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Self-organised learning in the context of
Vocational Education and Training (VET)

   A consequence of Moore’s Law?


             Cathy Ellis
Facts & Figures

There 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 England
College incomes range from £5 million to £183
million

3.3 million people – study in FE colleges
2.4 million adults – study in FE colleges
266 colleges- undergraduate & graduate level
Transistors on an integrated circuit double every two years.

The trend has continued for over fifty years

For the consumer, Moore's law is demonstrated by a $1500
computer today being worth half that amount next year and
being almost obsolete in two years.
Moore's 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 Skills
16-24 Year olds
4.9m in
Education,
Employment or
Training
                                                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 prepare
learners or educational institutions for all potential
future developments … the education system
needs to commit to creating a diverse ecology of
educational institutions and practices - including
developing new approaches to curriculum, to
assessment, to the workforce and governance, as
well as to pedagogy.
                                                DCSF 2009
While it was once assumed that what was learned in school
would last a lifetime, technological change is now occurring
so fast that much of what is taught in universities is
obsolete shortly after students graduate.


Today, when we can access content on Google and where
jobs are changing rapidly, accumulating knowledge matters
a 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 own
2.    Use the Internet to search for information, read, understand
      and evaluate what they have found
3.    Answer questions about curricular subjects they have not
      been taught
4. Compensate for inadequacies in the quality of school
     teaching
                                                      (Mitra et al, 2008)
Based on these results, it is reasonable to expect that
applying SOLE in parts of the VET curriculum will have
some 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 that
applying SOLE in parts of the VET curriculum will have
some 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 Learning
as pioneered by Sugata Mitra in the primary sector and
apply it to VET?
Conduct a series of experiments:
1.   Identify the subjects, cohort, curriculum objectives and assessment

1.   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 has
become a fundamental capability for the VET student and what
does this mean in practice?


Project:
Testing the concept of ‘learning to learn’ through Computer Programming
via a venture with edX.

‘The modern day language of thinking.’ Nicholas Negroponte
Establish one or two UK cohorts of FE students to take part in edX courses
in the spring/summer of 2013 to test the role of Computer Programming in
developing learning capability.
Google &
YouTube
curriculum
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!
                 Cathy

Tel         +44 (0)7944 450 217
Email       cathy@learningfutureslab.co.uk
Web        www.learningfutureslab.co.uk
Twitter    @cathyellis121

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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)

  • 1. Self-organised learning in the context of Vocational Education and Training (VET) A consequence of Moore’s Law? Cathy Ellis
  • 2. Facts & Figures There 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
  • 3. £7.7 billion - total income in England College incomes range from £5 million to £183 million 3.3 million people – study in FE colleges 2.4 million adults – study in FE colleges 266 colleges- undergraduate & graduate level
  • 4. Transistors on an integrated circuit double every two years. The trend has continued for over fifty years For the consumer, Moore's law is demonstrated by a $1500 computer today being worth half that amount next year and being almost obsolete in two years.
  • 7. Industrial Model for its time…
  • 9. Tools of the trade…
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  • 13. VET context… in the UK 16-24 Year olds Total: 6.1m 24% of adults (8.1m) lack Numeracy Skills 16-24 Year olds 4.9m in Education, Employment or Training 15% of adults 16-24 Year olds (5.1m) lack Literacy 1.16 m NEET* Skills * Not in Employment, Education or Training
  • 14. 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
  • 15. No single educational response will prepare learners or educational institutions for all potential future developments … the education system needs to commit to creating a diverse ecology of educational institutions and practices - including developing new approaches to curriculum, to assessment, to the workforce and governance, as well as to pedagogy. DCSF 2009
  • 16. While it was once assumed that what was learned in school would last a lifetime, technological change is now occurring so fast that much of what is taught in universities is obsolete shortly after students graduate. Today, when we can access content on Google and where jobs are changing rapidly, accumulating knowledge matters a 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
  • 17. SELF ORGANISED LEARNING… Children in unsupervised groups can: 1. Learn to use computers and the Internet on their own 2. Use the Internet to search for information, read, understand and evaluate what they have found 3. Answer questions about curricular subjects they have not been taught 4. Compensate for inadequacies in the quality of school teaching (Mitra et al, 2008)
  • 18. Based on these results, it is reasonable to expect that applying SOLE in parts of the VET curriculum will have some 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.
  • 19. Based on these results, it is reasonable to expect that applying SOLE in parts of the VET curriculum will have some 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.
  • 20. Q1. Can we take the concept of Self-Organised Learning as pioneered by Sugata Mitra in the primary sector and apply it to VET? Conduct a series of experiments: 1. Identify the subjects, cohort, curriculum objectives and assessment 1. 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.
  • 21. Q2. 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? Project: Testing the concept of ‘learning to learn’ through Computer Programming via a venture with edX. ‘The modern day language of thinking.’ Nicholas Negroponte Establish one or two UK cohorts of FE students to take part in edX courses in the spring/summer of 2013 to test the role of Computer Programming in developing learning capability.
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  • 26. The future of learning—activity
  • 27. 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
  • 28. THANK YOU Let’s keep in touch! Cathy Tel +44 (0)7944 450 217 Email cathy@learningfutureslab.co.uk Web www.learningfutureslab.co.uk Twitter @cathyellis121