Author: Phil Redhead
There is no doubt we now live in an era of unprecedented opportunity when it comes to learning. With ubiquitous devices, literally millions of apps available to download, easy access to online learning through MOOCs (Massive Open Online Courses) and other online learning services, such as Khan Academy and YouTube, it is an exciting time to be a learner, whether we are students, teachers or parents! For adults gaining further qualifications today, it is clear that online options now dominate the world of learning. So what about our children, the adults of tomorrow? How are we preparing them for a world of digital learning? Phil and his team speak about how schools and children have evolved with time and are all ready to learn and absorb knowledge from the new and upcoming technologies.
For the first time, more than 50% of standardised tests in U.S. elementary schools are now digitised. Universities are also rapidly expanding their digital offerings, as they become more confident in the validity of online qualifications. Leading U.S. institutions, such as Harvard, MIT and Stanford, along with the IIT in India, have long been pioneers of the MOOC and, despite criticism over course completion rates, the online learning phenomenon continues to gain momentum, as education providers embrace the disruptive potential of the Internet. Leeds University in the U.K. recently announced that it was partnering with Futurelearn, set up by the Open University, to reduce the time and cost needed for gaining a Russell Group degree. Students taking Futurelearn courses will gain credits towards their degrees, indicating further acceptance of online learning by leading institutions.
And yet, the U.K. Commons Science and Technology Committee reports that 12 million British adults lack ‘basic digital knowhow’ and this is costing the country’s economy an estimated £63 billion a year. Similar statistics are to be found around the world and schools simply cannot ignore this skills gap.
“It is essential that schools equip their students with the digital learning skills they will need to flourish when they move on to higher education and into the world of work,” says Phil Redhead, Senior Manager – Digital Strategy, GEMS Innovation, Research and Development. “This is why all GEMS schools have been provided with the opportunity to access a cutting edge ‘Personalised Online Learning Ecosystem (POLE). Built around the ‘My Learning’ virtual learning environment, this evolving ecosystem is already transforming the way in which our teachers are organising the learning experience for their students. We are delighted to share the following case studies, demonstrating how POLE is transforming the learning experience for our students and preparing them for lifelong learning in a digital world. Congratulations to all the teachers, students and parents involved in this exciting work! We can all look forward to more fantastic online learning in GEMS schools this year and I know the students and teachers can’t wait to get going!”