Laser Learning Next Generation Laser Launch Event

A Successful Launch Event: London, Leeds, and Dubai

Laser Learning have been helping education and training providers to deliver apprenticeships, workplace learning, and qualifications using the signature Laser e-portfolio and digital learning resources since 2008. We have seen a multitude of changes in this time, everything from a fear of online evidence capture, increased funding, and decreased funding, to the world transitioning from paper, pens, textbooks into hand-held, mobile learning on a digital device.

Since 2008, we have been working to create the best possible learning experiences for our learners as well as an intuitive and friendly user experience for every Laser user.

Over the past year our development team have been working on the Next Generation Laser, a new and improved Laser e-portfolio and virtual learning environment (VLE) which continues to provide audit compliant, flexible, engaging learning while improving on usability and adding new features to further improve the experience for all Laser users.

It was a pleasure to launch the Next Generation Laser on 25th June 2019 with a preview of the new system for our clients.

Our launch was three separate events held simultaneously in London, Leeds, and Dubai. We were very lucky to be joined by three keynote speakers, one in each location, who were linked to the other venues via live link to give their speech.

  • Sir Christopher Ball – The Pillars of Good Education
  • Julie Hyde (Director, CACHE) – The Qualification Pathway
  • Sarah Rogers (CEO, EYES) – Considering the Effects of Globalization on Teacher Training

On top of this, we invited BBC’s Kevin Duala to compere for the event. It was wonderful to hear his take on the education landscape and how digital learning would have made such a difference to his school experience.

The Next Generation Laser will launch properly in September 2019 but we are already booking demonstrations of the system and are more than happy to discuss what the system has to offer. Please get in touch to speak to one of our team or to book a demonstration.

Additionally, we will be running information days about the Next Generation Laser and our digital learning resources for qualifications from September. If you would like to register your interest for one of these information days please also send us an email using the contact form on the website.

It gives me great pride to have been at the heart of Laser Systems for over a decade, and I am delighted to share with you The Next Generation Laser: an e-portfolio and virtual learning environment for life-long, digital learning.”

Matt Eaton, Lead Programmer

The Next Generation Laser Launch

London   Leeds   Dubai

Join us at simultaneous events in London, Leeds, and Dubai on Tuesday 25 June 2019 for the launch of the Next Generation Laser e-portfolio and virtual learning environment.

We will be live at venues in London, Leeds, and Dubai with three keynote speakers to discuss the evolution of digital learning in the further education sector, and how those working to develop life-long learning and skills are making a crucial difference across the globe.

The event will be hosted by The One Show’s Kevin Duala who has been bringing our digital learning resources to life for the past five years.

Author of the 1994 Royal Society of Arts commissioned report, ‘Start Right: The Importance of Early Learning’, Sir Christopher has been crucial to the development of the Laser since it’s conception back in 2008.

Sir Christopher was a guide to Laser Learning Directors when they began with just a vision of flexible and accessible online learning for early years staff, and has been a constant supporter of our work ever since.

Currently, Sir Christopher is promoting his book Early Childhood Education Redefined, which evaluates the impact of the Start Right: The Importance of Early Learning (RSA, 1994) report with research from a collaboration of early years specialists and academics, including Professor Pat Preedy.

CACHE Director, Julie Hyde

Julie has over 10 years’ experience of management in the childcare and education sector. Julie spent 12 years prior to this gaining commercial sales and training experience working in industry as a Regional then National Account Manager.

Julie joined CACHE in 2010 as Northern Regional Manager and in 2011 was appointed Senior National Development Manager. In 2013 she was promoted to Director of Business Development where she directed the development of high quality vocational qualifications in care, health and education for learners and employers; improving the skills level and professional standards of the childcare, adult care, education and health care workforce. Julie is now the Director of CACHE.

In Julie’s role as Director of CACHE, she led on the recent Save Our Early Years campaign which resulted in the government reinstating Functional Skills as an alternative qualification for Level 3 Early Years Educators. 

Sarah is the CEO and founder of EYES and Quest. With over 25 years experience of working within the education sector at senior level in the UK and overseas, Sarah set up EYES and later Quest in order to support and promote the quality of education in both the early years and primary sectors.

As well as carrying out the important day to day tasks of running a company, Sarah is very much a hands-on, proactive CEO. She regularly guest speaks at important educational events and conferences around the region, she also delivers a number of CPD courses.

London   Leeds   Dubai

Remote Working CPD Short Courses Laser Learning

A Love Letter to those who Work from Home: Stay Safe and Stay Motivated

This Valentine’s Day we’re showing some love to those who work on their own.

Whether you’re travelling for work or working from a home office, it can feel a little lonely sometimes. It’s important that you are granted the same motivation and safety as those working in a head office.

We’ve put together some of the most common safety considerations as well as tips to stay motivated to support you.

Smiling young female entrepreneur working on a laptop at home

Safety

Make sure your equipment is working

Before you leave and head out to an appointment, make sure you check your equipment.

Is your phone fully charged?

This is the most important question as you may need to contact someone throughout the day and particularly in event of an emergency. It’s also important that any other equipment you need is working and that you have all the cables, chargers, and information you need for the entire day, so you do not have a wasted journey.

Make sure you check this before you need to leave to begin your journey.

Invest in the right equipment

If you are travelling a lot in your role you may need a product with Bluetooth so you can use your phone while you drive. If you want to be able to call or take calls while driving, you must have a hands-free device and should never use your phone while driving as it endangers the safety of yourself and others.

If any of your equipment is starting to look or behave like it’s seen better days, don’t leave it until the last minute to replace it. Make sure you have a backup ready to go and take it with you if you have any concerns.

Tell someone where you are

Staff at your head office should know your schedule so they know where you are and when they can contact you. It’s also important you confirm you have arrived at a scheduled visit and that you have made it safely home. This could be crucial if something were to happen or if someone didn’t know your schedule.

If you don’t have a head office then make sure you tell someone where you are going and when you should be home. It could make a real difference if anything were to happen to you.

Consider where you park or your travel by foot

When driving to an appointment you need to consider where you park your car. If it’s winter, you may be leaving your visit in the dark, so don’t park your car somewhere with bad lighting or in a place you don’t think is safe. If you don’t feel safe going back to your car for any reason, ask a member of the organisation to walk you to your car or to watch you get into your car.

The same principle applies for anyone who is taking public transport to an appointment. Make sure you know how to get from the station to the building. If it is quite a long walk and you are leaving in the dark, then it might be safer to take a taxi back to the station to catch your train.

Take breaks

It’s just as important to consider your health and safety in your home office as it is when you are out travelling. Make sure you take regular breaks from your work throughout the day and don’t sit in the same position for your entire working day without moving.

You need to give your eyes a break from the screen in the same way as you would at an office desk. You also need to get up from your desk, move around, and get some fresh air if you can. This is for your well-being and will make you more productive throughout the day.

Assess your work space

Is your desk appropriate for working?

Is your desk set up so you are sitting correctly?

Do you need a rest for your wrist or any other additional support?

Staff working in an office will have a risk assessment completed at their desk to ensure the environment is safe, and you must do the same thing. Working in a position which damages your back or neck could cause you serious problems. You also need to ensure your equipment is being used safely and that you give the same consideration to confidential documents and data protection as you would in your head office.

You can consult IOSH for more information about risk assessments in the home office.

Remote Working CPD Short Courses Laser Learning

Staying motivated

Routine

When you work in an office environment, you’re likely to have some sort of routine. Whether it’s the time you start your day, your lunch break, or the order you approach your work; the routine is often part of the charm!

Having a routine for a remote office or a home office is just as important to keep you motivated and maintain the line between ‘work’ and ‘home’ life.

Decide on your work hours for that week and stick to them. Wake up like you would if you had to leave to go to work and make sure you give yourself time in the morning before you start work.

Having this routine will make your day easier to manage and organise and will also stop your work day blurring into your home life. Letting the two become one can have negative effects on both as you’ll either be unmotivated to work and complete work tasks or the complete opposite will happen, and you’ll be unable to switch off. If you’re working for yourself you might not mind putting in the extra hours, but you won’t want to be working at home when you’re not earning for it.

Get ready for work

You wouldn’t go to an office in your pyjamas, so don’t sit at home in your pyjamas to do your work.

If you don’t get yourself ready for the day then you’re unlikely to have the motivation or correct mindset for work tasks. If you’re finding your work is getting a bit sloppy then make sure it’s not because you feel sloppy. It doesn’t matter what you look like as long as you feel confident and capable, so make sure you’re doing what you need to before you start work to feel your best.

Obviously, if you are contacting clients or colleagues via a video call, it’s even more important to ensure you look presentable as you are an ambassador for your company even when you’re working from home.

Organise

Plan your day and give yourself goals for that day and that week.

Organising your day will help you stick to your working hours and also make it clear what you need to achieve.

As you have your own workspace, you can use it in any way you wish, and so you can use wall organisers or calendars to encourage yourself and push yourself towards your goals.

Make sure you get some fresh air at lunch time even if it’s only for a few minutes.

Keep in touch with head office

Even though you are not physically in head office, you are still part of a work team and it’s important to build on your relationships with colleagues, as well as keeping up-to-date with the business.

If you’re feeling lonely or unmotivated then reach out to your colleagues. You can contact them by phone, email, or video call and discuss how business is moving or if there are any changes you should be aware of.

When you’re struggling with something don’t just struggle alone in silence. Reach out to the appropriate member of your team and ask for help.

Make sure you share your achievements with your manager and colleagues so they can congratulate you like they would in an office. However, remember that they can only be involved if you tell them about it!

Know when to stop

Finally, working remotely can often mean you lose track of time. As you’re not walking away from your desk or travelling home, you may be tempted to carry on working.

Finishing a task after the time you should finish work is often the right thing to do, however, scheduling work for outside working hours or carrying on with new tasks which see you working for hours after you should have finished is not healthy.

This is why planning your day is so important.

If you find you aren’t able to handle your workload in your allocated hours, firstly consider whether you are being distracted during the day or whether your planning and schedules are working, then speak to your manager to discuss how you can move forward.

Remote and flexible working is now common in a wide variety of businesses and so it’s important we take care of our remote workers.

You can find out more about supporting and managing remote workers with our CPD short courses:

Personal safety for lone or remote workers

Supporting remote or virtual teams

NEW The Role of the SENCo CPD short course

Early Identification of SEN and Disabilities in Babies and Young Children | Webinar

For our first week back in 2019, our Short Courses Manager, Sophie, discusses what’s involved in the identification of SEN and disabilities in babies and young children as part of our new The Role of the SENCo CPD short course.

Watch her webinar for further information about the importance of early identification of SEN, how to identify SEN, and useful strategies to be implemented in your setting.

Find out more about The Role of the SENCo CPD short course.

See a full list of available CPD short courses.

Facing your fears about adult learning

Facing your Fears about Adult Learning

The best Halloween stories are about facing your fears, whether it’s exploring a haunted house, investigating a strange noise, or venturing out into the dark, these stories rely on you stepping out of your comfort zone.

Of course, in horror stories, the ending is often an unpleasant one, but that isn’t usually the case when you face your fears in day-to-day life.

If the thought of stepping back into learning feels like stepping into an abandoned forest at midnight, it might be time to brush away the cobwebs and look at the possibility of further education in a new light.

Here are some of the most common fears about adult education and online learning with the best advice to overcome them.

School was a horrible experience and I don’t want to go back

The most common response when I’ve asked people why they wouldn’t consider further learning or qualifications is that they hated school and struggled through it, and so as an adult the last thing they want to do is repeat the experience over again.

Of course, learning now is very different, and the emphasis is to give autonomy to the learner. You are in control of your learning experience with guidance and support from your training provider. Today, learning and development is focused on empowerment and meeting the individual needs of the learner, which creates a positive learning environment rather than replicating the traditional classroom from many years ago.

I don’t have the time to dedicate to learning and so I would fail

Time pressure and care commitments are important considerations before starting a new course or qualification. However, learning is now flexible thanks to online learning platforms like the Laser.

Learning either completely online or as part of a blended learning programme means learning can fit around your schedule. It’s always daunting to take on an additional commitment of this size but being able to dedicate a small amount of time each day at a moment that works for you is often all you need.

I’m terrible with computers so I couldn’t learn online

There’s often the assumption that an online learning system is complicated. It’s quite the opposite. Virtual Learning Environments (VLEs) like the Laser are built to be as simple to use as possible and accessible to people with different levels of IT skill, as well as accessible to those with English as their second language.

If you can use social media sites and an email account, you are more than capable of using a VLE or e-portfolio to learn online.

I don’t want to do it on my own

Another assumption about learning online is that it is an isolating experience. The benefits of learning online are that you can do it alone if you wish and you can continue your learning in a place you feel comfortable without any distractions. On the other hand, it doesn’t demand you learn alone.

It’s important you involve your workplace in your learning and development, so you can demonstrate your new skills and knowledge. You can learn with a workplace mentor, or alongside colleagues, and you can pass on your skills and knowledge to those you work with to improve practice within your organisation.

The truth is, if you can overcome your fears about further education or online learning, the rewards are worth it. Once you begin your course you will have already faced the majority of fears you had, and you will be on the path to improving your skills, knowledge, and confidence both personally and professionally.

Achieving a certificate, completing a qualification, or showcasing your new skills and knowledge is a feeling you never forget, and an addictive one! Often those who take the plunge and achieve something they never thought was possible are also the people who return again and again to continue their learning journey.

This Halloween ask yourself: what is there to be afraid of?