How we are helping learners overcome digital barriers

How we are helping learners overcome digital barriers

12-April-2021
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During lockdown, Cardiff based tutor Gwyn Roberts has continued to teach a range of ESOL courses - assessed and non-assessed - through V-scene and Microsoft Teams. Here he shares with us his experiences highlighting the on-going need to provide devices to access the internet to enable learners to continue with their learning online.

Online learning has been for many, the great ‘enabler’ – ensuring learning has continued during a time where our face-to-face classes have needed to pause. However, getting online is not a straightforward step, particularly when households are sharing a single device as our tutor Gwyn Roberts tells us:

“Very often learners have been unable to access courses because other members of their family have needed these to access work or education. Many learners required laptops or iPads and so part of what we looked at was how best we could support this.”

Gwyn continued,

“Addysg Oedolion Cymru | Adult Learning Wales recognised the need very early on and has been very helpful for supporting learners continue with their online learning both in terms of sharing devices and follow-up support.”

At times, adjusting to digital learning has been challenging for his learners.

Gwyn says,

“During the first term, the learners were supplied with our organisational emails in order to access office accounts and Microsoft Teams [both aspects support our online learning]. One beginner learner had great difficultly completing this process as she did not have her email account synchronised to her mobile phone. After trying various different possible solutions, I provided a note for her to take to her phone provider in order to resolve the problem. Subsequently in the next session, I was pleasantly surprised to find that this had resolved the problem; the learner has since been able to attend the course regularly during lockdown and has made significant improvement in her English as well as continuing to make social contact with myself and other learners.”

Gwyn has continued helping those learners with digital barriers to enable them to participate in his lessons and improve their English language skills. He acknowledges this has been challenging at times, but very rewarding knowing his learners have not only continued with their learning but have also achieved their goals.

Despite the ever-changing constraints of lockdown, Gwyn is looking forward to continuing teaching in whatever means; like many others, he’s also looking forward to more normal times where he can meet his extended family and friends and ‘pop to the pub’!

We wish Gwyn and his ESOL learners continued success in their learning journeys. Well done Gwyn!

To find out more about our ESOL courses like Gwyn’s, please click here.

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