May Newsletter | Lfutures


May Newsletter | LfuturesWith the examination period well underway, thoughts turn again to the challenges faced by post-16 organisations as they strive to help as many learners as possible to improve their literacy and numeracy skills— to gain GCSE maths and English at grade C or above, or the relevant Level 2 qualification in Functional Skills.

In May’s newsletter, we are featuring the work being undertaken by two Learning Futures projects, ACER and Runshaw College, who are developing learning technology resources that will support staff in the delivery and assessment of English and maths:

  • Find out how Bob Read from ACER has been supporting tutors and assessors to use technologies such as sreencasting, video conferencing, sticky boards and Moodle-based resource banks to make English and maths programmes more engaging and interactive for learners on traineeship and apprenticeship programmes.
  • Discover how Richard Machlaclan from Runshaw College is using text to speech software, such as Orato, within exam settings, including GCSE English, and scroll down to review the English and maths resources that the project teams have curated.

We have also talked to Yousef Fouda, Project Champion, and Bob Harrison, Steering Group member and Industry Mentor, to explore their views on the changes in mindset, governance and infrastructure critical to supporting learners in a digital future.

May Newsletter | LfuturesAs a programme, we are keen to highlight free, open source technologies that can enhance learning. Sven Laux from Kineo introduces us to the latest news about Adapt Learning, an open source authoring tool that enables the development of a single piece of elearning in HTML5 to run on multiple devices, including desktops, smartphones and tablets.

We would also like your help with a ‘call to action’ from Heart of Worcestershire College. Scroll down to find out about a short online survey for governors designed to find out what they really think about learning technology.


Events and webinars

Participate in our live webinar on Screencasting, 3 June at 2.00 p.m, delivered by Roger Clegg, Head of Learning Resources at Oldham College and a Learning Futures Project lead;

Join our Learning Futures Showcase Event on 11th June to meet the 17 project teams and explore the resources they are developing;

See also  Vocational learning | Lfutures

Sign up to a dissemination event at Blackburn College on 29th June to find out more about the Learning Futures programme, the wider technology agenda, and the Digipals project being developed by the college.

Harnessing the Learning Futures CPD framework

During the next few months, many organisations will be focusing on staff development and we have a raft of resources ready for you to use. Our new CPD Guide page has been designed to help you make full use of all of these resources to create your own tailored CPD sessions.

At the core of our resources are 11 free CPD modules for staff that demonstrate how technology can be used to enhance learning: for example, effective instructional design, online badging, gamification and videos. Each module comprises a recorded webinar, a targeted activity and curated research:

Visit the CPD Guide web page for a simple road map through all our resources and to download an interactive PDF version.

Useful English and maths resources


The project team has curated a range of useful resources for Functional Skills in mathematics and Functional Skills in English.

The partnership has also created its own English and maths resources.

Peta Ltd

Take a look at their maths resources together with a range of educational apps that can be used with students.

Runshaw College

Review the app that the project lead is developing to capture and share the resources and approach they have taken to support students in accessing GCSE English exams using text to speech software.


Survey for governors 

The project teams are sharing the learning emerging from their work via their blogs and are keen to draw on the experience and knowledge of the wider community.

This month, Heart of Worcestershire would like to know what your governors really think about technology. Please encourage your Board members to read the blog and complete the survey. The answers will shape the resource packages they are creating and will contribute to the shared development of better governance of technology for learning.