The Department for Education has announced Exeter College will be a part of the EdTech Demonstrator Programme and will provide support for other education providers to deliver remote learning during the Coronavirus outbreak and beyond.
The EdTech Demonstrator Programme, which is backed by the Department for Education, The National Grid for Learning, The Education Foundation and Sheffield Hallam University, provides a platform for peer-to-peer support in education, and Exeter College will be one of a number of Demonstrator Colleges helping other institutions get the most out of online learning.
Exeter College has long been an advocate of advancing digital learning opportunities, and is one of just a handful of colleges in the country to be a ‘Microsoft Showcase College’, which recognises the College’s commitment to engage in innovative online teaching and learning for staff and students.
Since the Government lockdown of schools and colleges in response to the Coronavirus outbreak, the majority of Exeter College students have been receiving their education online, either through interactive online seminars, recorded lectures or via College email addresses.
It’s hoped that the College’s involvement in the EdTech Demonstrator Programme will help share this expertise with other providers who may feel like they’re not making the most out of digital learning opportunities.
Exeter College Assistant Principal Jenny Leach, who led the College’s offer of help on the Programme, said, “We wanted to get involved in this scheme to help other schools and colleges, in any way we can, deliver the best possible online learning experience for their students.
“At present, there are a few different ways learning could take place for students in the next academic year and we felt it important to use our expertise in online learning to try and help any schools or colleges who might not be using online learning to its full potential.”
The EdTech Demonstrator Programme will run until 31st March 2021 and Exeter College will be one of the institutions tasked with providing advice, guidance and support to other schools and colleges. This could be in the form of helping to upskill teaching staff, introducing best practice for digital tools and technical support on the behind-the-scenes working of learning online.
Jenny said, “The Programme is in response to some of the challenges schools have faced during the Coronavirus lockdown, but this will also be an opportunity to make a lasting impact on how education works for a lot of schools.
“The aim is obviously to help schools through the current uncertain period, but online learning can be used to enhance teaching, learning and assessment beyond this, and that’s one of the secondary aims of the Programme. We want this to have a lasting impact with schools and help enhance the learning environment of their learners for many years to come.”
Support will be given by Demonstrator schools and colleges in the form of Continuous Professional Development opportunities for staff, as well as providing one-to-one and group support for those who want to improve their online education practices. Time has also been allocated specifically for how schools can engage pupils with special educational needs or disabilities in online learning, so the content is accessible to all.
Find out more about Exeter College’s status as a Microsoft Showcase College.