Each week, a group of learning professionals gathers for at Tweet chat called #lrnchat to discuss issues and ideas in the workplace learning space. I try to join the sessions as often as I can because it keeps me in tune with what forward-thinking individuals are doing in training, e-learning, and instructional design.
The evidence is overwhelming. We're becoming more mobile and more dispersed. Devices are becoming simultanteously smaller and more powerful. And the younger workforce that will eventually replace the baby boomers has grown up using mobile devices more than notebook and desktop computers. The Economist describes this shift to a more mobile lifestyle as a new form of nomadism. If you believe, to any extent, these shifting trends, and you are in some fashion in a leadership postion or in an organizational learning function, you must read The Mobile Learning Edge: Tools and Technologies For Developing Your Teams by Gary Woodill, ED.D.
It’s well past the start of summer, but does workplace training take a holiday too? Each year in July and August, class scheduling seems to slow. The common rationales: “We need to work around all those vacations.” “What day is the company picnic?” “Who wants to do training during the slow season?” “It’s too hot.”
If you ask me if mobile learning has arrived, and you ask me this week, I'll say "yes." Though, I am jaded because last week I popped in on the ELearning Guild's Mobile Learning Conference in San Jose, and have been following the conference back channel with great intent — so mobile learning is on the top of my mind. My organization is dipping its toe in the water of mobile learning, and we are experimenting with a few development tools to figure out how to design for mlearning. From what I can gather so far, there are a few things to be aware of when undertaking the project of designing mobile learning objects.
A futurist’s out-of-the-box ideas on how education should develop provide inspiration for the training programs of today.
Recently I attended an SMMConnect Webinar by Teresa Hiatt, former director of sales education at Ricoh Americas Corporation. The topic: Nature versus Nurture in B2B Sales — whether sales people are just plain born to be sales people or whether sales is a skill that can be learned. The answer to this question has enormous implications for learning professionals who design and deliver sales training. It's also a critical issue for business leaders who are deciding on spending thousands and thousands of dollars on sales training.
“Tell me and I forget. Teach me and I remember. Involve me and I learn.” — Benjamin Franklin
Whatever the field in which you're training or being trained, there’s one thing that can improve the experience – a better memory. Whether the subject is chess, computer coding or cookery, better recall will help students reach mastery sooner and with fewer headaches. So are you simply cursed (or blessed) with whatever memory capacity your brain was born with?
Creativity, educators tell us, is declining in America. Whether this is due to a TV overdose or changes in school curricula, over the decades our kids are apparently doing worse and worse on standard psychological measures of creativity. So when they get to the workplace, can training make up for some of these deficits and belatedly encourage innovative thinking in employees?
When we think of social learning, we often knee-jerk react by saying that we need to implement social media technologies in our organizations so people can connect and learn. Then the pundits chime in and say it's not about the technology, that technology comes and goes, and that it's truly about the learning — or more importantly, the performance. Okay, fine. But it's difficult to escape the idea that we need a technology solution to make social learning happen, so it really is about the technology, right?