Long cliff top walks in sub-zero temperatures over the holiday followed by some ruthless tidying of the office mean that 2009 is well and truly underway. The brain is re-charged and the workspace de-cluttered as the work email pours in from round the globe and Tony Karrer over on the Learning Circuits blog asks about the challenges, plans and predictions for 2009. I give my answer below but will be glad to hear your thoughts – and any ideas on how to ‘meet and beat’ the challenges.
Fortunately, the challenges are unlikely to have changed radically in a week although the economy and the credit crunch may well make some issues seem more prominent than before. Making higher-level learning available to working adults wherever they are, whenever they need it and having it appropriately recognised is always a challenge but this year is likely to see even more professionals returning to part-time formal education as they update their cvs or seek a competitive edge in the workplace. As that combines with more people in the developing world seeking access to contextually relevant online education, there will be greater pressure to find or provide education that fits all needs and that, inevitably, will mean that some will seek shortcuts so diploma mills are likely to rise in number. To counteract that, existing and new providers of real higher-level courses will need to provide more flexible enrolment, delivery, content-customisation and assessment while maintaining or establishing both effective quality control procedures and complete clarity in marketing their offerings.
Inevitably, one of the consequences of the above is that the challenge of finding, learning and applying the most appropriate technologies for different courses becomes more important. Personally, that means managing the time required is a challenge I have to meet. (Today’s contribution was assessing Ustream and ToonDoo.)
Another personal challenge is that the list of languages that need to be kept in use – at least for reading – just keeps growing so it is time to stop writing this. Over to you…!