Inclusive Practice – a webinar review

I usually find it hard to get excited about webinars. I lose interest part way through and as I’m usually get distracted by emails work long before the webinar comes to an end. That wasn’t the case with this webinar: Future Teacher Talks: Inclusive Practice.

I was intrigued to sign up to this webinar as I’ve gained a bit of an interest recently inaccessibility of learning materials making them more inclusive for our students in an online environment. After recently working with colleagues from our student outreach team I was surprised to find out how many students at UCEM are receiving additional support with their studies and wanted to learn what we can do to support them

Taking part in this webinar, there were factors that instantly impressed me and kept me interested. The platform, the delivery and the content.

When I attend a webinar, I can’t help but find myself evaluating the platform. Is this better than what we use? What can it do? Can we participate?  I’ve not used zoom before but I instantly liked it. Quick and easy to get into, a smart modern design, and most importantly for me the sound quality was fantastic. It might be a personal thing for me but my main turn off for a webinar is poor sound quality.

There were three presenters sharing the speaking. They all sounded genuinely passionate about the topic which made for an effective delivery.  One element I really liked was how those of us participating were given access to a live version of the slide deck (www.learningapps.co.uk/inclusive) in addition to watching the presentation.  This meant we could interact with the content, click on links, skip back or forward if we wanted to as well as having the slides to take away. I liked the openness and willingness to share knowledge and learning as this will be a valuable resource. Being asked to take the slides away and share and discuss with colleagues refreshing.

There was so much content discussed and links to useful resources presented that the hour spent in this webinar felt like it was just scratching the surface. The information on learning preferences of different students was interesting and made me think about changes we need to make to be sure that our materials are inclusive.   It was also reassuring when good practice tips were shared and I could think “we do that!” as it backs up the good work that we do here. I want to look back again at the information on using technology to support learning as there were so many tools mentioned that I am sure can be a to benefit our students.

Finally, and unusually for me, I didn’t find myself drifting off to read an email or get back to the day job, I enjoyed the session.

Stephen is an Online Education Technologist working as part of the Digital Education team at UCEM.

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