Thursday, February 11, 2016

What is really changing in the way we learn as a result of new technologies?

Last week I attended the Learning and Technologies conference in Londen. Like last year, it was great. Inspiring talks and the Dutch delegation (almost 25 people!) offered a nice network to make sense of new ideas. Furthermore we had Friday to explore Londen.

Before the conference I attended a session about storyboarding. I wanted to pilot a video 'beyond the talking head'.  I'm proud of the result. I found out that using the fast forward function is very simple in iMovie! Unfortunately it still has talking heads, but it is already much more dynamic.

What is really changing in the way we learn as a result of new technologies?
That's the main question I took to the conference. Sometimes I feel everything is changing, sometimes when people say they prefer classroom training I feel nothing is changing. As you see in the video I interviewed 4 people in a one phrase interview form and am amazed that their answers differ quite a lot. However, they all talk about the consequences of the fact that information is now freely available on the internet.

"It is not about what you know but what you can find out"
David Kelly stresses "it is not about what you know but what you can find out". That shifts the power from people who have accumulating knowledge to the people who know where to find knowledge (and have networks). This has huge implication for power in organizations and even for which organizations (or networks) will survive. In fact Ger Driesen and Martin Couzins stress the same point - with knowledge flowing around what is the point in learning a subject for 5 years? Will learning disappear and turn into knowing where and how to access information whenever you need it? Mirjam Neelen emphasizes the need to learn how to learn in this world of information overload. Which neatly links back to David kelly stating it is about what you can find out. Ger's idea of learning disappearing probably refers to the rapid advances of artificial intelligence and the 10 things an algorithm can do which a teacher can't where our learning can be taken over by computers too. Should we all become data managers?

I wonder whether learning a profession or studying becomes obsolete as Martin states. What do you think? How to gather the tacit knowledge needed for a profession? When you study you also learn the core values and issues of a profession which goes beyond information. How about developing a unique vision? Yet I agree the focus will increasingly shift from learning as in learning facts to analyzing, synthesizing and searching. The idea that the way we learn can be done faster by artificial intelligence is a scary idea. I will definitely start to follow these developments more closely.

By the way Sibrenne and myself blogged about some of the session on so check it out if you are interested in particular topic like video for learning, artificial intelligenceusing your enterprise social network for learning (session by Jane Hart) or using heart and mind in online learning. Or check out the session with Rudy de Waele about new upcoming technologies.