Further education in 2020: the challenges and opportunities

Delegates at this Guardian hosted event see the future of the further education as, “turbulent, but full of opportunity.” The article highlights, how in the light of further cuts, discussion focused on how to take advantage of a changing landscape. Some ideas for institutions included:

  • crisis management becoming the norm for the sector
  • the need to form partnerships and collaborate with businesses, local authorities etc.
  • for employers to take more responsibility for skills training
  • inconsistency of policy
  • the implications of social media for learners and institutions

Read the article here.

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Mistaking engagement for learning

David Didau, writing on Learning Spy, raises an uncomfortable question: does learner engagement really matter? This extremely well researched article at the very least should prompt teachers to question some of their assumptions.

The main points are:

  • A well functioning class in which learners are busy and engaged does not necessarily mean learning is going on.
  • Learners tend to become engaged most with material they are already familiar with.
  • In some case engagement may even hamper learning.

Read the full article here.


Medium launches new online education publication ‘Bright’

Medium have launched ‘Bright‘- “a pop-up publication about innovation in education”. From the introductory article, the publication stresses new and proven methods that work in education, as well as debates, personal stories and investigative features about education today. There also seems to be a focus on technology, with pieces on Pinterest and video gaming having been published so far. Bear in mind this is a US publication, so not everything will apply to a UK perspective.

Medium is a blogging site created by the founders of twitter. It aims to do for medium length writing what twitter has done for micro-blogging.


Labour pledges reform to further education within 100 days

From the TES site:

A future Labour government would bring forward an education bill in its first 100 days that would contain reforms to vocational education, apprenticeships and training, shadow education secretary Tristram Hunt has said.

However, he is yet to give details of what these measures might entail. Hunt also called for the Department of Education and Department for Business, Innovation and Skills to work more closely together.


Learners are learning differently

Jane Hart reacts to the findings of the Pew Research Internet Project, which claims that many Americans believe the greater accessibility of digital information has improved their ability to learn new things.

Hart gives eight pieces of insight into the way learning is changing as a result of these ongoing processes: Read the rest of this entry »


Ufi launches Vocational Learning Tech Fund

From the Ufi site:

 In April 2015 Ufi will be launching the Vocational Learning Tech Fund.  This will be targeted at supporting UK-based entrepreneurs and organisations to build innovative tech-led vocational teaching and learning solutions.  We will be looking for innovations that utilise technology to improve the vocational teaching and training of adults, the learning experience, and assessment of vocational learning.

The grants for successful applicants are between £15,000 and £50,000. They stipulate that projects should be responsive to user feedback, address an opportunity in adult learning and be scaleable.


E&T Foundation report on how Functional Skills qualifications are seen

The Education and Training Foundation have published a report that outlines current views from employers on Functional Skills qualifications. The report provides an useful overview on the current state of Functional Skills in England and gives some insight on how these qualifications are now viewed. The three major conclusions are: Read the rest of this entry »