Getting Started: Access, Interest & Barriers – ESOL & PGCE

May 5, 2015Data 14-15

Cathy is lucky to have the ESOL group for Functional Skills ICT, so undertaking the digital logo task fitted in well with the course as an inital assessment task. The iPads were introduced to the ESOL group very early in the course but the research project was not introduced. The group were a very low level group and Cathy made the decision that at this early stage of the course they did not have the language to be able to discuss this further, and as I do not have the student’s consent I cannot share the work they produced in the class.

In the Cert Ed/PGCE group every student had their own technologies and brought these into class most weeks. The course is already quite tech-heavy and the first few weeks of the course are spent familiairising the students with the college’s VLE, the university’s online portal, their e-portfolio and the group’s Yammer page. For this reason the project wasn’t introduced to the group until late in the first term when Cathy delivered a sessoin on Digital Literacies.

Many of the educational apps were not known by the students (eg Edmodo, LinkedIn, Pinterest) and generally subject specific apps (eg hairdressing) were not known either. Twitter was generally disliked:

I don’t like it.

Another place to waste time

I don’t like hashtags

Social media apps such as FaceBook, WhatsApp and SnapChat were used for social reasons, but students were generally aware that they were sharing online and said they posted very little.

The technology used on the course was well liked. The VLE was generally well liked. They liked having access to the course resources to be able to recap the session and having the suggestions for wider reading. Yammer was also well liked, and one student talked about how she was learning about the difference between posting publically to the Yammer page and privately to the tutor. There were some issues with the notifications, both on the mobile apps and the email notifications.

Cathy asked students if they could use the VLE and Yammer for anything other than what they are already being used for. The group discussed if assignments could be submitted via Yammer & the plagarism software in TurnItIn and the security of the college back-ups were discussed.

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