The past two years have highlighted the urgent need to level up learning, especially in Further and Vocational Education and Training. How can we help a workforce that is already stretched and coping with much uncertainty?
One successful initiative that launched in October 2020 is AmplifyFE, a network that connects professionals, providing a strong networking community for them to share, collaborate and learn. Led in partnership with the Association for Learning Technology (ALT) and Ufi VocTech Trust (Ufi), the initial project produced valuable resources for the sector, including a well received Communities of Practice Sector Audit Report which was conducted during the unprecedented period of disruption that has been the COVID-19 pandemic.
Reflecting on the impact of the partnership ALT’s CEO, Dr Maren Deepwell says: “Over the past ten years I have been part of FELTAG and ETAG and subsequent initiatives and I have seen first-hand how much change this sector has to weather. This partnership between ALT and Ufi is so significant because it provides a foundation on which we can build to effect long term change for the better, and support for a workforce that places learners at the heart of every learning context.”
The findings and recommendations put forward were particularly timely and insightful in identifying those factors which are strongly associated with establishing and sustaining effective and collegiate Communities of Practice. We have also seen increasingly urgent needs across vocational education for levelling up learning and bridging the digital divide as highlighted by the Ufi VocTech Challenge White Paper (2021).
Working together, ALT and Ufi are now putting those insights into practice through a Strategic Partnership which aims to support and grow the AmplifyFE network into a community space and scale up its impact for the sector. As the leading professional body for Learning Technology in the UK, with nearly 30 years of experience in supporting such communities, ALT is well placed to lead on this development.
To find out more about the partnership, head to the webpage.
Celebrating the launch of the AmplifyFE Community Space
The AmplifyFE Community Space will enable vocational teaching staff to acquire, develop and share the digital and digital pedagogical skills they need, with the ultimate aim of catalysing change across the UK so that significant scale can be achieved in digital vocational learning for adults.
This partnership project directly supports a growing number of professionals who directly lead this effort, supporting learners and teachers in their efforts to create a vision of the future of vocational education beyond the crisis.
Whilst the work we do is relevant to the broader challenges set out in the White Paper, the core areas which we most closely align with are (learning) technology and digital skills.
The new AmplifyFE Community Space will:
- Provide a place for vocational educators to share and learn from each other, increasing their access to learning technology expertise, digital pedagogy and professional development opportunities
- Champion the use of accessible, inclusive learning technology to help those adult learners most impacted by the digital divide so that more people in the UK have improved access to vocational skills
- Engage with FE groups and communities of practice and researchers in vocational learning to share best practice
- Work across the whole Further Education and Training sector in its widest terms engaging with vocational educators and those who support them in FE Colleges, Adult and Community Learning (ACL), work-based and independent learning providers, prison learning, ESOL communities, ‘HE in FE’ providers, the whole, diverse sector.
- Amplify the voice of professionals in strategic developments across the sector, led by organisations including ALT and Ufi.
The AmplifyFE Community Space is open to all and free to join. To find out more and get involved, visit the AmplifyFE website.