I have had a busy couple of weeks - either out of the office or back to back meetings with usual follow ups.
I have been watching a few postings with interest over the festive period. New Year seems either the time to cast an eye backwards to all things that have happened over the year or to look forward and make some predictions. There seem few Scots predicting the future mainly gazing back the way. Some notable blogs doing this though. Ewan McIntosh gives an excellent backward glance on his meteoric year on a personal and professional front.
In the mid 1990’s I predicted every Scottish Teacher would by 2000 have their own web page, their teaching materials would be swiftly transferred from their floppy disks (remember the big ones ) and they would be using these with learners who would be able to use this resource in a host of ways. Learners would start creating their own learning resources too and sharing these…
I started blogging in 2000 with a small group of enthusiasts. I thought too that this would sweep through education by 2001. I stopped blogging in 2003 and only started again in late 2006. This time I feel more part of a community thanks to Scotedublogs and there is a bit more of a critical mass, but the changes that I think are inevitable still seem further off than I would like in Scotland.
So given my terrible track record - here's how I see the vocational on-line learning world in Scotland.
I’d say the vocational sector have got it to some degree, Colleges are a bit behind but moving in right direction, Universities have got it in places but their faculties pull them in twenty directions at once and schools lag further behind in changing how we fundamentally do things . This could be metaphor for all things vocational but it seems in such sharp focus when you look at the adoption rate of technology to empower learners. I hope with GLOW this really changes this year. Would be good to see schools have standard access to Blogger and some other very relevant tools and I hope this happens this year too.
Predictions I like best are from an old friend Seb Schmoller -
- Effective use of RSS by learners, teachers, and learning providers will become more normal. Meanwhile the off-line capabilities of browser-based applications like Google Reader will grow, making a big difference for users with only intermittent Internet access.
- The hype surrounding social networking will abate, with a greater understanding developing about when social networking supports learning, and when it is a distraction.
- Many more people will break free from Windows or OSX based systems, and begin to rely instead on cheaper, lighter, disk-free devices, with their "stuff" stored somewhere on the Internet rather than locally.
Those who aren't connected will still feel there is some conspiracy going on. I couldn't live without bloglines and other tools to stay well informed. My blogroll is on side of this blog.
The Times Educational Supplement is still critical but increasingly a smaller part of my environmental scanning . And I worry that grumpy middle age is upon me as I have less and less time for those who aren't up to speed and getting in the way of change. I hope I am less grumpy next year ;-) and more people across Scottish Education have access to these tools. Happy New Year to all.