Archive for continuing education

comparing adult learners in knowledge-based economies

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , on July 8, 2008 by ruyoung

a report from statistics canda contemplates the findings of a study of adult learners between canada, united states, norway, and switzerland.

each country reported nearly or more than 50% of the adult population enrolment in organised forms of adult learning during the year preceding the interview. most said it was for job-related reasons and a very small percentage had been engaged in adult learning for personal reasons.

“The dominance of work-related reasons for participating remains unchanged over a person’s entire working life. It is notable, for example, that close to 90% of Canadians with job tenure of more than 21 years who reported participating in an organized form of adult learning in 2002 did so for job-related reasons, a percentage that is similar to employees who had been in the job for between one and five years.

These results suggest that a large proportion of Canadians are active participants in what is now commonly referred to as the ‘knowledge-based economy’ and are ready to upgrade their skills in order to improve and/or maintain their prospects in the labour market. At the same time, it is becoming rare for Canadian adults to engage in organized learning activities primarily for personal reasons or study for the sake of study.”

it is also worth noting that more than 50% of interviewed learners from all four countries reported that they received financial support from their employer, however learners from the european countries were more still likely to engage in education and training even when unemployed compared to the north american learners interviewed.
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the report also contemplates the impact of job and workplace characteristics on adult learning as well as skills match-mismatch and participation in adult learning, but concludes that “it is worth noting that employer support for training favours high-skill workers in jobs with high skill requirements. That raises the question, then, of how best to create education and training opportunities for those in need of skills upgrading.”

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upcoming industry conferences

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , on June 22, 2008 by ruyoung

narrative and interactive learning environments
aug 5-8, 2008
edinburgh, uk

schools in a flat world
sep 10-13, 2008
helsinki, finland

innovations in learning
sep 24-26, 2008
san jose, usa

conference on re-thinking development studies in africa
nov 3-6, 2008
cape coast, ghana

uoc unesco chair in e-learning 5th international seminar: fighting against the digital divide through education
nov 12-14, 2008
barcelona, spain

iceri2008 international conference of education, research, and innovtion
nov 17-19, 2008
madrid, spain

national conference for academic disciplines
mar 23-26, 2009
las vegas, usa

canadian association for university continuing education 2009 annual conference
may 20-29, 2009
vancouver, canada

international conference on teaching and learning (ictl 2009)
nov 16-18, 2009
kuching, malaysia

the crosshairs of jobs, technology, and learning 2.0

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , on February 9, 2008 by ruyoung

journalist chris riedel quotes chris dede, a professor in learning technologies at harvard’s graduate school of education, from his opening remarks at the fetc 2008 conference late last month:

In a world where learners are being shaped by the things they do outside of the classroom, he said, how do we prepare students for careers that do not exist yet and that will be driven by these very same methods of learning?

these opening remarks were just the beginning of his explanation of the evolution of education brought on by web 2.0 tools, and points to, among other things, changes in learner characteristics. “It is important, he shared, for people to be fluent in new technologies and literacies because more and more jobs are disappearing that require classical knowledge.” we are at the crosshairs of where jobs, technology, and learning 2.0 intersect.

the full article is a must read for those working with education technology and continuing education.

getting your organisation to pay for continuing education

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , on January 29, 2008 by ruyoung

being in the training industry as well as being a lifelong learner, i can see both perspectives of having your organisation pay for extra schooling.

from the company perspective, they might pay for schooling to develop your skills or use professional development as a retention tactic. from the individual perspective, it could be as simple as getting something more than a paycheque or as something more complex as working it into a future job goal.

yesterday job profiles listed a few options for how to get an organisation to pay for professional development. some of the best sugestions are:

  • make looking for a company that supports continuing education a part of your job search
  • develop a solid plan
  • tuition reimbursement
  • try to find your company a good deal

[ full article here ]

education upheaval – is there a right way to prepare adult learners?

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , on January 8, 2008 by ruyoung

i’m all for education upheaval, provided it is methodical, well thought out, and reasonable. upheaval for the sake of upheaval is wasted effort, but upheaval for the sake of valuable, forward-thinking change is not only encouraged, but essential.

last week mark at learning conversations put together a list of questions to ask before a new education system can be created from scratch. some questions with the most impact are:

What does society need from an education system?
What is the role of society?
What does the individual need from an education system?
How can we support learners’ progress towards their (our?) goals?
When will people learn?
When will people support learning?
How will we know the support is effective?
How will we know the resources we provide are effective?

this list could easily translate to adult education, specifically for retention and implementation. how will adults learn? how can we as corporate educators or as life-long instructors support learners’ progress towards goals that mesh with their industry, their organisation, their values, and their personal lives? what does an organisation or school or community need from an adult education system? and how will we know what resources are invested in adult education are effective and provide roi for both the learner and the organisation that initiated the learning?

and i cannot make this post without referencing the post mark made just before that, on lessons learned in professional learning, wherein he describes his initial thoughts on how important it is to set expectations and generate motivation.