I guess I would say that I have had a ‘portfolio’ career – I’ve dabbled in a lot of different areas and done a lot of different kinds of work. This tag cloud below gives an overview of the kinds of work I’ve done.
Social media training and conference workshops
In 2010 I began to share my enthusiasm for all things social media and learning related in lots of different places online and at work. Many of the things I have learnt are now shared on this blog, on slideshare and Prezi and I’m continuing to be resident online so that I can help people navigate the brave new world we’re in! Through the year I developed a series of courses and workshops which I delivered both to colleagues at LLUK (where I was working) as part of the organisation’s Learning and Development Plan and at a variety of conferences in the Further Education Sector.
Self-employment as a freelance consultant in the lifelong learning sector
I was self employed from 2000-2002 and then 2004-2006. These are just a few of the contracts and projects I worked on:
- Sub Regional Project Manager (West Yorkshire) for the Creative Minds programme. Creative minds was a project set up and funded by Yorkshire Forward to inspire young people in STEM (Science, technology, engineering and maths) subjects using museum and library collections. Was involved in the strategic commissioning and subsequent programme management of 9 projects in West Yorkshire. Created learning resources which can now be viewed on the MyLearning website for teachers.
- Consultant for the Lindley Library Reading Garden project. I engaged local school children to work with a garden designer and the library staff to design a ‘reading garden’ for Lindley Library in Huddersfield. The garden can now be visited at Lindley Library.
- Talking Partnerships Image & Identity toolkit – created a CD rom toolkit on museum partnership working based on the experience of the Image & Identity project at the Victoria and Albert Museum.
- Created a Workforce Development Strategy for museums in Yorkshire and Humberside for YMLAC (Yorkshire Museums Libraries and Archives Council).
- Devised two historical characters – one Tudor, one Greek – and delivered living history talks in primary schools across Yorkshire. Produced learning materials complementary to the talks and the National Curriculum for teachers to build a project for their pupils around my visits.
- Evaluation of a ‘silver surfers’ project in South Yorkshire for YHMC (Yorkshire and Humberside Museums Council).
- Created a peer-assessment framework for FE college librarians to help with Ofsted scores for YMLAC (Yorkshire Museums Libraries and Archives Council).
- Editing, designing and producing of a Cultural Diversity Report & Audience Development Toolkit for YMLAC (Yorkshire Museums Libraries and Archives Council).
- Evaluation of the Speaking Volumes project in the libraries of Yorkshire for YMLAC (Yorkshire Museums Libraries and Archives Council). This was a project to help libraries improve their audio book collections and work with Visually Impaired Readers groups across the county.
I was an Education Consultant at Frog (January 2011-July 2011), these are some of the key pieces of work I did before being made redundant:
- Ran a pilot with secondary schools across the UK to develop Frog’s School Improvement Programme – a service and online tool to help schools make the most of technology for whole school improvement.
- Voiceover and screencasting for a promotional video for the Frog learning platform which contributed to the awarding of a large contract.
- Live-blogging for the Frog 2011 Conference resulting in over 1,500 hits.
I was promoted three times in four years working at this Sector Skills Council (now no longer in existence). These are the roles I undertook and some highlights of my work.
Specialist Workforce Development Advisor (Technology Enhanced Learning) July 2010 – December 2010
- Commissioned and disseminated research into the impact of technology on teaching and learning in the lifelong learning sector with recommendations for what makes effective workforce development in the area of technology for learning.
- Worked on a variety of strategic boards at the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS), Becta and the Department for Culture Media and Sport representing the interests of the lifelong learning workforce and their needs related to the use of technology.
- Developed and delivered a series of training courses in the use of social media for audience engagement and professional development.
- Delivered key-note speeches at a variety of professional development conferences for further education teachers and teacher trainers.
Senior Policy Advisor (Technology Enhanced Learning) August 2009 – July 2010
- Initiated a unique social media experiment online to gather views on the impact of technology on the way we teach and learn using the hashtag #learning3. This generated interest internationally and raised the profile of the organisation with the lifelong learning sector.
- Liaised with key partners to ensure that standards and qualifications for the further education workforce are sufficiently addressing skills needs related to the use of technology for learning. This work contributed to the government’s ‘Harnessing Technology’ strategy and resulted in improved skills levels across the further education sector.
Strategy and Policy Advisor May 2008 – July 2009
- Negotiated the development of the first agreed UK manifesto for youth work. The Welsh Assembly Government adopted the manifesto as the framework for their Youth Work Workforce Development plan.
- Responded on behalf of the organisation to over 20 government consultations. This raised the profile of the organisation and provided expertise to policy makers, often challenging the government on behalf of the lifelong learning sector.
Information Officer (England) July 2006 – May 2008
- Wrote and presented a full analysis of consultation feedback for the Sector Skills Agreement – building on 76 consultation events. From this clear priorities and workforce development solutions were developed to guide the future direction of the organisation.
I worked for two years (2002-2004) at the LSC West Yorkshire (now closed down) as a Quality Improvement Specialist. This was a graduate training position. Whilst there I was also a Union Representative for the PCS Union. Highlights of my work:
- Analysis of Further Education College performance in West Yorkshire in Ofsted inspections.
- Visited principals of FE colleges to provide advice and guidance on quality improvement with the aim of achieving good grades in Ofsted inspections.
- Assessed the quality of submitted Self Assessment Reports from FE Colleges (they were required to submit these reports in order to receive funding from the LSC).