From OECD Insights (image at link reference), valid and useful insights:
“Populations in many societies are ageing, meaning that in future there will be fewer people of working age to support growing numbers of retirees. The result is that more of us will need to go on working for longer. To do that societies will need to break down the barriers that prevent adults from updating their skills and education.
Chapter 5 of Learning for Life looks at adult learning, and finds out who’s getting it and who isn’t. It examines the barriers that prevent adults from developing their skills and knowledge. And it looks at what individuals, employers and governments can do to tear down those barriers.”
Today I am sharing information about three new Education start-ups from an article by Nick DeSantis from The Chronicle of Higher Education: The first is a transfer college called Altius Education (a very much needed idea for South Africa, with our problematic achievements in Grade 12). The second is OpenStudy which has focused on soft skills, again an area requiring attention in South Africa. The third is about Sophia a social learning platform purchased by Capella Education System.
“The theme of disrupting higher education was buzzing among hundreds of conference attendees this week at the Education Innovation Summit at Arizona State University. The event offered start-up companies a captive audience for pitching their products. Here’s a small sample of announcements they made:
Altius Education: This company has already gained prominence among educators for its creation of a “transfer college,” which gives students a bridge to a bachelor’s degree by helping them transfer to traditional four-year institutions. And now the chief executive of Altius, Paul Freedman, has bigger plans—he wants to put “the flying car of higher education” in the driveway of every student. The engine, he says, is called Helix, a new tool that seeks to reinvent what learning-management software can do…
OpenStudy: Traditional grades are one-dimensional. Transcripts don’t convey how good students are at working with others and
solving problems. That’s the argument made by the leaders of OpenStudy, the social-learning network that calls itself a “global study group.” To fill in those gaps, the company has introduced SmartScore, a measurement of “soft skills” including teamwork, problem-solving, and engagement. In a blog post that previewed SmartScore’s introduction, OpenStudy’s co-founder, Preetha Ram, said the tool would ‘challenge the traditional notions of intelligence normally quantified by grades…’
Sophia: The social platform for teaching and learning was purchased this week by Capella Education Company, the parent of the for-profit Capella University. The partnership means Sophia will roll out low-cost college courses online, beginning with a college-algebra course in June…”
“Some of the views in the report point directly to the kinds of policy questions that are preoccupying governments – and employers – eager to match skilled jobs with skilled workers.
According to the young people cited in the report:
The above links closely to the New South African Post-Secondary Education Green Paper. However, in my view not all education programmes should be tailored to labour market needs – we should avoid commodification and flattening of all Higher Education to a labour market technicist paradigm.
What do you think?
Follow this link for many interesting reports, for example:
Gender | Rural Women: While great progress has been made towards gender equality in education, many challenges remain. Did you know that nearly 2/3 of the world’s illiterate adults are women? The situation is particularly bad for rural women. Read more on our blog:
Employers who pay PAYE are obliged by National Legislation to contribute 1% of their wage bill to the Skills Levy Fund. The Mandatory Claims provision of this fund enables employers to claim back 70% of this amount on educating/training current employees. Since most employers are not claiming this amount the funds become available for payment under the Discretionary Grant provision. This means that the Discretionary Funds become available to competitors who are investing in the knowledge and skills development of employees. Those companies who are not training are weakening in a very competitive market, especially in these very difficult economic times.
If Skills Development Facilitators submit Workplace Skills Plans that include accredited courses from accredited providers, companies can properly reclaim on their skills levies paid, and position themselves for a strong competitive advantage when the economy “turns”. If training budgets have been cut, then this is the time to make full use of the Skills Development Fund. This is the magic moment, as the economy “turns”, to begin to train staff and secure a strong position for your company, ensuring improved employee relationships and staff who are able to align their personal goals with that of the company, whilst meeting equity and skills training targets. In the words of Dr Nzimande, workplaces need to become “training spaces”. The time is now.
Nice guide with an easy overview:
“There are a variety of strategies to implement reflective practice. On a simple level, we could think about reflection in the past, present, and future tense. The image to the right is from Kolb and accessed from Wikipedia. Donald Schön refers to ‘reflection-in-action’ as analysis in the present tense…during the performance of a task. Killion and Todnem (1991) categorize reflection in three directions:
Killion, J., & Todnem, G. (1991). A process for personal theory building. Educational Leadership, 48(7), 14-16.
A link to useful tools for enquiry and project-based learning: