Does Your Learning Ecosystem Support Current and Future Needs? — from learningsolutionsmag.com by Andrew Hughes

Excerpts:

As L&D, we need to change the way we manage learning and training for our new and existing workforce. In fact, you should give up the idea of managing their learning at all! It is not your responsibility anymore. Instead, aim to create a culture of continuous learning and curiosity. Equip your employees with technology and tools that encourage them to collaborate, connect, and learn when they need to. You can no longer treat work and learning as different entities, because your employees need to learn all the time if you want to retain your competitive edge. They need to soak in all the information coming to them from all around and apply it to their work.

You will need to help build a technology-enabled learning ecosystem to support this trend of self-learning.

Your employees are no longer limited to learning at a specific time in a physical venue. Mobile devices and learning apps have ensured that learners can access learning content whenever and wherever they wish. They can choose their own learning path and mode of learning—videos, podcasts, text-based content, game-based modules, and so on. Learning should be a personal endeavor. If you allow your learners to choose what they wish to learn, then they can decide on the skills they need in order to excel in the real world. This gives more power to your content and makes learning meaningful to the learners.

 

 

 

Here are the top four trends that you should keep in mind while working on your corporate training strategy.

  • Trend #1: Serious games
  • Trend #2: Augmented and virtual reality
  • Trend #3: Mobile learning
  • Trend #4: Wearable technologies

 

 

Google AR and VR: Get a closer look with Street View in Google Earth VR

Excerpt:

With Google Earth VR, you can go anywhere in virtual reality. Whether you want to stroll along the canals of Venice, stand at the summit of Mount Kilimanjaro or soar through the sky faster than a speeding bullet, there’s no shortage of things to do or ways to explore. We love this sense of possibility, so we’re bringing Street View to Earth VR to make it easier for you to see and experience the world.

This update lets you explore Street View imagery from 85 countries right within Earth VR. Just fly down closer to street level, check your controller to see if Street View is available and enter an immersive 360° photo. You’ll find photos from the Street View team and those shared by people all around the world.

 

 

 

 

 

 

K-12 and higher education are considered separate systems. What if they converged? — from edsurge.com by Jeff Young

Excerpt:

Education in America is a tale of two systems. There’s K-12 education policy and practice, but a separate set of rules—and a separate culture—for higher education. A new book argues that it doesn’t have to be that way.

In “The Convergence of K-12 and Higher Education: Policies and Programs in a Changing Era,” two education professors point out potential benefits of taking a more holistic view to American education (in a volume that collects essays from other academics). They acknowledge that there are potential pitfalls, noting that even well-intentioned systems can have negative consequences. But they argue that “now more than ever, K-12 and higher education need to converge on a shared mission and partner to advance the individual interests of American students and the collective interests of the nation.”

EdSurge recently talked with one of the book’s co-editors, Christopher Loss, associate professor of public policy and higher education at Vanderbilt University. The conversation has been edited and condensed for clarity.

 

 

Which is to say that we have tended not to think of the sector as most people actually experience it—which is one continuous ladder, one that often is missing rungs, and is sometimes difficult to climb, depending on a whole host of different factors. So, I think that the research agenda proposed by Pat and I and our collaborators is one that actually gets much closer to the experience that most people actually are having with the educational sector.

 

 



From DSC:
This is a great 50,000-foot level question and one that reminds me of a graphic I created a couple of years ago that speaks of the continuum that we need to more holistically address — especially as the topic of lifelong learning is increasingly critical to members of our workforce today.

 

 

Because in actuality, the lines between high school and college continue to blur. Many students are taking AP courses and/or are dually-enrolled at colleges/universities already. Some high school graduates already have enough credits to make serious headway in obtaining a college degree.

The other thing that I see over and over again is that K-12 is out innovating higher education and is better at communicating with other educators than most of higher education is. As an example, go look at some of the K-12 bloggers and educators out there on Twitter. They have tens of thousands of followers — and many of those followers being other K-12 educators. They are sharing content, best practices, questions, issues/solutions, new pedagogies, new technologies, live communication/training sessions, etc. with each other. Some examples include:

  • Eric Sheninger 127 K followers
  • Alice Keeler 110 K followers
  • Kyle Pace 63.6 K followers
  • Monica Burns 44.5 K
  • Lisa Nielsen 32.4 K followers

The vast majority of the top bloggers within higher ed — and those who regularly are out on social media within higher education — are not even close to those kinds of numbers.

What that tells me is that while many educators within K-12 are out on social media sharing knowledge with each other via these relatively new means, the vast majority of administrators/faculty members/staff working within higher education are not doing that. That is, they are not regularly contributing streams of content to Twitter.

But that said, there are few people who are trying to “cross over the lines” of the two systems and converse with folks from both higher ed and K-12. We need more of these folks who are attempting to pulse-check the other systems out there  in order to create a more holistic, effective continuum.

I wonder about the corporate world here as well. Are folks from the training departments and from the learning & development groups pulse-checking the ways that today’s students are being educated within higher education? Within K-12? Do they have a good sense of what the changing expectations of their new employees look like (in terms of how they  prefer to learn)?

We can do better. That’s why I appreciated the question raised within Jeff’s article.

 

Is is time to back up a major step and practice design thinking on the entire continuum of lifelong learning?

Daniel Christian

 

 

 

 

 

Future Forward: The Next Twenty Years of Higher Education — from Blackboard with a variety of contributors

Excerpts:

As you read their reflections you’ll find several themes emerge over and over:

  • Our current system is unsustainable and ill-suited for a globally connected world that is constantly changing.
  • Colleges and universities will have to change their current business model to continue to thrive, boost revenue and drive enrollment.
  • The “sage on the stage” and the “doc in the box” aren’t sustainable; new technologies will allow faculty to shift their focus on the application of learning rather than the acquisition of knowledge.
  • Data and the ability to transform that data into action will be the new lifeblood of the institution.
  • Finally, the heart and soul of any institution are its people. Adopting new technologies is only a small piece of the puzzle; institutions must also work with faculty and staff to change institutional culture.

Some quotes are listed below.

 

“What’s more, next-generation digital learning environments must bridge the divide between the faculty-directed instructivist model our colleges and universities have always favored and the learner-centric constructivist paradigm their students have come to expect and the economy now demands.”

It will be at least 10 years before systems such as this become the standard rather than the exception. Yet to achieve this timeline, we will have to begin fostering a very different campus culture that embraces technology for its experiential value rather than its transactional expediency, while viewing education as a lifelong pursuit rather than a degree-driven activity.

Susan Aldridge

 

 

 

Q: What are the biggest challenges facing higher education right now?

A: I think it is a difficult time for decisionmakers to know how to move boldly forward. It’s almost funny, nobody’s doing five-year strategic plans anymore. We used to do ten-year plans, but now it’s “What’s our guiding set of principles and then let’s sort of generally go towards that.” I think it’s really hard to move an entire institution, to know how to keep it sustainable and serving your core student population. Trying to figure out how to keep moving forward is not as simple as it used to be when you hired faculty and they showed up in the classroom. It’s time for a whole new leadership model. I’m not sure what that is, but we have to start reimagining our organizations and our institutions and even our leadership.

Marie Cini

 

 

 

One of the things that is frustrating to me is the argument that online learning is just another modality. Online learning is much more than that. It’s arguably the most transformative development since the G.I. Bill and, before that, the establishment of land-grant universities. 

I don’t think we should underestimate the profound impact online education has had and will continue to have on higher education. It’s not just another modality; it’s an entirely new industry.

Robert Hansen

 

 

From DSC:
And I would add (to Robert’s quote above) that not since the printing press was invented close to 500 years ago have we seen such an enormously powerful invention as the Internet. To bypass the Internet and the online-based learning opportunities that it can deliver is to move into a risky, potentially dangerous future. If your institution is doing that, your institution’s days could be numbered. As we move into the future — where numerous societies throughout the globe will be full of artificial intelligence, big data, robotics, algorithms, business’ digital transformations, and more — your institutions’ credibility could easily be at stake in a new, increasingly impactful way. Parents and students will want to know that there’s a solid ROI for them. They will want to know that a particular college or university has the foundational/core competencies and skills to prepare the learner for the future that the learner will encounter.

 

 

 

Q: What are the biggest challenges facing higher education right now?

A: I think the biggest challenge is the stubborn refusal of institutions to acknowledge that the 20th century university paradigm no longer works, or at least it doesn’t work anymore for the majority of our institutions. I’m not speaking on behalf of our members, but I think it’s fair to say that institutions are still almost entirely faculty-centered and not market-driven. Faculty, like so many university leaders today who come from faculty ranks, are so often ill-equipped to compete in the Wild West that we’re seeing today, and it’s not their fault. They’re trained to be biologists and historians and philosophers and musicians and English professors, and in the past there was very little need to be entrepreneurial. What’s required of university leadership now looks very much like what’s required in the fastpaced world of private industry.

If you are tuition dependent and you haven’t figured out how to serve the adult market yet, you’re in trouble.

Robert Hansen

 

 

 

It’s not just enough to put something online for autodidacts who already have the time, energy, and prior skills to be able to learn on their own. You really need to figure out how to embed all the supports that a student will need to be successful, and I don’t know if we’ve cracked that yet.

Amy Laitinen

 

 

 

The other company is Amazon. Their recent purchase of Whole Foods really surprised everybody. Now you have a massive digital retailer that has made billions staying in the online world going backwards into brick-and-mortar. I think if you look at what you can do on Amazon now, who’s to say in three years or five years, you won’t say, “You know what, I want to take this class. I want to purchase it through Amazon,” and it’s done through Amazon with their own LMS? Who’s to say they’re not already working on it?

Justin Louder

 

 

 

 

We are focused on four at Laureate. Probably in an increasing order of excitement to me are game-based learning (or gamification), adaptive learning, augmented and virtual reality, and cognitive tutoring.

Darrell Luzzo

 

 

 

 

I would wave my hand and have people lose their fear of change and recognize that you can innovate and do new things and still stay true to the core mission and values. My hope is that we harness our collective energy to help our students succeed and become fully engaged citizens.

Felice Nudelman

 

 

 

 

 

From DSC:
When you read the article below, notice how many times these CIO’s mention that they’re tapping into streams of content

 


 

How to stay current with emerging tech: CIO tips — from enterprisersproject.com by Carla Rudder
CIOs from Target, CVS Health, GE, and others share strategies for keeping up with the latest technologies

Excerpts:

I spend a fair amount of time looking at LinkedIn and Twitter. I’m particular about what I subscribe to. I see what people are interested in, so these social networks are good sources of information.

First, I set up Google alerts on topics that are of interest to me. I can skim these daily to keep abreast of what’s happening.

On the top-down side, I employ some different tactics. For example, I love using the Flipboard app to find relevant technology new stories targeted to my preferences. Also, I enjoy reading as much as I can about management and macro trends in technology and society.

First, pick some new media and follow it regularly. Examples that come to mind are Quartz, Vox, and Slate. Then, seek a balanced perspective from traditional media like The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, The Atlantic, and The Economist.

When I can’t get out to conferences, I watch TED Talks. In fact, I watch a lot of talks that have nothing to do with IT, but they certainly help with leadership.

 


 

 

 

 

 

 

From DSC:
Readers of this Learning Ecosystems blog will recognize the following graphic:

 

 

I have long believed that each of us needs to draw from the relevant streams of content that are constantly flowing by us — and also that we should be contributing content to those streams as well. Such content can come from blogs, websites, Twitter, LinkedIn, podcasts, YouTube channels, Google Alerts, periodicals, and via other means.

I’m a big fan of blogging and using RSS feeds along with feed aggregators such as Feedly. I also find that Twitter, LinkedIn, and Google Alerts to be excellent means of tapping into — and contributing to — these streams of content. (See Jane Hart’s compilations to tap into other tools/means of learning as well.)

This perspective is echoed in the following article at the Harvard Business Review:

  • Help Employees Create Knowledge — Not Just Share It — from hbr.org by John Hagel III and John Seely Brown
    Excerpt:
    Without diminishing the value of knowledge sharing, we would suggest that the most valuable form of learning today is actually creating new knowledge. Organizations are increasingly being confronted with new and unexpected situations that go beyond the textbooks and operating manuals and require leaders to improvise on the spot, coming up with new approaches that haven’t been tried before. In the process, they develop new knowledge about what works and what doesn’t work in specific situations. We believe the old, “scalable efficiency” approach to knowledge needs to be replaced with a new, more nimble kind of “scalable learning.” To foster the latter, managers should understand five essential distinctions…

 

We need to be constantly challenging our assumptions and beliefs about what is required to achieve impact because, as the world changes, what used to work in the past may no longer work. 

— Hagel and Brown

 

So whether you are working or studying within the world of higher education, or whether you are in the corporate world, or working in a governmental office, or whether you are a student in K-12, you need to be drawing from — and contributing your voice/knowledge to — streams of content.

In fact, in my mind, that’s what Training/L&D Departments should shift their focus to, as employees are already self-motivated to build their own learning ecosystems. And in the world of higher education, that’s why I work to help students in my courses build their own online-based footprints, while encouraging them to draw from — contribute to — these streams of content. As more people are becoming freelancers and consultants, it makes even more sense to do this.

 

 

But when we recognize that the environment around us is rapidly changing, skills have a shorter and shorter half-life. While skills are still necessary for success, the focus should shift to cultivating the underlying capabilities that can accelerate learning so that new skills can be more rapidly acquired. These capabilities include curiosity, critical thinking, willingness to take risk, imagination, creativity, and social and emotional intelligence. If we can develop those learning capabilities, we should be able to rapidly evolve our skill sets in ways that keep us ahead of the game.

— Hagel and Brown

 

 

 

From DSC:
I thought the article below was a good one. But I’m not sure I arrived at the same conclusion. Rather than putting the business of leadership & development training squarely on the shoulders of team leaders, I would put it on each individual employee and inform/empower them to seek out what works best for them in fulfilling their role.  

The L&D team can work with introducing the best tools and examples of streams of content to tap into for any given role or topic.

I’m thinking here of tools like Twitter, streams of content from LinkedIn or from relevant blogs and websites. The team leaders can follow up with their team members and check in with them to see how things are going. If an employee says, “I don’t know who to connect with or follow” then perhaps the team leader can say, I’ve found these particular people, blogs, websites, streams of content from LinkedIn (or other sources) to be effective for what we do within our organization. Introduce them to communities of practice and/or to other individuals that do X, Y or Z really well.

It brings in the social element that this article discusses, but it also serves each individual’s best interests — each one of us needs to know how and where to keep learning. If it’s in their best interests to keep learning, then give them the tools and potential streams of content to tap into. Give them:

 

 

Let them own it. They’re likely creating their own learning pathways anyway. L&D become a consulting organization. L&D can consult with each group (or even individual employees) re: potential streams of content and possible/effective connections for that group (or individual).

 



Revive.  — from revive.zaglearning.com

How enterprise learning for leadership and team development is tripping up human potential, and slowly sending the L&D brand into irrelevance. This is the story of how to save it, step by radical step.

Excerpts:

Over 18 months of research with 65 one-on-one interviews, 511 managers surveyed, and 900 teams representing 8K people, we witnessed the unintentional damage: marginalized learning and development people (L&D), learners who see leadership and team development as a necessary but random and usually disappointing transaction, and executives who line-item “soft skills” training (labeled decades ago by, no surprise, a hard-skills proponent) as a tax or necessary benefit, as if it were a dental plan.

If you’re curious, it can’t help but spark a few questions:

  • How can something so strategically important be so realistically unimportant?
  • How did L&D pros, who make such a compelling psychological and organizational case for the most pivotal kind of learning, get so minimized and, in the process, drag down human potential and the social intelligence of corporate culture?
  • How are smart, passionate L&D people who are in it for the greater good—and not the big payday—getting stuck with a brand that’s as sexy as K-Mart?

The problems are systemic, and the curiosity and ambition to fix them have received as little attention as any problem in enterprise history.

 

So, what’s the big switch? Learning for leadership and team development doesn’t belong with L&D. It belongs squarely with the team leader, the person who is 70% of the variance in her team’s engagement. Learning belongs fundamentally, not loosely, where it’s always in context and relevant: the leader and her team.

 

 

 

The case for a next generation learning platform [Grush & Christian]

 

The case for a next generation learning platform — from campustechnology.com by Mary Grush & Daniel Christian

Excerpt (emphasis DSC):

Grush: Then what are some of the implications you could draw from metrics like that one?

Christian: As we consider all the investment in those emerging technologies, the question many are beginning to ask is, “How will these technologies impact jobs and the makeup of our workforce in the future?”

While there are many thoughts and questions regarding the cumulative impact these technologies will have on our future workforce (e.g., “How many jobs will be displaced?”), the consensus seems to be that there will be massive change.

Whether our jobs are completely displaced or if we will be working alongside robots, chatbots, workbots, or some other forms of AI-backed personal assistants, all of us will need to become lifelong learners — to be constantly reinventing ourselves. This assertion is also made in the aforementioned study from McKinsey: “AI promises benefits, but also poses urgent challenges that cut across firms, developers, government, and workers. The workforce needs to be re-skilled to exploit AI rather than compete with it…”

 

 

A side note from DSC:
I began working on this vision prior to 2010…but I didn’t officially document it until 2012.

 

The Living [Class] Room -- by Daniel Christian -- July 2012 -- a second device used in conjunction with a Smart/Connected TV

 

Learning from the Living [Class] Room:

A global, powerful, next generation learning platform

 

What does the vision entail?

  • A new, global, collaborative learning platform that offers more choice, more control to learners of all ages – 24×7 – and could become the organization that futurist Thomas Frey discusses here with Business Insider:

“I’ve been predicting that by 2030 the largest company on the internet is going to be an education-based company that we haven’t heard of yet,” Frey, the senior futurist at the DaVinci Institute think tank, tells Business Insider.

  • A learner-centered platform that is enabled by – and reliant upon – human beings but is backed up by a powerful suite of technologies that work together in order to help people reinvent themselves quickly, conveniently, and extremely cost-effectively
  • A customizable learning environment that will offer up-to-date streams of regularly curated content (i.e., microlearning) as well as engaging learning experiences
  • Along these lines, a lifelong learner can opt to receive an RSS feed on a particular topic until they master that concept; periodic quizzes (i.e., spaced repetition) determines that mastery. Once mastered, the system will ask the learner whether they still want to receive that particular stream of content or not.
  • A Netflix-like interface to peruse and select plugins to extend the functionality of the core product
  • An AI-backed system of analyzing employment trends and opportunities will highlight those courses and streams of content that will help someone obtain the most in-demand skills
  • A system that tracks learning and, via Blockchain-based technologies, feeds all completed learning modules/courses into learners’ web-based learner profiles
  • A learning platform that provides customized, personalized recommendation lists – based upon the learner’s goals
  • A platform that delivers customized, personalized learning within a self-directed course (meant for those content creators who want to deliver more sophisticated courses/modules while moving people through the relevant Zones of Proximal Development)
  • Notifications and/or inspirational quotes will be available upon request to help provide motivation, encouragement, and accountability – helping learners establish habits of continual, lifelong-based learning
  • (Potentially) An online-based marketplace, matching learners with teachers, professors, and other such Subject Matter Experts (SMEs)
  • (Potentially) Direct access to popular job search sites
  • (Potentially) Direct access to resources that describe what other companies do/provide and descriptions of any particular company’s culture (as described by current and former employees and freelancers)
  • (Potentially) Integration with one-on-one tutoring services

Further details here >>

 

 

 



Addendum from DSC (regarding the resource mentioned below):
Note the voice recognition/control mechanisms on Westinghouse’s new product — also note the integration of Amazon’s Alexa into a “TV.”



 

Westinghouse’s Alexa-equipped Fire TV Edition smart TVs are now available — from theverge.com by Chaim Gartenberg

 

The key selling point, of course, is the built-in Amazon Fire TV, which is controlled with the bundled Voice Remote and features Amazon’s Alexa assistant.

 

 

 

Finally…also see:

  • NASA unveils a skill for Amazon’s Alexa that lets you ask questions about Mars — from geekwire.com by Kevin Lisota
  • Holographic storytelling — from jwtintelligence.com
    The stories of Holocaust survivors are brought to life with the help of interactive 3D technologies.
    New Dimensions in Testimony is a new way of preserving history for future generations. The project brings to life the stories of Holocaust survivors with 3D video, revealing raw first-hand accounts that are more interactive than learning through a history book.  Holocaust survivor Pinchas Gutter, the first subject of the project, was filmed answering over 1000 questions, generating approximately 25 hours of footage. By incorporating natural language processing from the USC Institute for Creative Technologies (ICT), people are able to ask Gutter’s projected image questions that trigger relevant responses.

 

 

 

 

What is microlearning and what are the most important microlearning features? — from elearningfeeds.com by Ayesha Habeeb Omer
There is a huge shift in the profile of employees in organizations today. They have less time on hand, huge deliverables and responsibilities, and need to keep pace with changing times and business needs. Formal, annual training programs are just not enough to keep pace with the need for constant learning

Excerpt:

For the super busy employees of today, learning must be short, concise, and available at the time of need. Ideally, this learning should be made accessible from anywhere and on any device that employees prefer. These changing demands of learners have given rise to a new trend of learning through small nuggets of online courses: Microlearning.

Microlearning refers to the learning strategy that delivers learning content to learners in short, bite-sized, and easily digestible learning nuggets. A microlearning module is focused on meeting one specific learning outcome, by breaking down a large topic into numerous bite-sized modules and allowing the learner to take them in the order of their choice.

Although the concept of learning in smaller bites has been in existence for a long time, many of us were oblivious to its influence as a potent tool for employee training. Fortunately, it has now gained immense popularity in the fields of corporate training and education.

 

 

From DSC:
It is imperative that all employees have the tools to build their own learning ecosystems.  Along these lines, I’m a firm believer in the power of tapping into streams of content, such as this article on microlearning alludes to. It would be sharp to have a system whereby you could subscribe to a stream of content on a particular topic, and then take periodic assessments on that topic. When you have passed the assessment(s), the system would prompt you as to whether you wanted to continue to receive this particular stream of content, or whether you wanted to subscribe to the next (or other) topic/stream of content. This is one of my ideas for a next generation learning platform.

 

 

 

 



Addendum on 7/11/17:

Excerpt:
Microlearning.

For those who don’t know, microlearning is exactly what it sounds like – small bits of learning someone generally consumes when facing a problem. An example of microlearning would be a professional looking up how to animate a slide in PowerPoint for a presentation later that day.

Microlearning also happens to be the hottest new trend in workplace learning, as learning and development pros are increasingly looking for providers of microlearning content. But is it a fad, or is it something that’s here to stay?

Almost certainly the latter – microlearning isn’t going anywhere. That said, there are some drawbacks to it as well.

Here’s an honest look at what’s good and what’s bad about microlearning.

 



 

 

 

From DSC:
With the ever increasing usage of artificial intelligence, algorithms, robotics, and automation, people are going to need to reinvent themselves quickly, cost-effectively, and conveniently. As such, we had better begin working immediately on a next generation learning platform — before the other tidal waves start hitting the beach. “What do you mean by saying ‘other tidal waves’ — what tidal waves are you talking about anyway?” one might ask.

Well….here’s one for you:


 

 

New Report Predicts Over 100,000 Legal Jobs Will Be Lost To Automation — from futurism.com by Jelor Gallego
An extensive new analysis by Deloitte estimates that over 100,000 jobs will be lost to technological automation within the next two decades. Increasing technological advances have helped replace menial roles in the office and do repetitive tasks

 


From DSC:
I realize that not all of this is doom and gloom. There will be jobs lost and there will be jobs gained. A point also made by MIT futurists Andrew McAfee and Erik Brynjolfsson in a recent podcast entitled, “
Want to stay relevant? Then listen up(in which they explain the momentous technological changes coming next–and what you can do to harness them).

But the point is that massive reinvention is going to be necessary. Traditional institutions of higher education — as well as the current methods of accreditation — are woefully inadequate to address the new, exponential pace of change.

 

 

 


 

Here’s my take on what it’s going to take to deliver constantly up-to-date streams of relevant content at an incredibly affordable price.

 


 

 

 
© 2017 | Daniel Christian