A Digital Future for Petroc?

My grandchildren are 11, 7, 6, 4 and 2. They leave school between 2025 and 2032. Having spent most of my career working in education I would like them to have their educational  opportunities  enhanced by technology as they prepare to become effective workers and citizens in an increasingly digital world.

I want them to have the option of learning at their local Further Education College.

But will the education and training system be able to provide the digital environment for learning they are used to in life outside the classroom?

Unless we have a significant “paradigm shift” in the way we invest in, and utilise fully, digital technology, the answer to the above question could be No?

Some may think me alarmist.  I spend a lot of time in schools and colleges with young and adult learners, have been heavily involved in the reform of the ICT curriculum in schools, as Chair of Governors at a Secondary school and  a College as well as having read many horizon scanning reports in my advisory role at Toshiba Northern Europe, I am concerned.

We need to develop some “paradigm pioneers” who will challenge the current “analogue” mindset which permeates the culture and education policy and practice at all levels.

My prediction is that my grandchildren will leave schools with no paper, no pens or pencils, no chalk or whiteboards , no hard copy text books, no paper printers, no projectors, no libraries full of books, no lines of desks and no hand written exams and teachers with a different skill set and the confidence and capability to use digital technology for teaching learning and assessment?

They will expect touch screen technologies, gesture based computing, voice to text and text to voice software, learning analytics (not that they will know what they are) personalised learning, artificial intelligence, immediate formative feedback, on screen summative assessments, virtual and augmented reality.

 It is probable they will be wearing their computers and will expect to access learning whenever and wherever they want to learn and be assessed when they are ready to be assessed.

Technology  will never replace teachers but teachers who use technology effectively will replace those who do not.

That is why the acceptance of the 35 recommendations of FELTAG report in July 2014 were a nudge towards a more digital future for education and training

https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/320242/bis-14-841-government-response-to-recommendations-from-the-FELTAG-action-plan.pdf  

And the updates from JISC

https://www.jisc.ac.uk/reports/the-evolution-of-feltag

https://www.jisc.ac.uk/rd/projects/implementing-the-feltag-agenda

https://www.jisc.ac.uk/rd/projects/further-education-and-skills-coalition

The principles which underpin all of the above and the context in which Petroc will need to flourish in the future are predicated on the disruptive potential of technology.

Petroc  has already started their digital journey and this workshop for Governors and Leaders intends to build upon the innovative work and help build a vision for learning which will sustain the College on their digital journey.

I hope you find the workshop fun and challenging.

Bob Harrison