Looking at media coverage of education for the past 18 months, you’d be forgiven for thinking technology is all that matters − and that now we’ve all learned how to use dozens of platforms, all our problems will be solved.
In the past 18 months, many people who work in offices have upskilled in virtual meeting etiquette with the occasional apologetic “Oh, you’re muted…” and become well acquainted with the benefits and pitfalls of remote working.
Proficiency with technology is critical to living well in a global, networked society. Digitalisation will shape the future of work, requiring new skills and knowledge across all sectors. Technology has become essential to daily interactions needed for personal and community well-being.
Higher education plays a key role in preparing students for this digital world, whether they are school-leavers studying for their first degree or experienced professionals engaging in lifelong learning.
Many early career researchers hear mentoring spoken of in hushed, reverential tones. It is, they’re told, something that changes people’s lives (professionally, at least).
Unfortunately, in many cases, it’s never something they experience firsthand.
There is a lot of debate about whether students should be made to put their cameras on in a Zoom or Teams or other online class setting. In higher education, students can’t be forced to do so, which leaves most tutors exasperated at the lack of interaction and thus engagement from those who choose not to have them on. However, it is my belief that the majority of those who don’t turn them on are actually sitting on a “should I or shouldn’t I” fence, and can be persuaded to make a sensible learning decision.
When designing a sequence of learning, there are a few things to consider before you decide how inherently complex or difficult your content can be. I wish to focus on a concept from cognitive load theory described as intrinsic load.
Saying no is a difficult academic skill − and one that shows maturity. A previous dean of mine used to ask the same question in every promotion interview to join the professorial level: “Can you name one thing to which have you said ‘no’ lately?” But academics and researchers should not wait until this point in their careers to start practising this mystical art form.
Invention, or the synonymous “innovation” or “creativity”, is a tremendous contributing factor in the advancement of society.
Great thinkers, musicians, scientists, writers and artists all become great because they master multiple components of knowledge and then reshape and experiment with that knowledge to solve a problem. Often, epiphanies arrive unexpectedly or through errors in design or research, but without base knowledge and a culture of experimentation, invention of note rarely occurs.