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Self-organised Learning in the context of Vocational Education and Training (VET) - a consequence of Moore´s Law? (By Cathy Ellis)
 

Self-organised Learning in the context of Vocational Education and Training (VET) - a consequence of Moore´s Law? (By Cathy Ellis)

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Many countries are seeking a radical transformation of the process and outputs of skill formation as solutions to the economic crisis are sought. One of the consequences of the reality of exponential ...

Many countries are seeking a radical transformation of the process and outputs of skill formation as solutions to the economic crisis are sought. One of the consequences of the reality of exponential technological change for the VET curriculum, which has been the cornerstone of skills formation, is that it is already outdated by the time students start their course as the pace and impact of technological change in the workplace removes the need for previously taught skills. Skills obsolescence therefore needs to become a factor in the planning and delivery of the VET curriculum so that it is reviewed and changed on a more regular and routine basis than hitherto. This means more than deploying digital technologies to the aims, objectives, content, activity and assessment of traditional skills formation but reframing skills education itself so that it is presented to the students as a ‘curriculum of problems’ around which resources become available as required. What we see emerging is a heuristics-based model defined by the skills of search, critiquing, collaboration and curation and the practice of real-time application of knowledge.

Over the course of the last year Cathy Ellis has been working with Professor Sugata Mitra and more recently with associates at Harvard School of Education, MIT Media Lab and EdX exploring the implications of this approach and planning a series of controlled curriculum experiments which will be conducted in a number of VET settings over the coming academic year. These experiments will seek to examine the following questions:

Have we reached the point where learning to learn has become a fundamental capability for the VET student and what does this mean in practice?
Can we take the concept of Self-Organised Learning as pioneered by Sugata Mitra in the primary sector and apply it to VET?
Will Self-Organised Learning better equip our students to manage the challenges of continual change in the workplace as previously sought after vocational competencies are rendered obsolete in a world characterised by ‘plug and play’?

In her demo Cathy will outline the work done to date and share the initial findings from the first round of experiments which are planned to take place in October 2012.

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    Self-organised Learning in the context of Vocational Education and Training (VET) - a consequence of Moore´s Law? (By Cathy Ellis) Self-organised Learning in the context of Vocational Education and Training (VET) - a consequence of Moore´s Law? (By Cathy Ellis) Presentation Transcript

    • Self-organised learning in the context ofVocational Education and Training (VET) A consequence of Moore’s Law? Cathy Ellis
    • Facts & FiguresThere are 346 colleges in England comprising:-■ General Further Education 223■ Sixth Form 94■ Land-based 16■ Art, Design and Performing Arts 3■ Specialist Designated 10
    • £7.7 billion - total income in EnglandCollege incomes range from £5 million to £183million3.3 million people – study in FE colleges2.4 million adults – study in FE colleges266 colleges- undergraduate & graduate level
    • Transistors on an integrated circuit double every two years.The trend has continued for over fifty yearsFor the consumer, Moores law is demonstrated by a $1500computer today being worth half that amount next year andbeing almost obsolete in two years.
    • Moores Law
    • Obsolescence…
    • Industrial Model for its time…
    • Transitioning…
    • Tools of the trade…
    • VET context… in the UK 16-24 Year olds Total: 6.1m 24% of adults (8.1m) lack Numeracy Skills16-24 Year olds4.9m inEducation,Employment orTraining 15% of adults 16-24 Year olds (5.1m) lack Literacy 1.16 m NEET* Skills * Not in Employment, Education or Training
    • So the VET landscape… Changing labour market and economy UK labour markets are becoming more competitive and selective 16 per cent of vacancies in England are attributable to skills shortages with problems in both technical skills and wider employability skills. Demand for higher skills will increase as innovation and technology will grow as drivers of economic recovery and prosperity. Emerging evidence suggests both that more people aged 50+ are active or seeking to be active in the labour market, and that this will impact on job opportunities for young people. Contracting public sector
    • No single educational response will preparelearners or educational institutions for all potentialfuture developments … the education systemneeds to commit to creating a diverse ecology ofeducational institutions and practices - includingdeveloping new approaches to curriculum, toassessment, to the workforce and governance, aswell as to pedagogy. DCSF 2009
    • While it was once assumed that what was learned in schoolwould last a lifetime, technological change is now occurringso fast that much of what is taught in universities isobsolete shortly after students graduate.Today, when we can access content on Google and wherejobs are changing rapidly, accumulating knowledge mattersa lot less and success is much more about ways of thinking,including creativity, critical thinking, and judgement. Andreas Schleicher, deputy director for education at the OECD, WISE, Doha 2012
    • SELF ORGANISED LEARNING…Children in unsupervised groups can:1. Learn to use computers and the Internet on their own2. Use the Internet to search for information, read, understand and evaluate what they have found3. Answer questions about curricular subjects they have not been taught4. Compensate for inadequacies in the quality of school teaching (Mitra et al, 2008)
    • Based on these results, it is reasonable to expect thatapplying SOLE in parts of the VET curriculum will havesome or all of the following benefits: Students will develop knowledge and understanding of the chosen subject without any teacher input but through working according to the design features of SOLE. They will teach themselves a set of associated digital literacy skills; e.g. enhanced search and critiquing skills. They will develop collaborative, creative and problem-solving and social interaction skills.
    • Based on these results, it is reasonable to expect thatapplying SOLE in parts of the VET curriculum will havesome or all of the following benefits: They will perform at above average level in the assessments undertaken. They will develop their capabilities in learning to learn. The amount of physical teaching time will be reduced.
    • Q1. Can we take the concept of Self-Organised Learningas pioneered by Sugata Mitra in the primary sector andapply it to VET?Conduct a series of experiments:1. Identify the subjects, cohort, curriculum objectives and assessment1. Design and run a number of pre-experiment sessions (known as ‘Dipsticks’). These will orientate the students to SOLE and give them a flavour of the methodology (November 2012 -January 2013)2. A contingency module will be available to ensure students who take part in SOLE have the opportunity for remedial support if their assessment results in the SOLE cycle are lower than expected.
    • Q2. Have we reached the point where learning to learn hasbecome a fundamental capability for the VET student and whatdoes this mean in practice?Project:Testing the concept of ‘learning to learn’ through Computer Programmingvia a venture with edX.‘The modern day language of thinking.’ Nicholas NegroponteEstablish one or two UK cohorts of FE students to take part in edX coursesin the spring/summer of 2013 to test the role of Computer Programming indeveloping learning capability.
    • Google &YouTubecurriculum
    • The future of learning—activity
    •  How do we examine a connected learner? What does ‘qualification’ mean? What is curriculum? Is arithmetic obsolete? Is the absence of a teacher a pedagogical tool? Will institutions dematerialise? What will future teachers do? Sugata Mitra, The Sackler Lecture, Victoria and Albert Museum 2012
    • THANK YOU Let’s keep in touch! CathyTel +44 (0)7944 450 217Email cathy@learningfutureslab.co.ukWeb www.learningfutureslab.co.ukTwitter @cathyellis121