There are many blogs out there about technology, education and technology in education. This is another one.
I’m Bex Ferriday and I’m a Learning Technology Manager.
Via stints as an illustrator and a barmaid I started my career in education a little late in life, working initially in an adult education centre where I taught basic literacy and numeracy skills. It was here that I discovered and first started playing with computers. And I was soon hooked.
After completing an initial teaching qualification I was employed as a Teacher Educator (a strange jump, and a massive learning curve), managing, teaching and assessing a range of initial and in-service teaching qualifications. All the while, my burgeoning love of all things ‘techie’ opened a variety of doors, allowing me to consult on a freelance-basis with other further an higher education institutions, present at a range of conferences both online, in the real world and in virtual worlds (something I still do) and taking on a wealth of day job-related side-projects. Among other things these examined the use of mobile devices in the classroom, developing online and blended versions of the courses my colleagues I and delivered, developing an island for my institution in Second Life and using my students as guinea pigs in the classroom. I mean that in a nice way. I enjoyed trying out emerging web tools and stuff like that with them, not only to see whether they worked – but hoping that I could instil a little of what enthused me into their own practice.
There came a time when I was presented with a choice: to continue working as a Teacher Trainer or to become a Learning Technologist. It took me fewer than 3 seconds to decide. This new role was something that I knew would be a challenge, moving me as it did from ‘front and centre’ teaching to supporting others who practiced in the classroom. However, I realised at this point that my skills had dovetailed perfectly: I understood the role of teacher, understood what technology could do if used effectively and was able to use my skills in art and design to develop what I hope were (and are) innovative, dynamic online materials. After 18 truly enjoyable months in the role I was offered my current post, so I left my lifelong home in Cornwall and started a new life in Wales.
Education is a serious business, and though the tone of my posts may be lighthearted and written without a scholarly sentence between them, that doesn’t mean that I don’t wholly understand what I do, or take what I do lightly. As well as exploring, using, and encouraging lecturers to embed technology into their practice, there’s a much bigger picture: helping lecturers and students alike to share their digital literacy skills, and making the navigation of today’s digital landscape as exciting as possible for as many as possible.
So that’s me. And this is my blog.