Social Impact

Peter Shukie

2019 National Winner

Dr Peter Shukie teaches at the University Centre at Blackburn College with a focus on technology enhanced learning and educational practice in a digital age. His passion for accessible education led him to create Community Open Online Courses (COOCs), a non-profit, community focused organisation that works with individuals and groups to engage more adults in learning and deliver new and different learning opportunities for people from all walks of life.

“I teach on an Education Studies BA (hons) programme and work with courses in coaching and mentoring. My classes include the ways we use technology and research to develop our awareness of the world around us, and practise skills that help us make a difference to our worlds. My students are co-explorers and co-researchers. We work together to explore what education means, and by including our communities we make that purposeful and powerful.

My creation of COOCs as a free platform has put us in contact with many people, networks and thinkers. There are multiple approaches to how people use COOCs, for example ‘A Parent’s Reading Guide’ enables parents to access teaching materials and approaches from the school to aid their child’s development. ‘Smart Phone Thinking’ was created by a student who wanted to make accessible training for older people buying smart phones.

I’ve worked with 50 community project creators this last twelve months. Each project involved community members, parents, teachers and families. We are all agents of change and my role is to allow each of us that realisation, we can all make a difference. Teaching is my way of being part of something that is larger than myself.”

Former student, Sandie Delafield said, “Peter encourages learners to find a purpose through their studies which can make a positive difference to both the learner and the world around them, far beyond the borders of a classroom.”