Author: Kevan Williams – TELT
At no other time in our educational history has there been so much pressure to make use of technology to support the way we learn, teach and work, and all of this in a climate of continual global change. What do I really need to know? Who can I speak to for support? How can I be inspired? Where do I even start? We’ve all been there and can empathise with the challenges and conflictions we see so many of our colleagues jostling with.
Through the investigation and evaluation of technology and its place in our professional practice, we are developing a rich repository of digital approaches, each inspired by the work of colleagues from across the university and from the education sector more broadly. Whether you have a problem to solve, an activity to develop, or simply looking for ways in which technology can enhance what you do, taking a practice-informed route is a great way to start upon your digital journey.
At UCLan we have developed several faculty learning and teaching communities within Microsoft Teams to facilitate collaboration and connectivity around key themes. Within these online spaces, knowledgeable and digitally capable academic colleagues, in partnerships with members of the Technology Enabled Learning and Teaching Team, are willing to share their experiences with others and provide much needed help and support. A virtual coffee meeting with a colleague can go a long way to alleviating some of the stress brought about by the unprecedented growth in online delivery.
Take some time to reflect upon your own practice and consider where you have applied a digital approach or observed how technology has had a positive impact on others. There are some fantastic examples published on this blog page which may inspire your thoughts, click the subscribe button to receive email notifications of our weekly submissions.
Follow the @UCLanTELT Twitter account for regular tips, tricks, information and activities geared towards enhancing digital practice. Regular campaigns focus on contemporary challenges and we regularly update our followers with an eclectic mix of interesting and innovative thoughts and ideas.
It is also worth joining the DigiLearn Sector, which is hosted by UCLan, membership is open to internal and external educational organisations and associated professional services staff. The sector community provides a conduit for international knowledge exchange through a hub of experts across the digital spectrum and operates as a catalyst to positively influence the ongoing development of technology-enhanced practice.
Your own personal experiences can be channelled to inspire and support others by developing and contributing to peer communities and sharing knowledge and expertise. If you observe a colleague successfully implementing technology in their practice, you are very likely to consider something similar yourself.
Keep it simple, look at what your colleagues are doing and learn from them. Choose a technology and master it, you cannot be a master of them all. Collaborate with others, embrace community connections and share what you have learned. Make time to practice, practice, practice and you may soon find that the perfection we strive for is not so much of a dream after all.