Predicting the future of Online Learning


Memory humorous. I remember attending Learning Technologies to talk on games ages ago. And, as part of the seminar, one keynote was a speaker who spoke to the futility of predicting the future. I can not locate him the book I thought it was written about by him. Instead, he suggested that what happens is that you observe the trends, but things take a sudden turn because of some influence no one had thought to account for. He illustrated (if memory serves), with a number of examples.

And I’ve made predictions previously. But one time Stephen Downes assessed on a bunch of folks predictions, and demonstrated they were largely off (or too vacuous). So I’ve begun discussing what I’d like to see.
But there is more. As one of my favorite quotes has it “the best way to forecast the future is to invent it”, as Alan Kay opined. So, rather than I need to talk about that which I will work to make happen.

In prior years, I’ve had a motif (usually two). And under banners they’ve remained the same in many ways. The subject remains tied to my (tongue-in-cheek) announcement, “L&D is not doing close to what it could and should, and exactly what it’s doing it is doing badly, other than that it is fine.” So last year I had Intellectricity and Transformation as my words. And while I believe in both, I am keeping with Transformation.
What I really care about is organizational and individual learning. Which means we need to transform our learning design strategy. We need to change how organizations learn. So we have to transform our own practices.

I ran my LXD workshop in DevLearn this past fall and spoke in the ATD Japan Summit on the L&D Revolution. I’ll be speaking in TK2020 on transformation, and on the Revolution for ATD New England’s Yearly conference.

So, instead of predicting the future, I am attempting to shape it. I hope you will join me! And in the event that you’d like to tap in these changes for your own organization, I welcome hearing from you! Meanwhile, wishing you and yours all the best for the new year. May it be your best nonetheless.


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