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Mobile and networked learning and knowledge sharing for Careers Information, Advice and Guidance, Attwell, Barnes, Bimrose, Brown, & Perifanou

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John Cook
18 November 2011

Careers education and guidance has always stood on the edge between formal and informal learning. On the one hand, the UK has developed services for providing advice and guidance to young people around careers options, both in and out of school. On the other hand, repeated studies have pointed to the influence of parents and peers in careers choices and trajectories.

Increased uncertainty and insecurity in employment and careers due to the changing modes of production and to the economic recession has coincided with changes in the way people access careers information through new technologies and to cuts in service provision.

This has led to increased interest in how new technologies including web 2.0 and social software can be used as part of the careers guidance process. This paper will examine the emergence of such uses of new technologies including searching for and evaluating information about careers using new technologies and changing ideas on how careers services can be provided through those technologies.

As such, it is not exclusively focused on mobile technologies, preferring instead to view mobile technologies as part of the spectrum or ecology of how young people access information and guidance through increasingly ubiquitous connectivity. Furthermore, the paper considers ‘mobile’ as a dimension of the context in which information and guidance is accessed (and the implications of this) rather than as a function of the technology itself.

It also considers what are called career adaptability competences necessary for managing careers within the life course and the relation of these competencies to the use of (mobile) technologies..

The paper is based on a series of research studies including focus groups with young people on their use of technology for careers guidance, ethnographically informed research carried out in careers organizations, studies on the use of Web 2.0 and mobile technologies for carriers guidance and work carried out for UKCES on labor market information communications and technologies (ICT) and information, advice and guidance. The research suggests that although Web 2.0 has changed the way people interact and has profound implications, potentially, for the delivery of guidance, it has barely begun to impact on the way guidance services are delivered. The need to begin to align new technologies with service delivery is becoming more urgent.

The paper looks at a number of pilot activities, undertaken with different careers services in the UK to develop mobile, technologically enhanced services for both providing information and advice to young people and providing support, professional development, knowledge sharing and knowledge maturing for careers professionals. In so doing, it looks at both the individual practices and community spaces in mobile networked learning for careers professionals and work based learning in informal contexts for continuing professional development.

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