List of UK FE and adult education tweeters

Like most busy people I don’t have time to read all the tweets in my timeline every day, but I find it very useful to have quick scrolls through lists and hashtag searches to pick up relevant snippets. There’s a handy list of people who tweet about FE and adult education here and the author has done a grand job in collating the list. It’s not obvious who has done all the work and I don’t want to blow anyone’s cover but I hope they’ll take a bow .

There was a little flurry of interest after I tweeted the link on Friday evening, with others adding more suggestions, so I’ve created a new twitter list here.

Inclusion isn’t an endorsement and the list isn’t comprehensive. Please let me know if I should add you or anyone else to the list and apologies to people who aren’t listed yet.

I found the FE Culture Blogspot link via #UKFEchat, an interesting drop-in twitter discussion held on Thursday evenings. You can find more information about #UKFEchat here or by searching for the hashtag on twitter. It took me a while to notice the ‘Top/ All / People you follow’ option, which gives different search results. Sarah Simons (@MrsSarahSimons) oversees the chats and gives people a warm welcome when they join in.


There’s also a list of tweeters from the WEA at:

This includes staff, tutors, volunteers, ambassadors and students, mostly tweeting in a personal capacity.

Finally, there’s a list of tweeters from NIACE at:

(For less experienced tweeters, just open any of the live twitter links shown in blue or purple above and click the ‘subscribe’ button as shown below to create direct access to an extra customised timeline featuring tweets from listed people.)


Digital literacy – essential or desirable?

There’s no question that adult educators need basic literacy and little doubt that information literacy – knowing how to research, find, assess, use and manage information – is a fundamental aspect of teaching and learning.

What about digital literacy? There are various aspects, sliding and evolving scales of digital literacy, so what is a reasonable minimum expectation for proficiency in 2013?

Should adult educators be expected to communicate by email and social media and research via the internet? Should we know how to find, evaluate and create information using digital technology and to use digital applications to enrich our teaching and professional development? In other words, what is essential and what is desirable?

A Twitter discussion last night using the hashtag #ukfechat has prompted this blog. The timing coincides with the forthcoming launch of a new WEA Tutor Portal for us to share and update key course administration tasks and information electronically.

During the Twitter discussion, Sarah Simons commented, “Think there’s group of people pretending digital age isn’t happening & other group perhaps overplaying essentiality?”

diglit mrs ss

We can all probably identify someone at each end of this spectrum, with most people being somewhere between the extremes, but we’re also aware of the increasing pace of public services becoming digital by default. People who are unable to use email and the internet are at risk of being excluded from activities and services. Carol Azumah Dennis’s tweet reinforced this.

Diglit dbd1

Many adult educators are creative and proficient users of technology but others might benefit from support in developing their skills, not just for their work but for life in general. Could Bob Harrison’s suggestion of digitally literate students acting as technology mentors for their tutors be worth exploring further?

ukfechat dbd2

It’s a model that chimes with the WEA’s approach to relationships between tutors and students and with our Digital Activists’ Inclusion Network (DAIN) in the East Midlands.

Thanks to Sarah Simons for facilitating the Twitter chat and sparking a productive exchange.

What do you think?

(Twitter users can follow last night’s conversations using the hashtag #ukfechat)