The National Education Network is a group that work together for the collective good of all schools that the organisations they work for. The group consists of Regional Broadband Consortiums, such as emPSN, LGfL and others.
The theme of this year’s conference was “Tackling the Big issues” and specifically looking at ensuring value for money, enhancing teaching and learning, ensuring security for users and safeguarding young people. All of which are priorities for emPSN and our members.
The group were very lucky to hear from some great speakers over the two days, including Chris Owen, Head of the Digital Learning Unit for HwB (Welsh Government). The Welsh government is looking at how to develop digital competence and are running several different trials including one alongside Microsoft, a Minecraft Education Pilot between September 17 and June 18.
The Scottish Government was also represented by Emma Pollock and Kirsty McFaul. They spoke about how users want more flexibility in their broadband services and that access to digital services still aren’t consistent across the country. Their take away was that providers need to keep digital services as simple as possible for teaching staff and for the NEN to help break down barriers and increase their confidence in tech.
Alan Earl from Avon and Somerset Police were also able to give us an update on the ever-changing landscape of online safety. Alan had some real insight into the challenges that not just young people, but schools, teachers and parents are facing too. As young people discover (or create) a new app or online resource, it’s up to schools and carers to develop a way of supporting their learning whilst keeping them safe. If you would like to find out more, take a look at our Safe Online Workshops which are being run across the East Midlands.
The National Education Network is more important than ever and after the 2017 conference, emPSN are excited to share what the NEN develops over the next 12 months!