Lifelong learning for the Celtic Tiger: the role of ICTs and open and distance learning
MacKeogh, Kay (2001) Lifelong learning for the Celtic Tiger: the role of ICTs and open and distance learning. In: Symposium on Management Education and Development Strategies in a High Performance Economy, 6-8 August 2001, Washington DC.
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This paper examines the role which open distance learning (ODL) and information and communications technology (ICT) can play in meeting the needs for lifelong learning in the Irish economy. Starting from an analysis of the global and national forces driving the demand for new skills, which can only be met by the continual education, training and retraining of existing workforce, the paper outlines how ODL, ICTs and more recently eLearning strategies have emerged as key components of national and international policies. The preparedness of learners to use ICTs in education and training is an essential element in the successful adoption of ICTs. Three dimensions contribute to a climate of receptivity among learners: access to technology, expertise in using the technologies, and attitudes and perceptions of attributes of the technology in education and training. The paper will report on a survey of 587 managers taking ODL courses in Ireland in 2000 which shows that organisations and institutions intending to introduce ICTs in education and training must prioritise learners, not technology, in developing their programmes.
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