At the recent Consumer Electronics Show (CES) people from around the world had the chance to look and explore thousands of tools that will be used at work, in homes, while in transit. More than the Internet of Things (IoT) these technological wonders are being brought to market in a seamless manner to the end user whether in the role of consumer or worker. One participant caught my attention as he wrote from the event. Elliot Masie (Learning Trends #988 , 1/10/18) posed a question, “Where Has All the Learning Gone?” noting that he saw learning all through the show but not as a standalone area with a sign pointing to vendors in the learning and education sector.
That’s really the point, just as the technology innovations are becoming wearable, functional, mobile so should the learning that helps users. It should be centered in the context of the need at the time and place of need, support performance at the frontline and make it seamless to the user. As a consumer I do not want to pay extra for training on how to use a tool. When I evaluated authoring tools recently one item on my list was access to readily available training materials including YouTube videos. In the workplace the need to perform is measured in moments of now so taking people off work and sending them to training in a classroom or elearning takes more time than these innovators expect their users to spend.
Here is the best place for learning to be, integrated directly into the flow of use providing seamless support. Putting the high touch into the high tech is where learning professionals can bring their skillset to maximize the value of innovation to the end user in all settings by including contextual directions, using gamification techniques to assess skill level and providing targeted remediation to enable the user to continue their path quickly, easily, and seamlessly.
This is the new opportunity for the learning professional, partner with operational teams and the research and development, R&D, teams. We need to plan learning moments using the requirements the innovators are using, the use cases and focusing on the decision points of usability knowing these might be where the end user will face a decision or action. Here is where we create solutions and support the performance at the time and place of need. Masie noted that “Learning will be embedded and integrated into more and more products and environments. Our expertise as learning producers could be seen in building the coaching framework for a health product that informs or builds skills for the patient.”
Let’s bring our expertise in curation, data analysis, and blended design directly to the end user. Creating learning opportunities that are integrated seamlessly into the tools of choice no matter the place will create lifelong learners, learning communities, and learning cultures. While we know that, the people we support will only know that they can do whatever they are trying to do faster and easier. Learning has gone simply from a “here” to everywhere – and that is where we should all be.
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