.

We want to build staff confidence, so digital leaders support the process and provide a safe environment for staff to try things with the understanding that it’s ok to fail. This is important as we try to build resilience and encourage innovation in teaching and learning methodologies. To facilitate this all of our Staff Digital Leaders are gaining badges as Microsoft Innovative Educator Experts, and completing the Microsoft Certified Educator exam to help drive change in their departments.

DCF CAVC - buggy phoneThis month we launch our TEL journey to staff, where we hope to gamify TEL CPD for staff and reward them for their participation. We have three TEL journeys, one each for teachers, business support staff and leaders. These journeys include development of O365 skills using the MEC, the Microsoft Imagine Academy and Microsoft Accredited exams, Moodle, TEL experiments, and digital leadership. The starting point of this journey is the JISC Digital Capability Discovery tool, where staff self-assess their digital capabilities, and are given an online development plan. We are mapping these digital capabilities to the MEC and the Imagine Academy, so staff know which courses will help them develop specific capabilities. This is part of a 3-year development plan and will be a useful tool during appraisals, for staff and managers.

However, the training is just part of our digital transformation. For this to embed it needs to become part of college culture; it is all about change management and cultural change, not the technology. We are working towards this by embedding TEL into lesson observations, appraisals and induction. Our TEL strategy is also very closely linked to our Teaching and Learning strategy, which helps to make this cultural shift, and facilitate the move towards a critical mass of staff engaging with TEL and it becoming normal practice.

DCF CAVC Detail buggyThe TEL team have also been running student enrichment sessions linked to the Digital Competence Framework, as our learners have missed this opportunity in schools, and the DCF doesn’t cover post 16. We’ve been running workshops on using Office 365 and Windows 10, coding using Lego Mindstorms, Minecraft coding, eSafety, and a cyber-security workshop.

As I said, this journey to digital transformation is not an easy one, and it does not happen overnight. Nonetheless, it is critical to have that vision, strategy and leadership from the top for this to embed into the culture. Only then will we see that mass shift to this becoming a natural part of teaching and learning, and we no longer have to call it by another name like digital learning, digital competency, or technology enhanced learning, it will just be the norm.

Hannah Mathias, E-learning Manager at Cardiff and Vale College (CAVC).

Hannah has an MSc in E-Learning, is a Microsoft Certified Educator, and is currently the E-learning Manager at Cardiff and Vale College, She was a member of the Welsh Government’s Steering Group for ICT.

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