ALLiSON KENT-SMiTH

DIGITAL + PEDAGOGY + CULTURE

Word on Digital Education v 1

May 12th, 2011

I’ve been part of the digital education gig for some time now. I fell into education after our agency was purchased by CP+B in 2008. Before education, I was in Business Development – selling digital to every client who would listen – so education was a sharp turn for my career.

I caught the bug after stepping into Chuck Porter’s office one day. We had a very clear discussion about the state of the industry + digital. There simply were no choices (only Hyper Island in Sweden) to learn digital skills as a working professional. Not grad school, but real integrated embedded education at the workplace. This did not exist. Not much has changed, except for an even greater sense of urgency.

To move an organization forward, you have to invest in people. And if you really want to create change around digital knowledge, you also educate clients (if you are an agency or service provider) simultaneously. There’s no way around this approach. Of course, agencies could continue to trade employees on an 18 month turnover schedule – but is this really a savvy approach for securing digital talent?

I find it fascinating that we still have not solved for a solid embedded education solution for the industry. We have wonderful workshops (BDW and Hyper Island), but where is the long-term value in their approach? You get 2-3 days of glorious digital learnings and then you go back to your desk. How do we continue to educate beyond a single experience? How do we truly help individuals and organizations evolve their knowledge of digital practice?

We invest. We invest in our own programs. We own it. We agree that knowledge sharing across the industry is critical. We organize education inside the walls of our company. We take action. We stop the cycle of unintegrated short-term investments.

I’m happy to have landed at a place that believes in this approach. Otherwise, I might just be pitching digital today instead of writing curriculum for a series of integrated digital workshops.

I hope this series “word on digital education” starts conversation. What are your thoughts?


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