Learning Libraries

The beginnings of a revolution are apparent in University education with institutions such as Harvard beginning to offer courses online. This will help spread knowledge and the chance for a top class education far and wide, it avoids the need for thousands of people to be gathered in a small geographical area to study at the University of their choice. It is also a lot cheaper and means students can learn when it suits them and visit specific bits of lectures a number of times simply by scrolling along a play-bar on their computer screen.

This model of education could have positive implications if applied to local authorities. Authorities have in place learning and development plans that are intended to help local Councillors be equipped with the knowledge and skills they need to fulfil their roles. However the best laid plans can go to waste as Councillors are not 'full-time' politicians and have day jobs, they are then faced with a lot of demand on their free time balancing their Council work and family lives. Often they just cannot get in to the Town Hall for important training sessions, or information briefings which leaves them missing out and their constituents without fully equipped representatives. Surely local authorities should offer these sessions and courses online so that Councillors are able to, in their own time and at their own pace access vital training and information sessions. This would offer the chance for all Councillors to view the sessions and avoid the problem of today of limited and incomplete attendance at sessions. Councillors would then also be able to revisit training sessions that may have been given a year ago that otherwise would simply not be available to them or would have to be re-run at cost the local authority. Cost would also be reduced as the course would only need to be physically run once with Councillors unable to make it singposted to the recording online.

The  building up of an online leaning library would be of great benefit to Councillors and Councils. Given that the videos could be stored on an open-platform such as YouTube this would allow Councils to research the best sessions and learn from each other thus increasing the quality of the offerings made to Councillors. Best and better practice would emerge across the country.



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roseann connolly 5 Years Ago
Excellent idea. There is a library of training materials available for school governors on-line. I'm in the middle of doing a free course on-line offered by Harvard University . The Cohort is international with students from all over the world. They offer a huge array of free online courses.
Pamela Welsh 5 Years Ago
Yes, a great idea. At Northwards Housing, we have a learning library for staff and it's really well used. Perhaps it could be extended to officers as well?