The need for more flexible options for learning and professional development was the driver for the surge in the number of blended learning courses followed closely by MOOCs and COOCs. This has also had the additional benefit of opening up education and training to new learner groups who may have been excluded previously – those in a full-time job or carers who could not attend face-to-face sessions at, say, their local college.
This is excellent news, but we need to keep in mind the wide spectrum of digital skills that can be seen both in education and in the workplace and not assume that everyone is equally fluent in the use of digital tools and social media – this is where ‘digital champions’ come in.
Many organisations and courses have formal champions in place – in November I’ll be a Digital Champion on the new Blended Learning Essentials MOOC which is a free course for the Vocational Education and Training sector which aims to promote effective practice and pedagogy in blended learning.
Outside of this formal structure we should also be looking to maximise our skills by sharing our diverse expertise within teams in the workplace and outside in other settings. What are your strongest digital skills? What are those of the person sitting next to you? Be a digital champion and share your expertise – you will gain as much as you give, I promise.