Wednesday, January 03, 2018

2017 - Phew ! Happy New Year 2018 !



2017 , What a quick year !

A chunk doing some international speaking, Valletta, Malta, Warsaw , Poland  , Ljubljana , Slovenia  with UNESCO  for open educational resource related policy forums.  Hoping great things will finally come out of the 2nd #OER World Congress.  Scotland could do so much more here. It's been great to be involved in this work with my co-conspirator +Lorna Campbell   around Open Scotland . This could be year when more institutions and above all policy makers in Scotland get on board. Bonus,  I had never been to Malta or Warsaw and Ljubljana is always worth revisiting.

It is always a pleasure too to work with the #oer18 conference crew and the #oer community globally, I've been on #oer bus since the first conference ( in fact part of sharing communities since last century) ,  and of course the Association for Learning Technology in the UK and my colleagues in JISC and those in and around #FELTAG.

Re-building the  Scottish international pages for Education Scotland and the British Council. Facilitating Indian, Uzbekistan  and other international visitors around the Scottish vocational landscape. Where it makes sense our vocational system sells well internationally.
I wear my British Council consultant badge with pride.

Coping with digital disruption; A road map for a global standards setting and awarding organisation. Systems, learning environments , repositories , new quality arrangements for centre approval to encourage and support digital learning .. all that jazz in a global environment with much less Ofqual etc regulation . The new landscape presents challenges to the public and private sectors. It was great to work with an organisation who operate globally and willing to challenge themselves and their centres to create a better offer for their learners. I look forward to seeing the new strategic plan come into fruition.

Facilitating an International Digital Learning Symposium - that was a pleasure, as was becoming an SCQF Reviewer and being in and out of Holyrood once again as a member of Goodison Group's Education Futures Forum.

Working with a UK based partner to change face of teacher training in Scotland - and being amazed and appalled  in equal measure by intransigence and self interest so obviously alive in the teacher training system in Scotland. I think there is probably more to run on this next year.

Ongoing work with innovative companies who want to shake up the virtual learning environment space , digital assessment space , social learning space and indeed all things digital learning.

On going work too , around UK vocational reform - mainly in England.

I can justify graded apprenticeships , I can see the positive impact of embedding a refreshed set of core skills including 'digital literacy ' rather than simply 'IT'  . I understand training accounts and why employers need a bigger say in what they access with their training levy. I can see large employers encouraging learners to take apprenticeships in areas where degrees in the past were the entry route - accountancy , law , financial services.  I can see too that all of this needs a lot more thought in Scotland. I hope the new overarching committee finally lines up the activities of SFC , SDS , Scottish Enterprise and HIE . I hoped that would happen last year . I still fear that whole Scottish system could be usurped by some of these changes

It has been a busy and rewarding year  - since my last report in April 2017 and I've probably missed some chunks out.

But now looking forward to #Bett2018 and driving forward CityLearning4.0 into the new year.

Creativity, Mindfulness , Resilience - I've got that in spades - but I would not have achieved all of this without the ongoing support of all the very capable folk who work in and around vocational education in Scotland, across the UK and beyond. You know who you are ! Thanks for the continued stream of interesting, challenging and rewarding bits or work.

Nor would I have kept this portfolio career going without the support of  my wife and family too - it's been tough sometimes to explain what an 'Educational Consultant' does, one day working from the home office - the next rushing to an airport along with the associated peaks and troughs in income that will be familiar to every consultant.

Thanks to you all for your continued support and all the very best to you and yours for 2018 !

For those looking for a change - there is a sea of opportunity out there -dive in and be the change you want to see in the system !

For goodness sake if you see something that you can fix - speak up and fix it !

In 2018 get your heads above the parapet and lead for the sake of learning and learners !

How is that for some mixed metaphors,  in these mixed up times !