GGIS Forum Debate- Technology as a learning environment

Scotland’s Futures Forum has strategically linked with the Goodison Group in Scotland in the area of learning and skills. The Goodison Group in Scotland Forum Debate was held on 25 March 2015 and the topic was Technology as a Learning Environment.

The topic debated was learning environments, specifically considering technology as one.


The discussion focused on the following questions:

  • How do businesses use technology for learning?
  • How does this compare with the education sector?
  • What is the current state within both sectors?
  • What are the emerging themes?
  • Are there synergies/common challenges?
  • How can the sectors learn from each other?


To stimulate the debate the forum was joined by two guest speakers, Dr. Jim Fanning, Head of Emerging Technologies at Education Scotland and Owen Ferguson, Chief Operating Officer at Good Practice for Leaders and Managers.

This was an interesting, wide ranging debate from which the group have have drawn a number of conclusions:

  • Technology is an enabler for learning in both business and education sectors but it is used in different ways for different levels of learner.
  • In the main, businesses focus on learners with a certain level of expertise whereas education focuses on novices.
  • There are opportunities for educators in business and schools to learn from each other and improve/build upon communities of practice.
  • Technology is often used to substitute traditional methods of teaching, however used creatively, there are opportunities for technology to transform learning.
  • There is a tension and challenge that exists in the education sector between the flexibility technology can provide and the rigidity of the education system/current structures.
  • There are still a number of barriers to overcome before learning technologies can be utilised by the whole of society including digital literacy and access.

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