This is the time of year when we start to get nice and soggy round the edges, all thinking about our Christmas preparations and new year parties etc. The examination period for schools is on the go all the time but it tends to wind down for a little while during the autumn term. The nativity plays and performances take over for most of the second half of the term and children particularly find it hard to concentrate on the job in hand. Teachers and lecturers keep everyone in check though.
When you leave formal education and go out into the world of work and careers, there isn’t a teacher or lecturer at the front of the classroom ensuring that you keep to your revision and homework timetables. When you attend training or take up e learning later in life, you need to set your own parameters to ensure you make the most of every opportunity – whatever the time of year.
One of the most joyous acivities for me is wandering around an attractive city – taking in the architecture of the older buildings. On a recent jaunt, my companion and I spent much time walking as briskly as it is possible to do, taking in the sights and sounds of some very familiar places from previous eras in our lives. For the one, there was the revisiting old university haunts – I happily accompanied her round the blocks of study rooms. This reminded me of how much time was spent there, learning so much to make a lifetime’s career – seeing a small representative group of today’s students taking the same steps, and hopefully enjoying the experience, with it’s highs and lows. The same kind of course can now be attended online – with practical demonstrations at a college location when necessary. This could be the salvation for many students who learn better in their own familiar environment.
Very few folk that I have worked with lately have come used all the elements of any degree course they undertood in their late teens and early twenties. Some of the most successful entrepreneurs in the world have made it to the very top of their sphere by not actually going to university at all. I can think of at least 3 youngsters today who flatly refused – knowing how school beat them down into difficult, tetchy teenagers. All 3 have made fantastic business successes and unless anything goes seriously arry, will probably never regret their decision to abandon the formality of learning. They will say that everything they know to be of use to them now has been learnt out there in the work place, on the job.
That may not be the case for most folk, who must constantly upgrade their knowledge, either for their current job or for personal advancement in other fields. Online courses offer a whole world of door openings!
It is amazing to think of the changes in the world of commerce and business administration over the last half century. When I first started out at work there was just the beginnings of electric typewriters. Previously we had the ‘sit up and beg’ style of typewriter with banks of keys and a hand thrust carriage return placing document to the start of the next line, carefully calibrated to ensure accurate spacing. The ribbons were invariably red and black, particularly for those typists involved in preparation of accounts – red generally signalling negative, problematic issue, warning as it were! Changes were slow and it took years before the electric models became the norm, to be supersceded by ‘memory’ typewriters in the late 1970s.
We are bombarded with innovations daily – keeping the workforce fully trained in all aspects of IT and all it’s wider world is paramount for the business world to keep turning.
Oh how the world moves on so quickly when a new idea becomes the norm. Whereas only a few folk will have a particular gizmo and they will feel superior and knowledgeable. And often poorer than they’d like! Once the markets open up and the gizmo can be bought on any platform for a fraction, then reality about the scheme sinks in.
For some reason it isn’t always as easy to get youngsters to excite and pulsate over the chances to improve their educaitonal attainment. They don’t hang around in jubilant groups down the town to brag about coming top in this computer group or that. If there was some way to make being clever and confident a worthy badge for the gang minded fraternity, then that school badge would be worn with as much pleasure as the original badge of Honour.
There are so many different things about the schooling and education system in Scotland. A far firmer approach seemed to be evident when my family lived up there at once time. My elder sister had to be very well behaved, polite and respectful. I’m quite sure if she’d been placed in an equivalent English school, it would at that time have been very similar. There was a great emphasis on reading, writing and arithmetic, which stood her, and us as sblings, in very good stead.
There are changes these days in higher education too. Currently the Scottish government doesn’t charge university fees in many if not all cases. The English students seem to benefit from this also. With so much cost associaed with university, there is a move towards making the choice of extending education in a more vocational direction.
Here I sit, a fantastically warm day with the tv on and Scottish interests are to the fore. The tennis is on the first day of the most important fortnight for fans. It matters not about the other Open championships worldwide – we love our Wimbledon and this fortnight will offer thrills and spills as ever.
The funny thing is of course that until a certain pair of brothers with a very Scottish name came into our world, the Scottish element never featured – it was as though there had never been any tennis north of Glasgow, and possibly there had not been much done with such interest or comittment.
The same goes for training skills supply in Scotland – only a few very select outfits were available until a recent explotion of talent and interest emerged. Supported by online prescence – the world is our oyster and we need to grab opportunities as they present themselves.
When anyone is about to take up a new job, or is in one but needs to take further training, there is usually just one type of training course offered. The company requiring the training to be carried out will have discussed their needs with a training provider and much discussion back and forth, a suitable course will be agreed on. Next will be the means of delivering that course. Will there be a need for the student or candidate to attend a third party establishment, or can it be delivered in-house by one external training professional to however many candidates need it. Can it be achieved by an online training module. These are vital questions and worthy of a great deal of discussion and the expenditure that will become necessary.
Other factors to be taken into consideration will be the cost of getting the candidates to the third party venue; how much time will the travel take. A great deal of thought goes in to the provision of training courses.
As many of us who had less opportunities offered to them whilst at ‘secondary school’, there is always a need to get the very best education and training available to us. When we were doing our final exams, not many of the older generation around today would have had any idea that IT training would be so critical in the beginning of the next century! The advent of the office computer was just a mad thing from sci-fi programmes and it was only in the 1980s that the concept of working on computers actually became a reality.
The importance of having the right kind of training for this new threat was all the more important at that time. The chance of having our long established working practices taken away and replaced by computerisation was not seriously taken on board. But with the right approach, this could be encompassed and many a career flourished.
There are thought to be three main learning styles in education, the visual learners, the auditory learners and the kinesthetic learners. It is important to have an understanding of which learning style suits you best so that you can maximise your study power from day one! Here are some characteristics for each learning style. See if you can fit yourself into any of these categories!
Visual Learning: you prefer watching a demonstration and seeing pictures, images, videos and graphs. You often colour code your study notes and use coloured note paper to help you organise your thoughts. You like to sit near the front of the class so you always have a good view of the teacher and the board!
Auditory Learning: you like to sit back and listen to explanations, discussions and debates. You often record your lessons so you can listen back to them. Sometimes you seem to be zoned out during class, when in fact you are listening carefully! You should discuss your learning with your peers to get the most from your lessons.
Kinesthetic Learning: you prefer to get on and do a task, anything using your hands is good! Instead of watching and listening, you like to experiment and find solutions to problems yourself. Good activities for you to learn involve making things, role play and acting out scenarios.