EDS - Community of Practice
Welcome to the Essential Digital Skills (EDS) Community of Practice.
Welcome to the ETF’s Community of Practice for digital skills which is packed with ideas and resources shared by your colleagues.
To get automatic alerts when new posts and resources have been added, please sign up and/or login. You don't have to post but it's great if you can like and share posts, and also comment. Even better if you want to share an idea or a resource you use in your teaching, or ask a question - that way the community builds.
View this informal video by one of our regular contributors on how to join and make use of the community.
Post by Gordon Stone
Browser alternatives to Chrome.
During todays training webinar I was asked if I could post an entry regarding alternatives to Chrome.
Over the years I have used many browsers from Mozilla and Firefox in the early days whereas now I use Safari on my mac and primarily Brave on my Windows PC. One of the issues I have with Chrome is the way that google make their money from you and me whereas Brave gives much more privacy without losing extensions compatibilty.
Opera has long had a reputation for its small footprint and speed but I have not used it for many years.What are others thoughts?
Exploring how to use Google Browser Tools, Bookmarks, History and Incognito mode
Todays Exploring Tool session looked at browser tools focusing on creating and using bookmarks, using browser history and deleting your history and lastly using the incognito window to avoid creating a bowser history.
The following video shows how to use the browser tools explored in this session. The video uses the Chrome Browser but all bowsers provide these features.
Please share with the community how you have introduced the use of browser tools to your students, sharing exercise and tool tips is a real help.
How has everyone found their adult enrolments for EDS this year? Introducing EDS alongside the pandemic has made it interesting to analyse the pattern. We have generated more interest in our second year, but would be keen to know if centres have found recruitment challenging?
Using Zoom as a Teaching Tool with ESOL Learners
This week I delivered a Taking EDS Further workshop to demonstrate how the WEA uses Zoom as a collaborative platform for teaching and learning with ESOL learners. I also made links on how this platform can be used to make links to standards within the EDS modules such as Using Devices and Creating and Editing.
Can you give any examples on how you have used the Zoom platform to support EDS with your learners?
Has anyone conducted a review of the different EDS awarding bodies when choosing them for their centre? Would be interested to hear of the differences now more specifications are through and might be useful for others on the same journey!
We've been happily with Gateway from the start - wondering how much the awarding body/specification structure dictates the delivery model.
GCF Global have a great suite of resources to help with EDS delivery. We have been using these resources for flipped learning. Learners watch the tutorials/practice the tasks for homework and bring questions and can be set real life scenarios to put into place the skills they've learnt.
If you want to talk about end of module assessment come along tomorrow Weds 19th @ 1pm
( @Ish Hussain you posted previously about this)
Book here: Live chat
Post by Anisa Teladia
This week, with 2 of my L1 ESOl classes, I introduced them to powerpoint. In 1 class, nobody had used it before. In the other class, 1 of the learner's had done some work on it previously but with the help of her child. At the beginning of term, we have to go through all the essential things, like safeguarding, Prevent and British Values and, so I thought instead of me telling them about it, it would be a good opportunity for them to teach the rest of the class about it. The learners are used to doing presentations, so I thought i could take it 1 step further and do a powerpoint with a presentation. I had thought that maybe a few of them might know how to use it as I thought they had done an ICT course, so the plan was to pair a strong learner with a weak learner but this wasn't the case. I had to show them how to open powerpoint. I had prepared a sheet with the key features diagram. For the first 20 minutes, we worked together, step by step, with me guiding them by showing them on the board but getting them to do it at the same time. I showed them how to input text, edit it and put images. By the end of the lesson, each pair had completed a prresentation with 3-6 slides, some of them even put a link to a video so within 1 lesson, they went from not knowing how to use it to completing a presentation. A very satisfactory lesson
This downloadable Essential Digital Skills Toolkit, based on the DfE framework, has been developed to enable individuals, groups and organisations to measure their digital skills .
New education for sustainable development (ESD) resources for educators, teachers and practitioners who teach English for speakers of other languages are now available to download free of charge.
The resources were commissioned by the Education and Training Founation, delivered by HOLEX and developed and tested by Manchester Adult Education Service, Idea Store at Tower Hamlets Council and Westminster Adult Education Service. Although developed within an adult education context, these resources will be applicable to ESOL teams in other further education settings too.
Has anyone used this free resource available on Barclays life skills.
It is a really good video, which highlights some important parts about being safe online
Post by Lauren Brizon
Happy New Year everyone. Just wondered if any of you are teaching for providers who are registered with NCFE?
Post by Lauren Brizon
Google has a nice tool for digital wellbeing (skill 5) - could be set as homework for learners to reflect on https://wellbeing.google/
Post by Ish Hussain
Hi everyone, I am delivering Essental Digital Skills Entry 3 to my ESOL learners and we are approaching the end of the course. I was wondering if anyone has created and end of module exam/test. I have found a course outline and the end exam is 'creating and editing' documents and digital media.
Any ideas or example would be a great help.
Post by Sara Khan
Is there anyone here who teaches Pre-Entry/E1 ESOL?
Can you share your/your students' experiences of incorporating digital skills within the ESOL provision?Thanks
Interesting session coming up on January 17th, 12-1pm, about using Zoom as a teaching tool with ESOL learners. Nusrat Bhatti from the WEA will talk about her extensive experience with Zoom and offer a few tips on how best to use it with your learners.
Sign up for free at
Post by David Camilleri
Exam board differences
There are now a number of different exam boards offering the Essential Digital Skills Qualification:
- Which exam board do you use?
- Have you noticed any differences between the different exam board specifications?
I would be really interested to hear your insights!
Digital skills are embedded in teaching across the curriculum. In some organisations, these skills have been mapped to the EDS standards and framework - some different approaches are described in this video https://youtu.be/PqK4R3jcmgg
In non-IT courses, do you think it is useful to map digital skills to EDS standards?
Post by Anke Jacobs
In response to people's comments on Wednesday that learners still like printed worksheets, and that we should not take an all-digital, but well-balanced approach, here's another link to a grammar website which I find useful for differentiated or whole class consolidation and homework: https://www.englishbanana.com/
The worksheets are levelled, organised by grammar topic and printable. There are also whole downloadable books available which make the selection of homework tasks easy. You could compare the students' answers in class (use the exercises for flipped learning) or give them the answers which are at the back of the digital books for self- or peer-marking.
As I said on Wednesday, these sorts of resources do not replace well-planned and structured lessons, but are useful supplementary tools and usually well received by the students because they actually enjoy worksheets. Once they've become more confident through practice and repetition, they can apply what they've learnt in more creative ways.
Why not have a look at the website and then put a comment in the box below?
Exploring Google Keep notes
Today's Exploring Tools session looked at Google Keep notes, a free app in the Google suite for creating and editing documents when you're on the move and away from a computer.
Google Keep is a very simple way to introduce the topic of creating and editing documents because it's so easy to use.
The following video shows the basics of Google Keep and looks at some ideas for collaborative activities:
The file attached to this post is a PDF of the presentation for the session.
As we discussed during the session, Google Keep is particularly useful for learners who need to create a document when they don't have access to a computer, but also for teachers to record their ideas for a lesson when they're waiting for a bus or taking the dog for a walk! When you later have access to a computer, it's simple to transfer the note to a Google or Word document.
It's also useful for shopping and packing lists or for copying a recipe onto your phone when you don't want your laptop in the kitchen.
If you have used Google Keep in your home activities or with your learners, please share your ideas on how to use it in a reply to this post.
Post by Anke Jacobs
Thank you for attending the Live Chat event earlier today and for showing an interest by participating in the Q&A part. I hope many more people will watch the video and learn something new from my presentation.
Here's the link address: https://youtu.be/vessQlQb6v8
And here is the link to the Perfect English Grammar website's homepage: Perfect English Grammar (perfect-english-grammar.com)
Finally, this is the PowerPoint link: https://tinyurl.com/ankejgrammar
If anyone has any questions, I'll be pleased to answer them for you.
Note: the interactive exercises and grammar explanations are free, as are the downloadable, printable pdfs. However, the levelled grammar courses incur a fee.
Post by Matthew Herman
Hi all. Look forward to this Essential Digital Skills Community of Practice Live Chats Session #1 in a few minutes
Embedding digital skills into English Grammar practice, 1-1.30pm, Wednesday January 5th
This session will outline use of a free, quality website with interactive exercises for ESOL students which makes worksheets redundant and increases the learners' confidence.
Part of our Live Chat series, it will be delivered by Essential Digital Skills (EDS) Champion Anke Jacobs from Birmingham Adult Education Service.
The aim of the EDS Champion role is to help foster communities of practice across the sector for different aspects of essential digital skills delivery. The Live chat sessions provide an opportunity for discussion on an EDS topic each week.
Register (for free) here: https://enhance.etfoundation.co.uk/eds/event/175/embedding-digital-skills-into-english-grammar-practice
Course Evaluators required
On behalf of the Education and Training Foundation, ccConsultancy Ltd have developed two FutureLearn online courses: one for practitioners participating or considering participating in action research and another for those who are leading action research projects. They are now looking for individuals to work through the courses and evaluate the content. If you teach or manage in the post 16 sector, and you can answer yes to any of the following questions, the ccConsultancy team would like to hear from you! Are you:
- interested in improving your own or your teams' practice?- new to action research?- an experienced action researcher?- ready for something new to excite and motivate you in 2022?
The review period will be from 17th January to 11th March 2022. Each course consists of 6 weeks and each week is notionally 1.5 hours, though you can work at your own pace. Interested? Find out more and express your interest here
Jisc's Digifest 2022 brings together the UK's learning and teaching community to consider the next stage in the evolution of learning. It's a two-day event (8-9 March 2022) which you can join in person at the ICC, Birmingham or online.
Post by Nusrat Bhatti1.5 Yrs ago11 likes 17 repliesMy name is Nusrat and I am one of the EDS Champions who is leading the EDS Reflective Exploration for the Workers Education Association (WEA). Together with my practitioners, I will be drawing upon...
Post by Nick Jeans2 Yrs ago1 likes 13 repliesThought Pieces Series of contributions about Essential Digital Skills by authors across the sector.
Post by Nusrat Bhatti1.4 Yrs ago8 likes 10 repliesUsing Canvas as a digital platform with ESOL learners for teaching and assessment - what are your thoughts and do you use this in your organisation? https://www.instructure.com/en-gb/canvas
Post by Dawn Buzzard1.4 Yrs ago5 likes 10 repliesLeaders and Manager Question: How might we use this community of practice with our colleagues both locally in our organisation and nationally?
Post by Dawn Buzzard1.2 Yrs agoResourceBrowser Tools, Bookmarks, History and Incognito modeExploring how to use Google Browser Tools, Bookmarks, History and Incognito mode Todays Exploring Tool session looked at browser tools focusing on creating and using bookmarks, using browser...
Post by Andy Greaves1.2 Yrs agoResourceGCF Global ResourcesGCF Global have a great suite of resources to help with EDS delivery. We have been using these resources for flipped learning. Learners watch the tutorials/practice the tasks for homework and bring...
Post by Nick Jeans1.2 Yrs agoResourceEssential Digital Skills ToolkitThis downloadable Essential Digital Skills Toolkit, based on the DfE framework, has been developed to enable individuals, groups and organisations to measure their digital skills ....
Post by Nick Jeans1.2 Yrs agoResourceEDS Resources for ESOL Practitioners by Skills for LifeNew education for sustainable development (ESD) resources for educators, teachers and practitioners who teach English for speakers of other languages are now available to download free of charge....
Post by Leanne Selway1.2 Yrs agoResourceKeeping safe against Cybercrimehttps://barclayslifeskills.com/educators/adult-learning/modules/keeping-safe-against-cybercrime/ Has anyone used this free resource available on Barclays life skills. It is a really good video,...