The Edge 2016 – Your Digital Future

As we journey into the future, the landscape of our society is changing. Driven by technology, industries and business sectors are moving from analogue to digital means. Therefore the jobs of the future will require different skill sets, to be taught and nurtured through education, in order to meet the demands of the digital future.

Earlier this week, I attended an event held by the City of Liverpool College on this subject. Held at The Learning Exchange as part of The Edge 2016 festival, the purpose of this event was to discuss what digital skills will be required in the future.

The event featured four speakers eager to share their experiences and knowledge. These were Martin Hamilton from Jisc, Lee Stott from Microsoft, Michael Griffiths from Pleq, and Phil Charnock from Draw and Code. With an audience consisting of an eclectic mix of college staff, students, businesses, entrepreneurs and dignitaries, I looked forward eagerly to a fascinating event.

Each of the speakers brought something different to the event. With Martin, I learned about how children are learning about coding in schools. From Lee, I discovered how technologies such as AI (Artificial Intelligence) and machine learning are applied seamlessly to user learning. With Michael, I learned about how technology can not only be used in solving manufacturing problems, but also helps in preventing machine failures and minimising financial losses. Finally, I learned from Phil about how the likes of 3D and VR (Virtual Reality) are being used in real life.

In addition, I also learned some other useful points, which I have listed below.

  1. Learning to code is the beginning.
  2. The monopoly on information has been broken.
  3. You can follow hobbies and interests, particularly if they involve digital technologies.
  4. The curriculum needs to constantly evolve to educate people on new technologies.
  5. Education needs to be linked with the IT industry.
  6. Digital technology can enable means in the future.
  7. Important to have the right digital skills to deliver services to customers.
  8. Learners can pursue interests and achieve recognised qualifications independently, without entering an educational institution.

Following the talk, I also got an opportunity to visit the college’s Microsoft Showcase Classroom. This included examples of Microsoft devices and software, being used in the Internet of Things (IoT). When I saw the classroom, I was amazed by how stylish and state of the art it looked, as the college has been named as the UK’s first Microsoft Associate College. A richly deserved achievement, and a feather in Liverpool’s digital education cap.

To conclude, I would like to thank everyone involved with the event. From all those at the City of Liverpool College, Liverpool LEP, all the speakers and exhibitors including Aabyss, Wranx, and First4Skills. My thanks also go to Councillor Gary Millar, for doing an excellent job as event compare, with his trademark passion for technology, gadgets, and of course for the city of Liverpool.

I would like to close this article with a few words…

The future is bright, the future is digital!

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