Having attended the NOAH Internet Conference in London and listened to a number of guest speaks it really has dawned on me that we are living in a special time. The Internet Age is the New Industrial Revolution and we need to educate the children of today to embrace this new phenomena. The internet is transforming many industries and it’s the new gold rush.
It is important that children learn to work with computers and not against them as this will determine career success. The reality is a lot of work traditionally done by people is being automated by computers. Mobile technology, social networks and cloud computing are creating new companies and new industries.
Hence, the need for children to learn how to code computers. Our country needs to create things and this was traditionally done by manufacturing but perhaps now it’s about creating world class software and internet companies.
Marks and Spencer is being challenged by ASOS, Blockbuster by Lovefilm and Netflix. The next generation are wanting to work when they want and where they want leading to the popularity of websites such as People per Hour, Elance and oDesk.
We must not see the internet as a threat but as a real opportunity to change the world for the better. We must educate children in the new skills for the digital age and ensure their living standards are maintained. The rise of China and India is making competition for jobs increasingly competitive so we must differentiate ourselves.
Sherry Coutu has pulled off another excellent year for Silicon Valley Comes to the UK. I was lucky enough to attend the Houses of Parliament and listen to thought leaders from around the globe on what they see as the future of education.
There were some great speakers including Diane Tavenner (Summit Schools), John Katzman (Noodle Education), Mike Keller (Stanford Library), Ben Nelson (Minerva Project), Louise Rogers (Times Educational Supplement), Eben Upton (Raspberry Pi) and Conrad Wolfram (Mathematica).
I found Diane of Summit Schools particularly interesting. Summit Schools in California are re-imagining the classroom.
Here are just a few of the things they are doing:
Classrooms without walls
Whiteboards on the back of chairs
Weekly 1 to 1 student mentoring which are student led
8 weeks of study away from school in the community and in business
Teachers are conducting high value coaching in classrooms and students are watching videos at home (the flipped classroom approach)
Student’s have individualised learning plans
Mathematica explained the importance of teaching Maths through coding. Conrad explained that coding is to Maths what composing is to English.
Webanywhere are running some computer coding workshops for free in collaboration with Bradford University. You can visit our Codeanywhere site to learn more.
In addition, you can learn more about Silicon Valley Comes to the UK at the SVC2UK website.
Welcome! As MD of Webanywhere Ltd, I'm interested in everything to do with e-learning and the web.
Amongst my random thoughts and witterings, I'll keep this blog up to date with some of the best ideas and resources that I find online, plus snippets from our company news.