Yesterday I took a trip to the Learning Technologies show to meet some folk, see some things and have some thoughts. I’m always happy to reveal half formed thoughts so here are some of my takeaways
- There are a swathe of tools available – not much that is genuinely new – but tools are useless without intent. Listening to Julian Stodd talk for an hour about social leadership would give people more hope for the future than any amount of tech demos. I didn’t agree with everything Julian said – but there is no doubt in the quality of belief or reflection. I wish more people started with reflection on what they are trying to solve rather than seeking ‘solutions’.
- The willingness of vendors and presenters in the exhibition to communicate ‘innovative ways of learning’ by reading out bullets on Powerpoint slides was almost laughable. I assume it must have been some type of a dare…
- Gamification was popping up in lots of places. I’m as curious about how leaderboards can drive more collaborative organisations as I am about how predictive analytics can give people a greater sense of autonomy. There seems to be a tension and conflict in some of the ambitions expressed. I am, however, delighted to hear people talking about gamification in a richer way – games afford a wonderful insight into how people interact with environments and each other. If you’d like to learn more it isn’t too late to join Kevin Werbach’s MOOC here
- Side conversations are the best conversations – I ran into a number of great people as I ambled about soaking things in. The perspectives and reflections from those sessions gave me plenty to reflect on.
- There was a beautiful point made by Julie Drybrough after watching a session with Tony Buzan (who seems to like punching himself in the face, check out the gallery, it’s wonderfully consistent) that teaching people constrained techniques for being creative is possibly inherently conflicted. Apparently he also said that in nature there is no such things as straight lines – ladies and gentleman, he has ignored all of these.
- It is a genuinely exciting time for L&D. I spoke to a number of large businesses on the verge of changing their approaches to helping people learn and all of them seemed to show a far greater appreciation of different methodologies than would have been the case a few years ago. There is a receptiveness and exploratory attitude that can only serve people and organistions well in the coming years.
Final thought (Jerry Springer style)
- It is a duty incumbent on progressive thinkers, if they wish others to progress, to be patient and welcoming. It was lovely to see so many people that I hold in high regard not interested in scoring points against different methodologies but just keen to see other people exploring, growing and making choices. Which surely is the point. Learning is contagious.