IT professionals are 'model' learners

IT professionals' method of learning and absorbing ideas should become a "model" for learning in other areas, according to Donald Clarke, board member of the University for Industry, which set up Learn Direct.

IT professionals' method of learning and absorbing ideas should become a "model" for learning in other areas, according to Donald Clark, board member of the University for Industry, which set up Learn Direct.

He said children are often passionate about technology and teach themselves more than the education system does, and added this ability of IT workers to pick up new skills for themselves could be advantageous for the general workforce.

"IT professionals have got very good at re-skilling themselves. Every year they have to learn soomething new and they do it in a very dynamic way, through work-based learning and learning with peers. I think that is the model for the future. If only everybody could learn as quickly as they could and be such effective self-learners - although they do need a certain level of computer skills taught to them to begin with," he said.

He said this ability is honed from a young age. "Most kids come into employment ready with IT skills beacuse they have spent at least six years using technology. Computers can deliver all sorts of skills - kids using Nintendo probably get basic numeracy skills within two weeks.

"Because of this, I do not think getting kids into technology jobs would be a problem, beacuse they love it so much. There is a gender gap, but there are ways of tackling that and e-skills are doing good work."

Hutton added that technology can also be used in innovative ways of learning outside IT. He said, "There are examples of simulation programmes teaching soldiers going out to Iraq about cultural differences and ways of life there. They are given a virtual guided tour before they leave. Th education system needs to pick up on this."




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