People, ideas and technology transforming education

March 6, 2019

In January, I attended Bett - a conference designed to bring people, ideas, practices and technologies together to transform education. It was a great opportunity to be immersed amongst so many like-minded people.

This year, I attended as Healthcare Education Specialist at Cuttsy and Cuttsy (C+C) with the aim of learning about new approaches and uses of technology for use in healthcare education. Pedagogy is a natural consideration when creating communications whether they are for a student, employee, patient or a HCP so I expected there to be lots of parallels - and I wasn't disappointed.

Here are a few highlights that got me thinking…

Adaptive Learning

Simon Nelson from Future Learn indicated that adaptive learning will be the main focus in education during 2018. Adaptive technologies can be used to personalise and customise learning journeys to individual's strengths, weaknesses, goals and engagement patterns. We can expect courses and training to adapt in real time to the learner's activity and be adjusted moment by moment to their performance and interest level in future.

We know everyone has different needs and motivations so we'll increasingly be working with our clients to apply adaptive technologies in both training programmes and patient support materials.

Social-Emotional Skills

A study presented by Anthony Salcito and Barbara Holzapfel from Microsoft Education showed that 50% of students prioritise the development of their social and emotional skills for their own education. In contrast, only 30% of teachers ranked the same skills as a top priority. Interestingly, social and emotional skills are 2x more predictive of a student's academic achievement than their home environment or demographic emphasising the need for social and emotional skills need to be ramped up the education agenda.

We know everyone has different needs and motivations so we'll increasingly be working with our clients to apply adaptive technologies in both training programmes and patient support materials.

"Emotion is the gatekeeper of cognition" - Barbara Holzapfel, GM MS Edu
Emotion is the gatekeeper of cognition and so is critical for the workplace of tomorrow. Consistent with this sentiment, emotional intelligence is underpinning communication within healthcare so that HCPs can better connect with patients, and sales representatives can better connect with HCPs.

Look beyond the data

Anthony Salcito, VP Worldwide Education, Microsoft, reminded us of the problem of relying too heavily on data. He suggested that in education, some students may be at risk of being missed by focusing too heavily on data. Similarly, in healthcare there are patients that can fall through the gaps if we look at data alone. It is therefore important to take time to make sense of the data, it is likely you might uncover valuable insights you were not originally looking for. Something we are seeing more often when we co-create solutions with patients, carers and HCPs.

AR, VR and MR for empathy

AR, VR and MR (mixed reality) was a thread throughout the conference - technology that is already being utilised widely in healthcare. The main take out for me was the value in using these technologies to build empathy. Offering immersion, perspective, interaction, sensation and spatial representation, technology can allow users to develop empathy and see and experience from the perspectives of others, including patients.

Quantum Computing to tackle our biggest challenges

To wrap my experience at Bett I attended a thought-provoking session on quantum computing led by Dr Martin Roetteler, Principle Researcher, Microsoft Research. He presented the potential for quantum computing to solve the huge challenges of today, and tomorrow - from climate change, antibiotic resistance to food production. Huge areas for science and healthcare. If like me, you were new to concept of quantum computing, it is the area of study focused on developing computer technology based on the principles of quantum theory, which explains the nature and behaviour of energy and matter on the quantum (atomic and subatomic) level. We'll be monitoring developments here closely at C+C as they are likely to have and are already having enormous impact in healthcare.

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