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T.E.L.E.S. - Technology Enhanced Learning Essential Skills
Start date: Jun 1, 2015, End date: May 31, 2016 PROJECT  FINISHED 

This Technology Enhanced Learning Essential Skills (TELES) project aimed to widen College knowledge and expertise in the development of mechanisms for engaging delivery processes within the three core areas of Literacy, Numeracy and ICT. The Derry City and Strabane District Council area has the youngest population in Northern Ireland - 40% are under the age of 25 and as a result the College is tasked with the requirement to provide curriculum targeted at those not in education, employment or training (NEETs). School retention rates in the region are a challenge and the College provides bridging opportunities both in the College and community environment to the NEETs demographic, especially those in the 16-18 age category, with a strong emphasis on essential skills development in literacy, numeracy and ICT and development opportunities through apprenticeship programmes such as Training for Success, and Apprenticeship Northern Ireland. The NWRC delivers 4000+ qualifications in essential skills literacy, numeracy and ICT each year. We deliver across a wide range of learners from 16 to adult and work in workplaces, prisons and community venues in addition to our mainstream provision. For the last four years the North West Regional College has been implementing a strategic plan to improve the quality of learning and teaching in essential skills, which includes the use of technology enhanced learning to support the needs of these weaker learners, in line with the College Development Plan and the Education and Training Inspectorate guidelines to increase the use of technology in the classroom. This project enabled 4 staff, whose job role involves coaching and supporting teaching staff within Essential Skills to job shadow staff in the Netherlands school system in several colleges within the Dutch Alliance network, where achievements in Essential Skills are acknowledged as being best practice standard. The mobility looked especially at the use of technology enhanced learning to improve the quality of the classroom experience. Participants had the opportunity to develop their pedagogical skills and observed best practice in how to better integrate technology into essential skills teaching to provide students with a more varied learning experience, making the classroom learning more appealing and thereby sustaining the desire to stay in education longer or acquire skills or competences that will enhance employment opportunities. Moreover, the participants learned about varying approaches to technology enhanced learning which will be useful not only within the field of Essential Skills but which can be disseminated throughout the College and its wider network in the longer term as policy changes are being made within this sector in Northern Ireland.

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