Kiwis turned to education
It’s quite common for The Mind Lab to host overseas interns and, as is always the case with mentorship programmes, the learning is reciprocal!
In the uncertain weeks heading towards Lockdown, we had a Swedish intern working with us. Erik taught us so much about how technologically and sustainably advanced Sweden is. Being with The Mind Lab and our sister company Tech Futures Lab, he spoke a lot about how this was possible due to the value that Sweden places on education.
Before he jumped on one of the last flights out of New Zealand, and whilst we sped to switch everything online here at The Mind Lab, Erik said something I will never forget; he said that if New Zealand was a future-facing country, this would be an opportunity to educate the nation.
The first thing The Mind Lab did was provide support to our teachers. “Help” was the word that underpinned our focus and actions. After the initial rapid response, we then focussed on accessible learning, ongoing support channels; and opened our intakes in online-only form.
The response was staggering: we have had two large intakes of our Postgraduate Certificate in Digital and Collaborative Learning and our Master of Contemporary Education has also proved to be a popular choice. A special lockdown variation of Digital Skills for the Workplace filled up within hours, and 40 people signed in to learn with us every day for 3 weeks in April. The shared vulnerability and sense of community was incredible
While this is all very comforting from a business point of view, what has been so incredibly exciting is what the numbers tell us:
That when a crisis hits, this team of 5 million turns to learning – literally the most effective and progressive solution there is.
While the rest of the world is still grappling with the pandemic, New Zealand is quietly getting down to the business of learning, of upskilling and of inspiring learning in others. Learning broadens our minds, challenges beliefs and requires reflection and evaluation; it physically changes our brain chemistry – we make connections between skill areas, we adapt better to change and we remain plugged into the life force that drives humanity, thereby being able to influence its direction.
Lifelong learning is key and The Mind Lab is dedicated to inspiring people to turn to education, for the express purpose of supporting it. It’s what keeps us open, enquiring and kind. By embracing education, Kiwis have demonstrated their commitment to the future.
Here’s to us.