Friday, July 11, 2014

Institute of Adult Learning (IAL) Singapore Symposium - Day 1

Today and tomorrow, I am in Singapore for the IAL biannual symposium. As usual, a well organised event with over 500 participants and presenters. I presented a keynote 4 years ago and met a few people who remembered it!

Today's  symposium opened with an IAL video presenting IAL's role in Singapore's continuing education and training (CET). A welcome from IAL director, Ms. Hui Mei San followed by the Minister of Manpower- Tan Chuan-Jin's opening address. The Minister is particularly interested in deploying flexible delivery to the CET sector, to continually up-skill the workforce. Interest in deploying MOOCs and mobile learning as way to deliver to a diverse sector.

A panel presentation by 6 of the presenters to the minister (including myself) provide the minister with an overview and examples of symposium offerings.

The first keynote is from Dr. Shahid Yusuf, chief economist at George Washington University School of Business, on 'growth in small advanced economies- the role of continuing education and training'. Need to continually train to increase productivity. Covered structural transforantilnof economies, implications of growth and tech change for labour markets and efficacy measures to prepare workers in developed economies. Lower productivity across all countries will only exacerbate. Solutions suggested include good macroeconomic growth policies backed by trade, innovation and green infrastructure development policies.

Second keynote is with Dr. Matt Bower 'using augmented reality technologies to enhance classroom learning'. covers a link between AR and adult learning principles. Authentic and situated learning opportunities availed to develop flexible learning. Camera, microphone, touchpad, GPS, compass, accelerometer, gyroscope and clock and be used to create learning opportunities like instant translation from source visuals like signs. Examples of location based AR and games etc. Presented to show possibilities. Usually in the form of customised guided learning. Perfectly situated learning and ability to transcend physical barriers.

Concurrent sessions begin after lunch. I present next, so attend the session in the same room by Mr. Rahul Varma from Accenture on 'extracting  the most out of on-demand access to content and learning through digital and mobile devices, or any other technology platforms, to create new ways of learning and learning delivery' - short vimeo covers some of the material from this presentation. How people learn is changing, curated intelligence, mobile, social, video explosion, big data and visual engagement. However, might be too many options, how to choose? Philosophical approach to delivery is 'time away to learn, learning all the time' through regional hubs, network of connected classrooms and highly interactive virtual training delivered anywhere which is on demand, on the job and on the go. Uses 'learning boards' to provide democratic, personalised and fast learning solutions. Online access to personalised internal and external self-study learning including expert video,ebooks, self study training et. Boards can be shared and accessible to other learners, creating social networked learning. Boards curated by subject matter experts, in bite sized segments allowing ease in addition of new modules and refreshment. Learners are able to follow, endorse, share and comment, providing selection of most useful boards and incentivising curators to keep boards relevant.

My presentation is on the 'project surface tablet' initiatives. The first semester interim evaluations indicate some direction for institutional BYOD strategy, need for continual staff and student capability building, some pedagogical shifts possible through introduction of technology, and need to have clear pedagogical approach to inform TEL.

Then attended session with Nelson González from Declara and Susan Mann from Education Services Australia on 'learning as a service: data analytics for a new collaborative adult learning ecosystem. Rationale for addressing present skills imbalance of the present and long term skills shortage through learning ecosystems recognising formal and informal learning for not only individuals but work teams and organisations. Used scootle community, a PD platform for teachers to achieve better teaching practice across Australia. Scootle produces a range of analytics to help understand how it is being used to collaborate. The analytics also help teachers identify groups they may be interested in joining by location and interest. data minded on what is searched, what is clicked etc. Building personalised recommendations for individuals. patterns of collaboration also become better understood leading to user generated pathways being incorporated into future platform development.

Next, with Ms Lai Poi Shan on 'development of the learning facilitator competency instrument (LFCI)'. A tool used for self assessment through online rating and peer validation through feedback to video submission. 6 key and 2 sub competencies with practitioners' indicating importance of 'professional image'. elearning was perceived as least important and competency in this area judged to be low. Pros and cons of video validation evaluated with only 4 practitioners. Self assessment was safe but limited in impact for some. Videos provided sense of ownership but quality of videos uneven. Reflection better and validation found to be useful. Difficulty in bringing together all competencies into one video.

After afternoon tea, two more concurrent sessions. First up David Yao - Kydon Learning Systems Institute - on 'transformative perspectives to workforce training and learning'. Covered effects of the avalanche (volume, variety and velocity) leading to challenges of choice and analysis, globalisation (death of the tyranny of distance and increase in connectivity) and speed of technological change. Increase in complexity of work as mundane predictable work now digitised. Need to transform all aspects of teaching learning die to inter relationships between the aspects of people, technology, organisation, curriculum and content.

Last session of the day with Raja Chowdhury from Lithanhall Academy with 'transforming challenges into opportunities: a case study on just in time cooperative education'. Advocates learning needs to be open, engaging, collaborative, engaging and non-administrative. Cooperative learning brings together traditional and work integrated learning. Place and train programme used as example. Programme retrains business or IT to combine both into enterprise managers. Study nights and weekend and work in the day.

Networking drinks and dinner close a busy day.

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