A technological revolution in learning

10th November 2014

The innovative and dynamic breakthroughs in technology that are transforming the ways people can learn will be the focus of NIACE’s activity at The Skills Show this year (13-15 November).


Joining NIACE at The Skills Show will be Maggie Philbin (the Chair of the UK Digital Taskforce and Chief Executive of TeenTech), BBC i-Wonder, Barclays Digital Eagles, The Lab at O2/Telefonica, National Numeracy and many more people and organisations who have created imaginative opportunities for adults to learn.


NIACE’s annual digital conference on Friday 14 November will focus on how the FE and skills sector can use technology to offer more opportunities to learn. Maggie Philbin will be giving the keynote speech and other input and seminars will be led by the BBC, ECORYS, JISC, Ofsted and leaders from across HE and FE. The headline debate – What one key action would be most important to prepare learners for life, work and learning in the digital age? – will be streamed live and chaired by Rachel Neaman, CEO of Go On UK.


Throughout The Skills Show, at its stand in Hall 2, NIACE will be promoting Adult Learners’ Week – encouraging award nominations and organisations to hold events during May and June’s Festival of Learning. NIACE will showcase its award-winning Maths Everywhere app, which helps people solve everyday maths problems including household finances, adapting a recipe and planning a journey. NIACE will also be joined by a number of other organisations providing a range of ‘have a go’ activities, including:


  • Barclays Digital Eagles who will be offering basic programming activities using CoderDojo.
  • Caspian Learning who will be showcasing vocational learning through 3D simulations, giving people the chance to try out skills for jobs in retail, health and social care, and construction.
  • STEM education, together with MakerClub, who will be demonstrating conductive ink and 3D printing.
  • Rowdy Robots who will get children and parents learning together by combining technical and creative activities.
  • National Numeracy who will be raising awareness of the importance of numeracy for everyone with their Maths Challenge.

David Hughes, NIACE Chief Executive, said:


“New technologies are vital tools to help give people more opportunities to learn and to learn in flexible ways which fit better with their lives, work and motivations. Digital skills themselves are as important now as good English and maths so I am really excited that we are bringing new technologies to life at The Skills Show to inspire young people and adults to embrace them rather than be frightened by them.


“By next year it is estimated that almost all – 90% – jobs in the EU will need at least basic computer skills. However, around half of adults don’t have the necessary skills and almost two-thirds of employers (62%) have concerns about the level of IT skills in their workforce. In short, for our own futures and those of our families and the economy, we all have to improve our digital skills. And by visiting us at The Skills Show you will see how exciting, interactive and straightforward technology is making learning.


“The Skills Show is the perfect arena to showcase a huge variety of skills and it vividly demonstrates the growing prominence of vocational, technical and professional education and training. It inspires young people, adults and families to explore the world of skills, qualifications and learning and we are proud to be once again supporting it. Every organisation that attends plays a hugely significant role in helping to raise enthusiasm for, and participation in, learning, which is critical for the future well-being of the economy and society. We need this platform to promote investment in skills and vocational learning, for people at any age or stage in their careers and in life. We hope that lots of people will use this opportunity to see first-hand about different career opportunities, to try out new skills and take the important steps towards learning for your career.”