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UPDATE: What’s the future of digital learning? Our CEO, Simon Nelson, speaks at the RSA President’s Lecture

In this post discover what issues and ideas our CEO, Simon Nelson, discussed in his lecture at the RSA.

In this post discover the issues and ideas our CEO, Simon Nelson, discussed in his lecture at the RSA.  

Simon Nelson RSA

During his speech at the prestigious annual President’s Lecture for the Royal Society of Arts in London on Tuesday 4 October, our CEO Simon Nelson shared some of his ideas and beliefs about the future of education.

Discussing the challenges we face in education – he spoke of how degrees are no longer fit for all purposes and how employability is all too often an afterthought.

Simon Nelson RSA FutureLearn 2

This is especially concerning given how rapidly some jobs and industries are changing. Now each of us must pursue continuing professional development – whether it’s mandated by our employers or not.

Simon Nelson RSA FutureLearn 1

But offering reassurance, he stated that this presents us with a major opportunity – we can use digital platforms to make education both more accessible and more flexible. And digital education is improving with social learning enabling students all over the world to swap ideas, and explore subjects in new ways.

Simon Nelson RSA FutureLearn 4

Using new and improved digital learning, Simon implored, education must rise to meet new challenges emerging worldwide; challenges like widening skills gaps, climate change and shortages in industries like teaching, engineering and nursing.

And he believes that this cannot be done without a massive change in scale. We must begin to think beyond national borders, start opening new channels of communications between learners and start playing as a team – solving world problems is too big a challenge for one body alone, the world’s best education institutions must work together.

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To do that Simon argued, that while the traditional degree will always have its place, universities must rethink themselves for the digital age: moving beyond the physical and geographic borders that for so long have defined them. This can be an opportunity, not an onus.

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Watch the full lecture

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