Do You Think Technology Can Improve Careers Delivery?


This thought piece is based on a session I recently delivered as part of the MA in Careers Education and Coaching I teach on at Derby. The basic question I want to ask is can technology make careers delivery better and if so how?

I was interested to see the recent International Symposium for Career Development and Public Policy communique states that, among other things, career development programs will be made to make career development programs relevant and effective they must make use of technology. To quote the communique;

“The internet and other technologies offer opportunities for widening access and improving efficiency. However, there is a need to ensure the quality of technological tools and to support individuals to use them critically. Technology can be used in a range of ways to support career development including e-guidance systems, online career assessments, portfolios and as part of blended delivery with face-to-face services.” 

So I don’t know how you respond to this sort of statement. Roll your eyes? Hoist a flag and cheer at the top of your lungs? Or probably somewhere in between. Well I have had a go at mapping out a simple approach to how practitioners might approach technology as part of an educational process;

I call it the should/ could/ don’t paradigm

  • Using more digital technology always improves education (should)
  • Using digital technology correctly always has the potential to significantly improve education (modified should)
  • Using digital technology can improve education in some instances but alternatives should be considered (could)
  • Using digital technology almost always reduces the quality of education (don’t)

Now the point of the paradigm is to think through where you come in these four positions and then ask why? Can you support your position? The point isn’t to argue for one position over others but to ask practitioners to reflect on what they think about technology and why. Often people can have gut reactions to technology which are not very critical, asking these questions can help us all better focus on how technology can be used in practice.

One thought on “Do You Think Technology Can Improve Careers Delivery?

  1. Hey Tom, good post. Taking on your challenge and thinking through your paradigm I’d take the following stance:

    Using digital technology can improve education in some instances but alternatives should be considered (could)

    In the context of your question around “careers delivery” I’d argue its inclusion as talking about educational benefit and learning gain as the purpose of the delivery. The Sutton Trust did some research on the components of great teaching From their findings both content knowledge and quality of instruction are rated highly. It could be argued effective teaching and learning gain can take place without the use of technology. Therefore the issue is not of use of technology but the capability and literacy of the participants to leverage it.

    Also thinking about McLuhan and the “medium is the message” what effect does technology have on careers delivery? For example to what extent is passivity and collaboration entwined to the technology we decide to use.

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