Archive for the ‘Wales Wide Web’ Category

Sounds of the Bazaar LIVE from Berlin

December 4th, 2008 by Graham Attwell

We are at Online Educa Berlin, organising a series of fringe activities. This morning we produced a half hour radio programme. Lots of fun and if you want a quick impression of the conference just download the podcast.

Photos to follow.

Employers do not understand learning

December 2nd, 2008 by Graham Attwell

Interesting survey by the UK Chartered Management Institute and reported in the Guardian newspaper.

“The institute interviewed 1,000 managers aged 35 and under, working in industry, commerce, local government and the police. Their most common complaint was that older bosses regarded the internet as “a massive timewaster”. Half said their organisations did not take up web-based technology until it was tried and tested, and 16% described their employers as “dinosaurs”. The survey found most young managers wanted to use the internet for research, professional development and other aspects of getting the job done. But employers treated it with suspicion. The survey found 65% of organisations monitored usage, rising to 86% in local government and 88% in the police. This led 65% of employers to block access to “inappropriate” sites, rising to 89% in local government and 90% in the utilities. Eighteen per cent of employers limited internet access to certain times of day, rising to 38% in the insurance industry.”

Some two years ago we published the results of a project looking at e-Learning in Small and Medium Enterprises in Europe. We undertook 105 case studies in six different countries. We found few instances of formal e-learning (or formal learning of any kind). However we found extensive use of the internet for informal learning. Older workers were more likely to use ICT for learning than younger staff. This, we concluded, was due to two reasons: older workers were more likely to have unlimited access to the internet becuase of their seniority. And older workers were more likely to have autonomy to use the results of their learning in the workplace.

The Chartered Mangement Instutute survey shows that businesses have still not progressed in their understanding of learning, less still in thinking about innovation. Informal learning is potentially the most powerful driver of innovation. But this requires both access to learning opportunties and work organisations which allow autonomy to utilise learning. Most businesses still don’t get it.

NB Sadly I cannot find an online copy of the Chartered Mangement Institute Survey. Probably costs lots of money. But you can download the book we produced – Searching, Lurking and the Zone of Proximal Development – E-Learning in Small and Medium Enterprises in Europe – for free.

Power and learning

December 1st, 2008 by Graham Attwell

No, not the power of learning. Power relations and learning.

I worry sometimes that those evangelists (said in a nice way, I am one myself) of a new way of learning, ignore the power relationships in society. Education itself, will not change the world. Power remains unevenly distributed.  More problematically, it is not in the interests of those who run a our society to allow us all to learn for ouselves, unfettered by control – be it control to access ot learning or control of what we learn. Contrast these statments:

“Over the last ten years, this model has been seen in many quarters to be obsolete. We have seen the emergence of a new model, where education is practiced in the community as a whole, by individuals studying personal curricula at their own pace, guided and assisted by community facilitators, online instructors and experts around the world.

Though today we stand at the cusp of this new vision, the future will see institutions and traditional forms of education receding gradually, reluctantly, to a tide of self-directing and self-motivated learners. This will be the last generation in which education is the practice of authority, and the first where it becomes, as has always been intended by educators, an act of liberty.” – Stephen Downes

I wish I was as optimtistic as Stephen. But read this from George Roberts’ newly launched work blog: “Irving Wladawsky-Berger, (read his blog) President Emeritus of the IBM Technology Academy and visiting/adjunct professor at MIT and Imperial College, argues, for a mixed mode of social control in which participatory governance models and hierarchical governance models share the challenge of institutional survival in a social darwinian market environment where, “… you make mistakes you die”.

Capitalism is adapting to new economic relaities of Open Source and global markets. Learning is powerful and education forms part of the ideological state apparatus. Power will not be ceded because we have a better idea of organising universal access ot education. Educational technolgits must understand these realisties and better still join those fighting for economic, social and politcial chnage.

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    Graduate Jobs

    As reported by WONKHE, a survey of 1,200 final year students conducted by Prospects in the UK found that 29 per cent have lost their jobs, and 26 per cent have lost internships, while 28 per cent have had their graduate job offer deferred or rescinded. 47 per cent of finalists are considering postgraduate study, and 29 per cent are considering making a career change. Not surprisingly, the majority feel negative about their future careers, with 83 per cent reporting a loss of motivation and 82 per cent saying they feel disconnected from employers

    Post-Covid ed-tech strategy

    The UK Ufi VocTech Trust are supporting the Association of Colleges to ensure colleges are supported to collectively overcome challenges to delivering online provision at scale. Over the course of the next few months, AoC will carry out research into colleges’ current capacity to enable high quality distance learning. Findings from the research will be used to create a post-Covid ed-tech strategy for the college sector.

    With colleges closed for most face-to-face delivery and almost 100% of provision now being delivered online, the Ufi says, learners will require online content and services that are sustainable, collective and accessible. To ensure no one is disadvantaged or left behind due to the crisis, this important work will contribute to supporting businesses to transform and upskilling and reskilling those out of work or furloughed.


    The European Commission has published an annual report of the Erasmus+ programme in 2018. During that time the programme funded more than 23,500 projects and supported the mobility of over 850,00 students, of which 28,247 were involved in UK higher education projects, though only one third of these were UK students studying abroad while the remainder were EU students studying in the UK. The UK also sent 3,439 HE staff to teach or train abroad and received 4,970 staff from elsewhere in the EU.

    Skills Gaps

    A new report by the Learning and Work Institute for the Local Government Association (LGA) finds that by 2030 there could be a deficit of 2.5 million highly-skilled workers. The report, Local Skills Deficits and Spare Capacity, models potential skills gaps in eight English localities, and forecasts an oversupply of low- and intermediate -skilled workers by 2030. The LGA is calling on the government to devolve the various national skills, retraining and employment schemes to local areas. (via WONKHE)

    Other Pontydysgu Spaces

    • Pontydysgu on the Web

      Our Wikispace for teaching and learning
      Sounds of the Bazaar Radio LIVE
      Join our Sounds of the Bazaar Facebook goup. Just click on the logo above.

      We will be at Online Educa Berlin 2015. See the info above. The stream URL to play in your application is Stream URL or go to our new stream webpage here SoB Stream Page.

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