Training Industry Quarterly - Fall 2011 - (Page 45)

CLOSING ARGUMENTS | TIM SOSBE WE’RE HARD-WIRED TO BE INVENTORS AND INNOVATORS THE THREE T’s I ain’t looking for praise or pity I ain’t coming round searching for a crutch I just want someone to talk to And a little of that human touch — Bruce Springsteen L et me take a few moments here and recap some professional highlights from my last few months. Here we go: I’ve read articles, perused blogs, produced webinars and attended conferences, and there’s been one common theme running through all those different mediums for information delivery. That theme, of course, is technology. Not surprising I know. You’d do better these days trying to avoid sunshine than discussions around technology, with that double whammy coming at you both at work and at home. I know it does for me. At work I routinely take part in webinars with speakers and audience members from the other side of the planet, and at home I have phone service that doesn’t involve wires and a toaster that automatically spots the difference between wheat bread and a frozen pastry. Technology, of course, is about making lives easier, whether it’s supporting simpler processes in the workplace, making life better in the kitchen or living room, or just opening new areas of innovation anywhere. If you’ve reached this column in what I’ll call the traditional way – after rifling through the previous pages in this issue (this technology-powered issue, I could add) – then you know that technology has been the topic of the day. There have been articles on e-learning, m-learning, game-based learning and so on. That’s as it should be: Technology is the great enabler of training these days, allowing organizations to reach wider audiences more quickly and generally more cheaply. If training today were a baby, then technology would be the stroller that allows it to see the world. To extend that metaphor, trainers would be the proud parents deciding where to aim the stroller on any given day. Oh the places you’ll go, to quote Dr. Seuss. That’s great, that’s good, that’s important. We should see new places, we’re supposed to do new things, we’re hard-wired to be inventors and innovators. Technology powers all that. But when I think about training and growth and knowledge transfer, I can’t help but think about Dave Muir and Liz Redar, a former teacher and my first professional boss, respectively, two people who taught me more than even they realized about the work I’ve spent my adult life doing. I learned the rudiments of journalism under Dave Muir, back when the height of technology was the typewriter, and I learned the difference between theory and practice from Liz Redar, working at a newspaper (remember those?) that was just a short walk past movable type set by hand. Both good people who are gone now, but definitely not forgotten. I think of them when I think of technology. As much as I like the almost god-like feel of making live television pause while I go get a snack, I remember what I learned from real people, and it makes me think. Technology can do a lot that impresses you, but does it really inspire you? And isn’t that what education and training is all about? Don’t get me wrong: I definitely do NOT want to rewind the calendar, as I love the satellite radio in my car, the website with all the videos, the ability to take a picture, print it, frame it and share it with everyone I know in just a few minutes time. But when I have to take a class or learn a how-to, I still look for a teacher. He or she doesn’t even have to be in the same hemisphere … just there. Of course, the beauty of today’s technology is how possible it is to find an inspirational educator outside your comfortable little circle of existence: A colleague from across the country, a guru from across an ocean, a professor who works in cyberspace. The typewriter did little to address that need. Time marches on, and since it only marches in one direction, we have to either fall in step with it or get run over by it. Fortunately, it seems to be taking us in good places, and it’s enabling good things along the way. But the more we can bring the three T’s together — training, technology and teachers — the better I’ll feel. Tim Sosbe is editorial director of Training Industry Quarterly and general manager of webinars. E-mail Tim. 45 Training Industry Quarterly, Fall 2011 / A Training Industry, Inc. ezine /

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Training Industry Quarterly - Fall 2011

Training Industry Quarterly - Fall 2011
From Where I Sit: Back to the Basics
Table of Contents
Ad Index
The Learning GPS
Work that Stretches: The Best Teacher
The Promise and Peril of Social Enterprise
Technical Training: How is it Different?
Companies Press 'Play' on Training Games
Redefining the 'e' in e-Learning
Essential Components for Effectively Training a Global Workforce
Five m-Learning Considerations for Your Talent Management Strategy
Instructional Design: Learning Meets Technology
Improving Training: Thinking Like a Game Developer
Casebook: Pfizer: Moving Product Sales Training Online
Why is Mobile Learning Not More Popular?
Tweet Suite
Company News
Closing Arguments: The Three T's

Training Industry Quarterly - Fall 2011