While at the CIPD Leaders in Learning event this week, Andy Lancaster shared some helpful insights about the role of technology in learning today. He first described how at the CIPD they’re bringing more of a focus to being a knowledge content provider as well as helping deliver qualifications to HR and L&D professionals. This was really welcome news on my part. The CIPD are a trusted organisation and for them to now be looking at how they can provide knowledge content for professionals is only a good thing. It signals an understanding about how content is used by people and not everyone needs to complete a course in order to understand things better.
The second helpful share was via Jane Hart. Jane regularly asks learning professionals what their go to choices are for learning technologies. She’s currently compiling the 2016 list. From previous years, the top ten tend to include Twitter, YouTube, Google, WordPress, Evernote and Google Drive.
From this you can see that in that top list are some familiar names like Twitter and YouTube. And it got me wondering about how they’ve been pretty consistently there for a number of years. In fact it got me thinking about the adoption curve.
We’re probably at a stage now with social networks like Twitter and YouTube where the late majority are ready to pick up those tools and start using them for their own learning and professional development. Actually we’re probably at a stage where the early majority are ready to start embracing digital technologies to provide learning through additional means.
I think this is helpful because I also see that in the networks I’m connected with there can be a lot of frustration about L&D not stepping forward and becoming modern learning practitioners. The other day I saw someone tweeting about a new group video streaming app and asking if anyone is using it in L&D. It made me think – most people are just about getting used to using Twitter as a way of connecting, for professional networking and for personal learning and development let alone a group video streaming app.
Sometimes in L&D we can be too restless.
Yes, the world of digital consumer behaviour is moving at pace, and that means apps and websites that were once widely used slowly get overtaken by others. But, just because there are new players coming onto the scene, doesn’t make the older tools redundant or less relevant. It takes time for people to adopt new behaviours and more so when it comes to technology. We know this as L&D professionals and yet can be so disconnected from the workforce that we leave them behind in our drive to be forward thinking learning practitioners.
One of the biggest challenges we face in organisations today is helping people be digitally inclusive and digitally literate. Too many people still shy away from actively using technology to help them be better at their job. It would serve us well in L&D to remind ourselves that everyone is on a journey, and just because they may not be moving at the pace of some doesn’t mean that those at the front are better and it doesn’t mean those behind are missing anything immediately relevant.