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Digital education

Back to the future – LTSF17 highlights

16 June 2017

On 13th June a few of us attended Learning technologies 2017 summer forum exhibition in London.

This year’s forum was mainly focused on sharing the knowledge and learning from each other. Over 40 exhibitors were keen to show us their latest products and share their views on learning and development, and learning technologies of the future.

Four open theatres accommodated 34 seminars throughout the day. I was interested to see what I can learn and take back with me. One of the most interesting seminars I attended was delivered by Kate Pasterfield (Head of Innovation With its sensational title “Back to the future – An invitation to the workplace learning in 2025”, she has drawn lots of attention and interest.  I learnt that the 4th industrial revolution is happening right now. Providing that 65 percent of future jobs don’t exist yet gave me a very positive outlook, as well as the prospect of being more efficient, connected, and be able to reach new horizons. Technologies will be easier to use, will be faster, easily available, more intelligent, and they will become a complete part of our lives, almost invisible. Another aspect of the revolution Kate spoke about was mobile working. We will have the opportunity to work and connect with each other from anywhere as oppose to connect and collaborate from somewhere. Flexible workforce will become a common practice in many places. Increased pool of talents and freelancers to choose from will transform daily activities and projects, and also organisational recruitment and detainment of such employees. Different motivators will need to be introduced; creative thinking, collaboration and sharing will become a standard practice. Retirement will be disappearing slowly because we will be thinking differently about how we want to spend the time in our later life.

So how can we prepare and campaign this change? Learning is becoming integrated and social, but deeply personalised and immersive. We have to identify where we currently stand, what technologies we use well, and which ones we can use to our advantage. We have to dedicate time to think about the future. However this cannot be done if we don’t look back; if we don’t review existing learning environments, ask our students what they want out of their education or question actions. We also need to consider how we utilise our skills and knowledge. If we want to be part of an interactive environment, we should perhaps replicate scenarios. We should be teaching particular skills or techniques, but with a twist.  Simulations and role plays will most certainly take place in virtual world which in many ways can be a massive opportunity to prepare for future jobs (those jobs which don’t exist at the moment).

I would like to end my blog with a quote from Alvin Toffler (American writer and futurist): “The illiterate of the future will not be the person who cannot read. It will be the person who does not know how to learn.”



Alvin Toffler – Wikipedia – Alvin Toffler

While writing this blog I enjoyed listening to Radio Paradise.


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