Author: Denise Meyerson
CEO of The Focus Learning Group / a Multi-Award Winning Training Company / Telstra Business Women’s Awards Finalist
Let’s face some facts: Learners have changed. No, they don’t want to sit in a regular class and have a teacher or trainer speak at them. Technology has finally caught up with science fiction and learners are becoming accustomed to high speed adaptive and immersive learning. They rebel against the traditional, rigid models in favour of being able to learn at any time and an place.
The other reality confronting us is that fifty percent of jobs are at risk of being replaced. All the more reason to continuously replenish our skills.
Digital education is being expanded and enhanced through innovative alliances. Why should we be constrained by the current frameworks and the design of the system as it is right now? The possibilities are certainly being translated in to reality.
Learners certainly don’t want to arrive at work and find their experience there is far worse than what they have at home in terms of the technology that is available to them.
Who would have thought a few years ago that some of these innovations would be possible – they hit big milestones and exceed our expectations:
- Chatbots are being used to assist Freshmen at Universities to track them for risk factors that lead to dropping out.
- Data tracking of school students is happening so that there can be timely interventions to boost their skills gaps – and predict what scores students will achieve in assessments via machine learning algorithms and predictive learning analytics.
- You can improve your English pronunciation via an App that uses artificial intelligence and speech recognition technology to detect pronunciation errors and provide real-time feedback and phonetic hints.
- Deep learning personalisation is still the holy grail – and there are now commercial products that are behaviour based, operate in real time and are totally automated.
- The world’s best chess player is a computer.
We live in the world of a new business playbook! Technology cannot be un-invented. We can no longer ignore what the evidence shows us.
If this is the case, when there is a business challenge, why are we defaulting to the same authoring tool? To the same type of training we delivered a decade ago? To the same formal career paths that were relevant in the previous century? Learning and development is now part of your employment brand and is no longer just a productivity function.
To think bigger and broader in a changed marketplace, consider:
- Re-visit your learning management software. Most of the legacy systems were developed well before the arrival of Youtube and various forms of social learning. No wonder many learners go outside your learning management system to continue their lifelong learning journey.
- Refuse to allow learning and development to be the resisters. We are able to lead the way and create the pathways for our people to gain the skills they need through a whole fabulous array of options including MOOCs, social learning, podcasting and virtual and augmented reality.
- Be bold – experiment so that there is an excitement and a buzz about lifelong learning. xAPI now exists and this enables you to track digital activity in the team. No need to be stuck on one delivery mechanism.
- Consider that no one is going to become great at something by going to class alone. The variety of options is now greater than ever before and why wouldn’t we build these options in to the culture of learning for our organisation? We no longer raise our arms to hail a taxi – why would we continue to do so in the training room?
- The major trend is towards micro learning! It’s faster, it’s more easily absorbed and it embeds knowledge at speed. Yes, some content is suitable for macro learning – and there is a whole lot that can immediately be delivered in micro format.
- Part of an organisation’s mission is to give back through social responsibility programs. Learning is part of that process as we grow stronger communities who are skilled and ready to tackle the world of work as it is now – and how it will be as technology continues to evolve at breathtaking speed, at speeds we cannot even comprehend.
Stay ahead of the game, when the rules of the game are changing! You have many weapons of mass education available – including many that are low cost and with some fun injected in to them.