On Friday 2nd July 2021 the West of England Institute of Technology (WEIoT) held its first staff conference, titled the Educator Network Conference. As a new collaborative Institution, the conference aimed to bring teaching staff from across the education providers together to share effective practice, learn more about the technology and resources available to them and discover how the Institutes industry links can enhance their teaching delivery.
In 2019 the first Institutes of Technology (IoT) were selected through a government-led competition and 12 were awarded – the WEIoT was one of these.
The WEIoT launched in October 2020 with an aim to deliver flexible higher-level technical learning to students and businesses to aid progression within digital innovation and emerging technologies. It is a consortium of education providers and key employers across the West of England, led by Weston College and includes the UWE Bristol, Bath College, Gloucestershire College, and Yeovil College as well as a network of key local employers, known as anchor partners, which includes GKN Aerospace, Airbus, GE Aviation, Renishaw, University Hospitals Bristol and Weston NHS Trust, St Monica Trust, Jisc, io Academy, National Composites Centre (NCC), North Somerset Council, Leonardo, Rolls Royce and Bamboo Technology.
The Educator Network Conference delegates were virtually welcomed by the Minister for Apprenticeships and Skills, Gillian Keegan who commented: “You’re a shining example of how you level up via technical education across the country”.
The day was then followed by live sessions from Weston College and Jisc on an Introduction to 21st Century Learning; and embedding Jisc digital capability into curriculum.
New facilities and resources were also showcased by Yeovil and Bath College, discussing student experience and how this can be accompanied by curriculum delivery to ensure the vision of the WEIoT has been matched. Bath College also demonstrated their remote teaching in Computing with their lecturer who is based in Finland.
The Conference closed with a panel Q&A from Claire Arbery, Director of the West of England Institute of Technology, Paul McKean, Jisc, Director of FE and Skills and Andrew Leighton Price, the Chair of the West of England Institute of Technology.
The Q&A helped to improve understanding of IoT’s and what the WEIoT aspires for the future.
Dr Paul Phillips CBE, Principal and Chief Executive of the Weston College Group, commented: “We are thrilled to be a part of the Educator Network Conference. The WEIoT will significantly influence skills development and innovation on both a regional and national basis and the WEIoT strength is working collaboratively with other institutes and employers
Find out more about the WEIoT- www.weston.ac.uk/weiot