Managing with 2020 vision

What does the future hold for education?

From guest writer Phil Parker.

The pace of change in education makes it hard to imagine what life will be like in our schools and colleges five years from now, in 2020. Yet that was the purpose of The Horizon Report 2014 where the views of 850 international experts coalesced into the following conclusions:

  • Integration of online, hybrid and collaborative learning will be the fastest growing trend in education
  • There will be a sharp and significant rise of data-driven learning, (what many are calling educational data mining)
  • One major challenge will be addressing the low level of digital fluency of staff (and some students)
  • Another challenge will be keeping education relevant to the world of employment in the 21st century where a chasm is likely to open between what students can do with digital technology and what employers expect from them
  • Flipped classrooms will be a major driving force for change since it utilises online learning, encourages creativity, can improve attainment and provides learner analytics.

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When is a eLearning adviser, not an eLearning adviser?

For several years my role has been known as an eLearning Adviser, or is it e-Learning Adviser? With or without the hyphen it is an unhelpful title as it means different things to different organisations and to coin a phrase initiated by Craig Taylor several years ago – when are they going to take the ‘e’ out of ‘eLearning’ anyway. Well, when are they? [Read more…]

Going Digital

What does it take to get FE & Skills off the fence?

The word on the street, blogs, forums etc. Is that the use of technology to deliver teaching, learning and assessment is not as high as one would believe possible. [Read more…]

How can we approach live online learning to ensure good practice?

With the advancement of technology the benefits of delivering some learning and marketing through webinars and live online learning have become clear over recent years. There are cost savings for organisations and individuals with regards travel, accommodation, facilities and time away from work. The impact of good live online learning, or so-called ‘virtual training’, can be around more impact on people’s day to day work, adopting a blended approach so that resources, not courses, become the way forward and that employees/customers/learners take more responsibility for their own development. [Read more…]

Five Steps to Online Delivery

At a time when funding cuts top the agenda for most managers in FE & Skills and the common solution is to slice even deeper into depleted budgets. It makes even more sense to maximise the resources that you already have and is quite likely to be underutilised. For example, even if it was not already being legislated for, it is simply common sense to deliver some of your training online. [Read more…]

I haven’t got time to use technology


“I haven’t got time to use technology”: Have you really got the time not to?

For quite a few years now I’ve been enjoying the benefits of teaching and learning tools, which can be accessed via the Internet, that are free and very easy to use. I’ve been delivering staff development in the use of technology, to teachers and lecturers, for more than ten years. I have found, that for anything to be widely accepted, it really does have to have both of those components, the very short learning curve being the most important. [Read more…]

Professional development for FE & Skills Practitioners

Staff development FE skills,

CPD1How would you feel if you went to…

a doctors and, while waiting for your appointment, discovered that the doctor hadn’t had any Professional development 4 practitioner training since they qualified in the 70’s? [Read more…]

FELTAG a directive, an aspiration or just common sense?

FELTAG report,

For a while there, I believed that the FELTAG report might be just the kick up the backside so richly deserved by the management of many Learning Providers to engage in the use of current technology.  I still believe that the objective will be achieved, but I fear that it may be later than the original target date.

[Read more…]

How do you communicate with your learner?


Using communication technology for education has been around since long before most teaching practitioners were born and in 2015 with everyone from toddlers to pensioners chatting away over the internet every day. Why is it then that so few learning providers make use of 21st century technology to teach, assesses, talk with learners or employers, train staff or hold meetings. Don’t they have access to a PC, laptop, tablet, smartphone – two tins connected with a piece of string, what is the problem?

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Making learning materials fit to go online

online learning materials

Many Learning Providers recognise an urgent need to ‘upgrade’ their learning materials so as to make them more engaging, interactive and accessible on-line. Some ‘buy in’ whole packages but few realise that with the vast array of software tools available, even existing  paper based coursework can be adapted by the staff that use it, with very little IT knowledge or training and little or low cost.

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