Trends from LT17 – Part 1

It’s been a few days since the curtain came down on Learning Technologies so now is the perfect time to look beyond the event white noise and reflect on what we really learned from the 2017 conference and exhibition.

It was called different things, described in different ways, utilised in different capacities, but when you really sat back to ask what was the big theme that emerged from Learning Technologies 2017 you needed just one word – personalisation.

From the conference rooms to the exhibition floor, learner-led learning was everything. Learner demands are changing.

The vehicles for facilitating this and the challenges adopting such a shift creates, well they were all up for debate, and debated at length they were. But there was no escaping the overriding sense that the days of spoon-feeding staff are heading west.

So where does that leave the L&D community?

An audience gathered to listed to one of the talks at LT17

Stargazing at the future

In his ‘Future Learning’ lecture, Harold Jarche (Internet Time Alliance) highlighted how automation in business is creating demand for talent-led workforces. He stated that in the US 47% of jobs were at high risk of automation over the decade and 43% of corporate Vice Presidents want to make that happen.

But while robots can be programmed to be diligent, compliant and intelligent, they can’t (currently) be programmed to be curious, creative, empathetic so that is where the focus has to be. Such non-routine work is highly contextual and requires greater implicit knowledge and implicit knowledge is developed through social relationships.

Harold Jarche gives a talk at LT

Social relationships spawn informal learning, and that idea of learning as part of a community was a common theme at this year’s Learning Technologies.

This is not learning that can be forced, ticked off or largely tracked, rather it is non-codifiable, can occur on and offline and needs time to, as Jarche described it, “marinate”. It is an individual taking responsibility for the direction of their own learning and career and developing the knowledge and connections to achieve it.

This is arguably the antithesis of traditional training and appears, at first glance at least, in conflict with mandatory training requirements, particularly in highly regulated environments. And there is no doubt the notion of handing over perceived control of an employee’s learning pathway is enough to make some L&D and compliance teams very nervous. But why should it if it is managed properly?

Keep an eye out for Part 2 of our ‘trends from LT’ blog later this week. In the meantime, don’t forget you can also download your free copy of the Unicorn Learning Ecosphere white paper here.

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About abipearsunicorn

Marketing Manager at Unicorn Training Group

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