Case Study: Gemma Hudson, Learning Technologist
Can you tell me a little bit about your current role in FE?
My main role is to support staff with the use of technology in education to enhance and facilitate learning. A lot of my time is spent researching new technologies and experimenting to find out how easy the technology is to use and how effective it is in supporting the delivery of different curriculum programmes. I provide group training sessions with staff and teacher education students, alongside one to one support.
Do you have any other roles or responsibilities?
I supervise three other members of staff who work within the Learning Resources team, so I carry out their appraisals and they also support me with my role. I also deliver college-wide sessions on e-safety and how to stay safe when using Social Media. As part of my role, I also manage the development of online and blended learning courses for the college.
How did you get the job?
I was a student at South Devon College and I did a foundation degree here, then a full degree in Design Illustration. My first job after university was at the college, working as a part-time library assistant. I really enjoyed working within education and I knew I wanted to progress, then I applied for the post of Senior Administrator in Reprographics. This gave me the chance to put my design knowledge and skills to use. Within this role, I created a lot of online learning tools, as well as posters and other resources for teaching and learning. I enjoyed using specialist software to create these and I realised I had a passion for learning design. The job of Learning Technologist came up and I applied. I’ve now been in the role for four years.
What do you enjoy most about your job in FE?
Teaching students about things like online safety. At the end of the day, it’s all about making sure that the students are making progress.
Have you got any advice for anyone interested in a similar career in FE?
Having a keen interest in technology and a passion for learning definitely helps. My background in design has been incredibly valuable too, especially when it comes to developing e-learning and online content. With Further Education, if you can get your foot in the door, with just a small part-time role, then you’ll often find other doors open up for you.
What are three reasons you chose to work for your current institution?
I really enjoyed my time at South Devon College as a student and always knew that after university I wanted to work there. The staff are really friendly and supportive, we socialise together and I consider them my friends. I also feel you can have real input on how you shape your job role to suit your skills and strengths. My line manager is always looking for ways to stretch me to develop these further.