LLUK’s annual conference was held at King’s Place, London, yesterday. The theme was “Innovation during a recession recovery?” I helped to arrange a workshop entitled ‘Embracing Change: 21st Century Learning’ and attended the part of it run by Becta. We had a lively discussion about the support that institutions give to their staff for keeping up to date with using technology – both for their own day to day work and in learning delivery.
CPD – carrot or stick?
There was some debate about whether training in using technology should be mandatory or optional. Some suggested that the 30 hours of CPD required by the Institute for Learning (IfL) of its registered practitioners should be more prescriptive. Others felt that a ‘top down’ approach never works. One individual worked in a college that has had a major refurbishment. Training in the use of the state of the art technology came hand in hand with that and it had been well received by staff.
So, what should we do?
I am aware, through our (LLUK’s) partnership work with Becta, that a prospectus of CPD opportunities around technology for learning is about to be launched – I think this will go a long way to helping staff navigate the minefield of potential courses they could take.
With regard to IfL and their 30 hours of learning, I wondered aloud whether there should be a recommendation that a percentage of those hours should be focused on getting up to speed with using technology for learning. There seemed to be some support for this idea.
I would be really interested to hear what people think about this. Please use the comment feature below or visit the conference website to continue the debate: http://www.llukconference.co.uk
Learning and pedagogy
Another theme that came through was the need to refocus on the fundamentals of learning. How do people learn now, what methods do they use, and how do we learn to learn? All this talk of new technologies has drawn some of us away from what we are all about – learning!
What we need to enable learning practitioners across the lifelong learning sector to do is to select the appropriate tools to provide the most dynamic and good quality learning experience as possible. In the modern world, it is not possible to ignore the tool of technology, alongside more traditional tools.
What I’m intrigued to know is are there differences between using traditional methods (books, chalk and talk, group work etc) to teach and using technology? Or are the fundamentals of teaching the same as they’ve always been? Are new technologies changing pedagogy?
I would suggest that new technologies are challenging the institutional models we have for learning but perhaps not the nature of teaching and learning.
Do join the debate, I’d love to know your views!
In the meantime, you might find these food for thought. Two, somewhat cheesy, videos on how learning in a university could look in the future (bit of a big advert for iphones though!):