Bringing lifelong and digital learning closer to the citizen. NALA AGM 29 March, Cork

March 28, 2014

Education and training are changing for the better and should bring lifelong and digital learning closer to the citizen 
Inez Bailey, David Puttnam and Ted Owens address NALA AGM in Cork
“Further education and training is changing for the better in Ireland and this should bring lifelong and digital learning closer to the citizen,” said Inez Bailey, Director, National Adult Literacy Agency (NALA). NALA is holding its AGM in Cork this Saturday 29 March and includes inputs from Oscar winner and digital champion for Ireland, David Puttnam and Cork Education and Training Board CEO, Ted Owens.
“The reform of the further education and training sector which will include the first ever strategy for the sector, marks one of the biggest changes in education in years. It will hopefully provide the necessary ingredients for Ireland to improve its adult literacy and numeracy rates as well as overall participation in adult learning,” said Inez Bailey.
“It is important that the public understand the difference developing skills throughout life can make and don’t rely on what they learned in school or college. International research shows that individuals who regularly develop and maintain their skills are more employable, better paid and have better health – three real and motivational benefits.”
“Digital learning presents a unique opportunity for people to learn according to their own needs. MOOCs[1], TED Talks and online courses mean that people no longer have to go to classes to up-skill. Instead, they can study in their own time at a pace that suits them, often for free.”
“Through our online distance learning service www.writeon.ie NALA has provided 12,000 Level 2 minor awards and 2,500 Level 3 minor awards to over 2,600 learners. We have moved from a time when people had poor access to the internet and few learning opportunities available to them if they did have access. Now, it is hard to think of any adult in Ireland who could not significantly benefit from using technology,” said Inez Bailey.
Education needs to embrace the digital world
Ireland’s digital champion, David Puttnam, who is speaking at the NALA AGM says we need to embrace a digital, not a digitised, curriculum to have people learning in a way that reflects the modern world.
Lord Puttnam, who is Chairman of Atticus Education, an online education company, also speaks of the “natural conservatism” of many people in education, particularly in higher education, about developments in education and technology.
“Not enough is being done to allay the fears of education professionals who see developments in education technology as disruptive and intimidating.”
The NALA AGM is taking place tomorrow, Saturday 29 March from 11 am to 2 pm, in the Clarion Hotel, Cork. 
For media queries or interviews please contact:
Inez Bailey, Director, NALA:  01 412 7900 / 086 839 3210
Tom O’Mara, Distance Learning Coordinator, NALA:  086 041 0440
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[1] Massive open online courses

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