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Digital skills are driving competitiveness in today’s economy and countries. Digitally supported education and training can help to strengthen individual skills and competencies.

For TVET, a revolution in the curriculum is required to prepare graduates for an immediate job, but also for continuing employment. Imagine having been trained on extractive technology such as cutting, boring, turning using the finest equipment only to find that employment depends on additive technology, Internet of Things, and 3D printers.

In the context of digitalisation and technological change across all areas of life, the use of digital media is growing in significance for the TVET system. Digitally supported education and training can help to strengthen individual skills and competencies for the beneficial and responsible use of digital technologies in all areas of life, make learning more flexible and enhance the quality and attractiveness of TVET.

Photo: https://uongozi.blog/

A Shift in the Technical Vocational Education and Training

The shift toward digital education is building stem and it is already massive. Even students enrolled in lock-step public schools complement their school work with online information. Teachers suggest it. When given a choice by the TVET to take a course in class or online, many opt for online. Digital education is responding to the variability of their clients and making education more affordable, exciting and responsive to the needs and learning styles of students.

Digital education is often personalized to what the person needs at the moment in time. It can be learned wherever they are. Digital education offers new skills that are required by today’s industry and job requirements.

Vocational education needs to prepare talent to work across a variety of roles, many of which are technical. In today’s work environment, this requires a focus on the new digital economy.  Governments and businesses around the world are making the necessary investments in these domains, fully understanding that talent and skills issues are and continue to be a top priority. The future of enterprise relies on the ability to move quickly with the changes that are upon us now and respond well.

In today’s high-tech work environment, there are many challenges which simultaneously present opportunities to those who are open to seeing them as such. Some of the core areas in the digital economy may be:

  • Internet of Things
  • Drone Technology
  • Digital Marketing
  • Customer Experience
  • Data Analytics

Under we will give a brief explanation of those core areas.

Smart city and wireless communication network, abstract image visual, internet of things. Photo: Adobe Stock by jamesteohart

Internet of Things

The Internet of Things is a network of physical objects that are digitally connected to sense, monitor and interact within a company and between the company and its supply chain enabling agility, visibility, tracking and information sharing to facilitate timely planning, control and coordination of the supply chain processes [1].

In the Internet of Things (IoT), machines and devices are equipped with sensors and Internet connections that make it possible to collect data and store this data to cloud services. In Vocational education and training (TVET), the stored data can be used to improve decision-making processes. With the help of this data, a teacher can also get a more accurate picture of the current state of the education environment. IoT should be integrated into TVET because IoT will help to achieve significant educational objectives. IoT can promote students’ preparation for working life, the safety of the education environment, self-directed learning, and active learning. It can also improve the efficient use of educational resources. In additional, IoT based solutions should be introduced so that students would have a vision of new types of IoT skill requirements before they enter the labour market.

Drone technology
Photo: DollarPhotoClub.com

Drone Technology

The history of the drone continues into the 1980s and beyond. It was developed for military purposes. Today we find that the drone is used for many purposes. The fast pace of drone technological innovation is tremendous.

A drone, in technological terms, is a crewless aircraft. Drones are more formally known as uncrewed aerial vehicles or unmanned aircraft systems. Essentially, a drone is a flying robot that can be remotely controlled or fly autonomously through software-controlled flight plans in their embedded systems, working in conjunction with onboard sensors and GPS [2].

Drones are controlled by remote ground control systems, referred to as a ground cockpit.

Drones are becoming the eyes and ears of scientists by surveying the ground for archaeological sites, signs of illegal hunting and crop damage, and even zipping inside hurricanes to study the wild storms. You can even rent a personal drone to soar above the horizon and snap a photo or video. Our news and features will cover developments in drone technologies, innovative uses for drones, and how drone use will impact society.

Digital Marketing
Photo: https://thriveglobal.com/

Digital Marketing

Marketing has always been about connecting with your audience at the right place and right time. Today, this means it is mainly on the internet, which is why digital marketing has become so critical to business success.

Digital marketing encompasses all marketing efforts that use an electronic device or the internet. Businesses leverage digital channels such as search engines, social media, email, and other websites to connect with current and prospective customers [3].


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Digital marketing is any marketing done online through various channels, platforms and tactics. Whether it is your business website, use of email marketing, online brochures, pop-up advertisements or other advertising options, these are all under the umbrella of digital marketing.

While traditional marketing might exist in print ads, phone communication, or physical marketing, digital marketing can occur electronically and online. This means that there are several endless possibilities for brands, including email, video, social media, or website-based marketing opportunities.

Customer Experience in product and service concept, miniature people workers with blue team uniform building cube wooden block with acronym CX on the table with blackboard, user review or feedback.
Photo: Adobe Stock

Customer Experience

We hear the term ‘customer experience’ quite often, but what does it mean? Customer experience can include many different elements, but most importantly, it comes down to the perception a customer has of your brand. While you may believe you produce great products, if a customer has a bad experience of this product or the sales process, this will affect the customer experience.

Customer experience is the result of every interaction a customer has with your business, from navigating the website to talking to customer service and receiving the product/service they bought from you. Everything you do impacts your customers’ perception and their decision to keep coming back or not—so the excellent customer experience is your key to success [4].

Many things contribute to the overall customer experience – it is not just about the product or service. It could be the messaging you use. It could be the process by which you sell your products. It could be after-sales support. Even the inner workings of your company, your leadership team and how they interact with the rest of the organisation and how the product is developed, all come together to create and impact the overall customer experience.

Customers today are even more connected than ever before. They have a plethora of information at their fingertips, which means they are often demanding, unpredictable and want things their way and quickly. They work to solve their problems themselves. They also hold the power of social media, which means their voice has an impact. This ultimately changes everything for brands today. What used to be a linear customer journey is now mostly fragmented.

Understanding how to make sense of these changes and how to respond is what organisations need to do to create the kind of customer experiences that delight and thrill and keep them coming back for more.

Big Data Technology for Business Finance Analytic Concept. The modern graphic interface shows massive information of business sale report, profit chart and stock market trends analysis, on-screen monitor.
Photo: Adobe Stock

Data Analytics

We are now living in the Information Age, a shift away from the Industrial Revolution that was brought about due to industrialisation to our current economy which is based on information technology. In order to rely on data, we have got to know it is clean, reliable and trustworthy. Data analytics, in that sense, is simply the science of examining raw data so that we can conclude from the information gathered.

Demand for data science skills is growing as it is crucial to extract knowledge and insight from data captured by companies.

Big data is a field that treats ways to analyse, systematically extract information from, or otherwise deal with data sets that are too large or complex to be dealt with by traditional data-processing application software. Data with many cases (rows) offer greater statistical power, while data with higher complexity (more attributes or columns) may lead to a higher false discovery rate. Big data challenges include capturing data, data storage, data analysis, search, sharing, transfer, visualisation, querying, updating, information privacy and data source [5].

Nearly every industry has begun investing in big data analytics, but some are investing more heavily than others. According to IDC, banking, discrete manufacturing, process manufacturing, federal/central government, and professional services are among the biggest spenders. The fastest growth in spending on big data technologies is occurring within banking, healthcare, insurance, securities and investment services, and telecommunications [6].

The teacher in the digitalized classroom.
Photo: https://redmondmag.com/

How can TVET Educators Respond?

Here is some advice about how TVET educators can respond to digital and technological change [7]:

  • Link all education in TVET facilities to industries. This may involve paying the industry using newer technologies to do some of the training. The combination of school and O-J-T is already the preferred training model in many TVET colleges and engineering Universities. Planners and legislators need to press hard to achieve this model as quickly as possible.
  • Expand the physics programmes in most TVET training. Without a basic understanding of the science behind innovation, graduates will never keep up with workspace changes.
  • Increase the commitment to internet-based learning to develop the skills required in graduates to keep up with changing technologies in the workplace. As the job-for-life morphs to the Uber-economy of on-call jobs, employment will be based on the required skills. Period.
  • Change recruitment targets for TVET teachers. Recruit from the industries that graduates will join. Teachers who do not understand industry, business and the workplace are not useful.
  • Society demands a University degree if for no other reason, to satisfy parents that they have done their job. Once away from home, unemployed/underemployed grads are flocking to TVET right now.
  • Rethink TVET institutions programming. Do the initial design around part-time learners who are employed now and let full-time students fit in around the vastly restructured timetable formats.

It’s a new world for TVET. Educators will move on, or they will become irrelevant.

References

  1. Mohamed Ben-Daya et al.: Internet of things and supply chain management: a literature review, International Journal of Production Research, Volume 57, 2019 – Issue 15-16
  2. Margaret Rouse. Internet of things Agenda
  3. Lucy Alexander: What Is Digital Marketing? (https://blog.hubspot.com/marketing/)
  4. Understanding customer experience, OCT 24 2019 (https://www.hotjar.com/)
  5. Wikipedia (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/)
  6. Cynthia Harvey, Big Data Technologies, Datamation, August 2017
  7. The Future of Technical and Vocational Education (https://www.tvetjournal.com/)

Lucubrate Magazine November 2019

The photo on the top: Young students of robotics working on a project, Adobe Stock


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Karl Skaar
Karl Skaar

Is a highly successful professional, with a high degree of entrepreneurial flair.

Roles:
- Senior Analyst in the Norwegian Directorate for Education and Training, Norway
- Responsible editor and publisher of the Lucubrate Magazine, Global
- Project Manager of the Lucubrate Project, Global
- Chairman of Board of Directors of Nobel Knowledge Building, Uganda
- Chairman of Board of Directors of Norsk Kompetansebygging AS, a Consultancy company, Norway
- Member of the Board of Directors of Norwegian International Development Company AS, Norway

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