Nov 10

Big cheese

American inventor Charles Kettering said, “We should all be concerned about the future because we will spend the rest of our lives there.” With that, more of us are sitting up and taking note.

Technology continues to disrupt all industries and no more so than where it intersects with education. The idea of a single education followed by a single career is long in the past, so we have to take control of our portfolio of skills and continue to upgrade and refine it regardless of the work we do. We have to stay in touch, not just with gadgets and technology but what we know, as the sector we work in evolves at pace.

MOOCs such as FutureLearn are examples of technology helping us managing this requirement – short bursts of learning relevant to an immediate work need – or even an interest. Learning about photography, about wine, film or an historical event, can be the most pleasurable of all, plus it makes for a well-rounded individual.

With careers no longer linear and tenure within job roles around the 3-4 year range, we must learn to adapt, constantly learn, move sideways and even be prepared for downward steps, before we make upward moves on the long journey to the “big cheese” position.

Get ready for the ride, it will be different and is likely to be bumpy.

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Jul 08

Open signI am just back from a whirlwind trip to Barcelona for EduLearn 2014. Good conference and very engaged audience. It was too short, as always, but I picked up some great new contacts and nuggets of learning.

My topic was “Making MOOCs (In)Credible,” using examples from Harvard and others on how to give customers your ear and anticipate tomorrow’s needs. I think MOOCs will transform education in time and everybody will be learning in smaller bite-sized chunks from handheld devices, on the go and anytime – and the MOOCs fit that need.

With technology impacting learning so much I feel we have a duty to keep our institutions ahead of the curve and explore new ideas. We know how important it is to give customers our ear. We recognise that social is the new marketing and yet I sense not everyone is listening. 93% of small and medium sized-businesses are still not mobile compatible.

My biggest takeaway these past 2 days actually relates back to a poster I saw in one of our Pearson offices – “Minds Wide Open”. Embrace the opportunity new technology can bring and don’t be afraid to try things – you can easily change course along the way.

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