Introduction

    Welcome to the Wales Wide Web

    October 25th, 2007 by Dirk Stieglitz

    Wales Wide Web is Graham Attwell’s main blog. Graham Attwell is Director of the Wales based research organisation, Pontydysgu. The blog covers issues like open-source, open-content, open-standards, e-learning and Werder Bremen football team.

    You can reach Graham by email at graham10 [at] mac [dot] com

    Wales Wide Web

    Discussion: Learning and Training anywhere

    March 30th, 2020 by Graham Attwell

    The International Labour Organization (ILO) have launched a E-Discussion on Continuing online learning and skills development in times of the COVID-19 crisis. The discussion started on 27 March and runs to 9 April.

    The ILO say “the virtual discussion provides an opportunity to explore the concept of “learning and training anywhere, anytime”, an idea central to the concept of lifelong learning. This, in turn, requires examination of a range of issues such as how technically prepared we are to support new ways of working in the face of disruptors like a pandemic, and how quickly we can organize digital education and training and mobilize teachers and trainers to maintain services to learners.”

    You can join the discussion at the following addresses

     

    Leave a Reply


    Careers identities in the Lockdown

    March 30th, 2020 by Graham Attwell

    Graham Attwell will be speaking at an online webinar – LiveCareerChat@Lockdown on 6 April. The webinar, organised by DMH Associates will focus on the future challenges for careers identities and careers advice and guidance

    Deirdre Hughes says “During these turbulent times, we all have an opportunity for reflection, sharing ideas and offering practical advice on how best to manage career identity and changing work practices. This webinar is designed to bring people together and to listen and/or share experiences of careers support mechanisms at a time of crisis. ”

    Graham Attwell will talk about the changing international labour markets and the challenges of new technologies, including AI and automation.

    The webinar takes at 1630 – 1730 CEST on Monday 6 April and is free. You can register at https://dmhassociates.easywebinar.live/event-registration-3

    Leave a Reply


    The future of work, Artificial Intelligence and automation: Innovation and the Dual Vocational Education and training system

    March 2nd, 2020 by Graham Attwell


    I am speaking at a seminar on Vocational Education and Training’s Role in Business Innovation at the Ramon Areces Foundation in Madrid tomorrow. The title of my presentation is ‘The future of work, Artificial Intelligence and automation: Innovation and the Dual Vocational Education and training system in Valencia’ which is really much too long for a title and I have much too much to say for my allotted 20 minutes.

    Any way, this is what I told them I was going to talk about:
    The Presentation looks at the future of work, linked to the challenges of Artificial Intelligence, Automation and the new Green Economy. It considers and discusses the various predictions on future jobs and occupations from bodies including CEDEFOP, OECD and the World Bank. It concludes that although one jobs will be v=craeted and some occupations be displaced by new technologies. the greatest impact will be in terms of the tasks performed within jobs. It further discusses future skills needs, including the need for higher level cognitive competences as well as the demand for so called lower skilled work in services and caring professions.
    It considers the significance of these changes for vocational education and training, including the need for new curricula, and increased provision of lifelong learning and retraining for those affected by the changing labour market.
    Artificial Intelligence may also play an important role in the organisation and delivery of vocational education and training. This includes the use of technologies such as machine learning and Natural Language processing for Learner engagement, recruitment and support, Learning Analytics and ‘nudge learning’ through a Learning Record Store, and  the creation and delivery of learning content. It provides examples such as the use of Chatbots in vocation education and training schools and colleges. It is suggested that the use of AI technologies can allow a move from summary assessment to formative assessment. The use of these technologies will reduce the administrative load for teachers and trainers and allow them to focus on coaching, particularly benefiting those at the top and lower end of the student cohort.
    To benefit from this potential will requite new and enhanced continuing professional development for teachers and trainers. Finally the presentation considers what this signifies for the future of the Dual VET system in Spain, looking at findings from both European projects and research undertaken into Dual training in Valencia.
    And I will report back here after the event.

    Leave a Reply


    AI and the future of Education

    February 20th, 2020 by Graham Attwell
    abacus, calculus, classroom

    Pexels (CC0), Pixabay

    More as promised in my last post from the interviews we are doing on AI and Education.

    One implication of AI and automation is changes in curriculum content and pedagogy. I talked with Chris Percy about this.

    Chris pointed out that for school leavers qualification at GCSE level maths and English are a requirement even for vocational students and he thinks this is unlikely to change. However he thinks that programmes in these subjects will move to  –to adaptive personal learning environments.

    Furthermore he says the flipped classroom model will change the role of teachers. “It has proved impossible to improve the staff student ration – general courses have 20 – 40 students or 7 to 10 on niche courses. This needs 3 / 4 way differentiation. Teachers are more conductors than coaches.” However Chris added a caveat – research suggests the the flipped classroom re model has limits. “It only really works for those who want to learn. It is possible that adults know what they want to learn but lack the motivation for self learning. Peers and teachers are important for extrinsic motivation. Disengaged teenagers are frequently not sufficiently motivated. Self taught learning even wth a mentor will only go so far. ” Cris also says that learning has a social element and questions whether avatars can really replace the social role played by teachers. As he points out, generalized AI is still out of reach.  “Chatbots cannot replace teachers at the front of a classroom. Students will have no respect for a chatbot. Teachers are skilled in developing engagement. Chatbots are good for students with a base level of motivation.”

    The issue of motivation has come up in most of the interviews I have undertaken as part of the AI and Vocational Education and Learning project. I will talk more about this in a short podcast this weekend talking about my experiences as a language learner using the popular and heavily gamified DuoLingo application.

     

    Leave a Reply


    AI, automation, the future of work and vocational education and training

    February 17th, 2020 by Graham Attwell

    Regular readers will know I am working on a project on AI and Vocational Education and Training (VET). We are looking both at the impact of AI and automation on work and occupations and the use of AI for teaching and learning. Later in the year we will be organizing a MOOC around this: at the moment we are undertaking interviews with teachers, trainers , managers and developers (among others) in Italy, Greece, Lithuania, Germany and the UK.

    The interviews are loosely structured around five questions:

    • What influence do you think AI and automation is going to have on occupations that you or your institution provide training for?
    • Do you think AI is going to effect approaches to teaching and learning? If so could you tell us how?
    • Have you or your institution any projects based around AI. If so could you tell us about them?
    • How can curricula be updated quickly enough to respond to the introduction of AI?
    • Do you think AI and automation will result in less jobs in the future or will it generate new jobs? If so what do you think the content of those jobs will be?

    Of course it depends on the work role and interests of the interviewee as to which questions are most discussed. And rather than an interview, with the people I have talked with it tends to be more of a discussion.

    while the outcomes of this work will be published in a report later this spring, I will publish here some of the issues which have been come up.

    Last week I talked with Chris Percy, who describes himself as a Business strategy consultant and economist.

    Chris sees AI and technology as driving an increasing pace of change in how work is done. He says the model for vocational education is to attend college to get skills and enter a trade for ten or twenty years – albeit with refreshers and licenses to update knowledge. This, he says, has been the model for the last 50 years but it may not hold if knowledge is so fast changing. He is not an AI evangelist and thinks changes feed through more slowly. With this change new models for vocational education and training are needed, although what that model might be is open. It could be e to spend one year learning in every seven years or one day a week for three months every year.

    The main issue for VET is not how to apply AI but how we structure jobs, Lifelong Learning and pedagogy.

    One problem, at least in the UK. has been a reduction in the provision of Life Long Learning has gone down in the UK. In this he sees a disconnect between policy and the needs of the economy.  But it may also be that if change is slower than in the discourse it just has just not impacted yet. Tasks within a job are changing rather than jobs as a whole. We need to update knowledge  for practices we do not yet have. A third possible explanation is that although there are benefits from new technologies and work processes the benefits from learning are not important enough for providing new skills.

    New ways of learning are needed – a responsive learning based on AI could help here – but there is not enough demand to overcome inertia. The underpinning technologies are there but have not yet translated into schools to benefit retraining.

    Relatively few jobs will disappear in their entirety – but a lot of logistics, front of store jobs, restaurants etc. will be transformed. It could be there will be a lower tier of services based on AI and automation and a higher tier with human provision. Regulators can inhibit the pace of change – which is uneven in different countries and cities e.g. Self driving cars.

    In most of the rest of the economy people will change as tasks change. For example the use of digital search in the legal industry  has been done by students, interns and paralegals because someone has to do it – now with AI supporting due diligence students can progress faster to more interesting parts of the work. Due diligence is now AI enabled.

    Chris thinks that although AI and automation will impact on jobs, global economic developments will still be a bigger influence on the future of work.

    More from the interviews later this week. In the meantime if you would like to contribute to the research – or just would like to contribute your ideas – please et in touch.

     

     

    Leave a Reply


    Changing the role of Assessment

    February 11th, 2020 by Graham Attwell

    Front cover of future of assessment reportFormative assessment should provide a key role in all education and particularly in vocational education and training. Formative assessment can give vital feedback to learners and guidance in the next steps of their learning journey. It can also help teachers in knowing what is effective and what is not, where the gaps are and help in planning learning interventions.

    Yet all too often it does not. Assessment is all too often seen at best as something to overcome and at worst as a stress inducing nightmare. With new regulations in England requiring students in further education to pass tests in English and Mathmatics, students are condemned to endless retaking the same exams regardless of achievement in vocational subjects.

    For all these reasons a new report published by Jisc today is very welcome.

    Jisc say:

    Existing and emerging technologies are starting to play a role in changing assessment and could help address these issues, both today and looking further ahead into the future, to make assessment smarter, faster, fairer and more effective.

    The report sets five targets for the next five years to progress assessment towards being more authentic, accessible, appropriately automated, continuous and secure.

    • AuthenticAssessments designed to prepare students for what they do next, using technology they will use in their careers

    • AccessibleAssessments designed with an accessibility-first principle

    • Appropriately automatedA balance found of automated and human marking to deliver maximum benefit to students

    • ContinuousAssessment data used to explore opportunities for continuous assessment to improve the learning experience

    • SecureAuthoring detection and biometric authentication adopted for identification and remote proctoring

    The report: ‘The future of assessment: five principles, five targets for 2025’ can be downloaded from the Jisc website.

     

    Leave a Reply


P1020724P1020699P1020698P1020696P1020692P1020688P1020686P1020681P1020678P1020673P1020669P1020666P1020665P1020614