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Digital innovation award for College staff

Rob Lea

Rob Lea

Rob Lea, eSystems Technologist at the College, has won the Microsoft Innovative Educator Expert (MIEE) Community Nomination Award for the work he has undertaken in relation to digital innovation at Barnsley College.

“I was delighted to be nominated for the award and especially to win it. To be nominated by your peers makes all the hard work worthwhile and appreciated.”

MIEE is a national programme created to recognise educators using technology to pave the way for their peers for better learning and student outcomes.

In response to the digital revolution brought about by COVID-19 restrictions, Rob has encouraged, supported and engaged teaching staff at the College to become certified MIEEs who have adopted 21st Century teaching and learning practices. They are now seen as leaders in digital technologies and coach and mentor other staff in College on how to adapt their teaching and learning to integrate digital technology tools to inspire students and improve outcomes. As a result of Rob’s commitment to digital innovation, 5% of College staff are now MIEE certified, surpassing the programme’s target of 1%.

The College has implemented a digital strategy which has seen the Digital Transformation Team support College staff over the past 18 months to ease the transition of digital learning. Through this work the team has provided staff with the skills and knowledge to ensure students are still receiving an outstanding learning experience throughout the pandemic.

Rob said: “I was delighted to be nominated for the award and especially to win it. To be nominated by your peers makes all the hard work worthwhile and appreciated. This award wouldn’t be possible without the fantastic educators and teachers who have excelled in developing and utilising new digital skills to make the transition to online/remote learning as positive as possible for students over the last 18 months.”

Chris Pearson, a tutor at the College who has achieved MIEE status, also said: “Rob first developed my interest in learning technology when he developed the “Tech Teach” scheme. He supported me through this giving me lots of ideas to use in my lessons and coming to observe.

“Once I completed this, Rob encouraged me to participate in the MIE and MIEE schemes. Again, he supported me in my applications, with regular Teams meetings. Without the support and encouragement from Rob, I would not have been successful – I owe my passion in learning technology to him.”

Rachel James, Director of Teaching and Learning at the College, added: “The College is addressing the digital skills gap and digital poverty by investing in our digital offer. We have been awarded Microsoft Showcase status, introduced a Discover Digital programme and have invested in the refurbishment of our SciTech campus into a new Digital Innovation Hub.

“The MIEE program allows us to enhance the development of digital skills for our students and the wider Barnsley community. We are using this status to develop digital skills within the sector and we share good practice amongst the teaching staff. I would like to congratulate Rob on his award and recognise the amazing work from the whole College team who are on their digital transformation journey.”


Last updated: 20th July 2021

Originally posted on: 20th July 2021

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