Our Digital Learning team has spent the last few months conducting research as part of the government funded 8th phase of OTLA (Outstanding Teaching, Learning and Assessment) programme. Focusing on the potential for embedding digital learning methods into prison curriculum, our team has had the opportunity to present this research at several conferences, alongside other educators from across the sector.
Leading digital innovation
Ashleigh Whitwell, one of our colleagues who worked on the project, sees the chance to present as a “great way to bring the projects to and end while networking with peers from across the FE sector.”
In order to conduct this research, our team was involved in a number of internal events, such as our annual teaching and Learning Conference and the Digital Sprint. They also attended our establishments to conduct in-person research and training. The effort to understand the first-hand accounts of our educators has meant that the project has provided a wide variety of resources which are being shared with our colleagues.
Educator led research into digital expansion
Earlier this year, in anticipation of the final release of findings, the group were asked to lead a seminar at the Moving On Conference, our national event on the future of prison education. The Digital Learning team had participants engage with the resources themselves, encouraging a hands-on learning experience to understand how the new digital tools could be applied in a secure prison establishment.
Our Quality Managers couldn’t wait to get their hands on them and share them with their sites. We also received positive feedback from external colleagues, like those from City & Guilds, which was fantastic.
Finally, our team presented at a meeting of the Prison Learning Alliance to colleagues from across the sector. They discussed their findings from section 2b and section 2c of the research which focused on embedding digital skills in both Functional English Skills and Vocational classes. They look forward to discussing section 2a, which highlights the use of simulation tools in digital education, in a coming meeting.
This has been a fantastic opportunity and we couldn’t be prouder of the work from our team, who are setting the bar incredibly high for digital innovation in the prison sector.