Monday, 6 September 2010

Trends in learning the experts are seeing

During the past week I've listened to Gary Woodill (Brandon Hall Research) and Jim Lundy (SABA) talking about latest advances and trends in technology enabled learning and the social networking revolution.  They seem to have strikingly similar and complementary views about what has, is, and will happen.

The rise and rise of Twitter (and Yammer in enterprise environments), especially their versions of crowdsourcing in the form of group chat, the continuing divide between the e-mail generations and the social networkers and instant messengers, the impact of the iPad and the progressive move towards ultra high speed broadband sharacterise the landscape.

Within it, LMS and LCMS vendors continue to align their products to the shift towards infromal and social learning, emphasising the need to track for compliance, possibly way over-emphasised in relation to true customer needs, but nevertheless aggressively and well marketed.

Content developers are revelling in the plethora of new apps available to take advantage of immersive simulation, augmented reality and the various forms of webinar and video conferencing.

Learning is an exciting place to be right now, but only if one is working in anenvironment where its value to the enterprise is recognised and championed with the accompanying investment and culture adaptation.  Where traditional organisational structure blocks, those raised artificailly by the IT fraternity in defence of old empires, and the resistance of the L&D practitioner to change dominate, there is frustration from those with insight as they see the leading edge of learning advancing to horizons they cannot reach.

For now, the agenda for those of us who recognise the revolution and try to follow its twists and turns, the immediate future is about establishing a realisation and a new vision for learning.  Soon to come will be grappling with realistic policy to guide a socially newtorked workplace as it moves to collaborative and emplyee energised working and learning.  The security of enterprise IP will remain a concern, giving the OD community, business leadership and line management the challenge of enabling an open culture while at the same time standing back and allowing it to establish a new normality. 

My own view is that the culture change aspects of the revolution will become the most challenging - is this an old lesson re-learned or something new in organisation behaviour?

I would love to hear the debate!

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