The following interview is part of an interview series in which we feature education professionals from a variety of different fields in order to highlight individual efforts and creative solutions to education in the 21st century. If you want to participate simply write down and send your answers to the five below questions to info {at} learnoutlive.com and include a picture of yourself. (Please note that we reserve the right to not publish all submissions)

1. Who are you and what do you do in education?

I’m Kirsty Major from English with Kirsty. I work with adults who want to develop their business English skills and to feel confident about using English in the workplace. I work predominantly with people in Germany and Switzerland as I also speak German.

2. Describe a typical work day in your life!

No two days are the same and this is what I love about my job!

I use different platforms, but all of my training is provided online. This is good for me, because I don’t have to spend hours travelling around from student to student, and it’s good for the students too because they can save time and money in the same way.

Kirsty 1200x1200As English has become important in so many fields of work, I work with a range of professionals from different fields. There are many similarities in terms of the areas that my learners want to cover. For example, we work on improving their speaking skills for meetings, giving presentations or using the telephone. I also assist them to develop their writing skills so that they can communicate confidently and effectively by email or when they need to produce documents and presentations. However the subject material for those meetings or telephone calls is vastly different and this brings exciting variety to my work.

Each day, I could be teaching any of a number of programmes which include one-to-one conversation courses, a business English course or a grammar course. I also have self-study programmes and an trainer-supported writing course.

As well as teaching, I also spend time working on audio content for my podcast and articles for my blog so that I can grow my online network and bring my products before new audiences.

3. In what way has technology in general and the net in particular changed your work?

I wouldn’t say that these things have changed my work as I didn’t work in this field prior to all the advantages of modern technology being available. However, as all of my training takes place online, I would not be able to work in the same way if I did not have access to the internet. I would also have great difficulty in communicating with potential customers as I don’t focus on a local market.

Using the internet means that it’s no longer necessary for me to be in the same city or even the same country as my learners. This is also an advantage for learners because it means they are not restricted to the trainers in their immediate vicinity. They can spread the net wider and consider training programmes from a much wider group of training providers.

4. What challenges do you see for education in the future?

The point that I have just named as an advantage in question three can also be a challenge. There is so much information available online now that it can be overwhelming for customers when they begin to search for relevant and useful training. This is why I believe it’s important for trainers and course providers to gain credibility by building an online presence and demonstrating that they can provide quality content that potential customers can sample before signing up for training.

In addition, whilst I don’t think that learners now have a shorter attention span, I believe they are quicker to disregard material if they don’t believe it to be easily accessible or relevant. Therefore we need to develop or use training materials that are engaging and that meet the learners’ needs.

5. Where can we find you online?

You can visit my website:
www.englishwithkirsty.com

join in the conversation on my Facebook page:
http://www.facebook.com/englishwithkirsty

or listen to my podcast – either on iTunes or on my website:
www.englishwithkirsty.com/podcast