Training Industry Quarterly - Winter 2011 - (Page 11)

LEARNING TECHNOLOGIES | TONY O’DRISCOLL WE HAVE AUTOMATED THE PAST — BAD ASSUMPTIONS AND ALL. PAVING COW PATHS FOR DINOSAURS? W e human beings have been leveraging technology since the dawn of time: fire to keep us warm, plant and animal domestication to assuage our hunger, icons and alphabets to communicate, locomotives, automobiles and airplanes to travel greater distances and build a global economy, and—in the past 6,500 days—the Web technologies to connect, consume, contribute and collaborate at unprecedented scale. In virtually every facet of our modern-day digitally mediated lives, we are experiencing advancements in technology that accelerate how we live, work, play and learn. We live in a world where work is increasing in complexity and velocity and where people collaborate digitally across time zones and geographic boundaries to get that work done. In this increasingly flat, transparent, digitally mediated and globally interconnected world, organizations or individuals that cannot adapt as quickly as the digital context within which they operate are destined to go the way of the dinosaur. As training professionals we have not taken sufficient time to ponder the profound impact that the Web technologies will have on our own work in service of the dynamic networked organization. So far we have primarily been “paving cow paths” by applying Web technologies to automate and improve age-old learning processes and methods with very little serious consideration as to how we might leverage those technologies to enable different modalities of enterprise-wide learning on a global scale. In our haste to jump on the e-learning bandwagon, we have automated the past—bad assumptions and all. We have failed to fully leverage the social and collaborative aspects of the Web to allow learning to flourish informally within and across the enterprise, let alone the world. We have yet to fully understand how to tap into the impact of just-in-time access to people and information within the dynamic networked organization context as a powerful and productive complement to just-in-case instruction prior to engaging in work activity. If we were to visualize the Internet as an adaptive learning ecosystem where people are represented as nodes in a pervasive and persistent virtual network that is aware of who and where they are, what they are capable of doing, and, perhaps more important, what they are keenly interested in doing, would it make a difference in how we make decisions regarding the application of technology to learning? Would we stop leveraging technology to pave training cow paths and start building the next-generation learning platforms that power the dynamic networked organization? To my mind, we don’t need new technology to help enterprises learn how to adapt on an ongoing basis, we need new thinking about we ourselves can leveraging existing technology in new ways to unleash innovative capacity that lies dormant within the traditional enterprise structure. Tony O’Driscoll is the executive director of the Center for Technology, Entertainment and Media (CTEM) at Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business. His most recent book, “Learning in 3D: Bringing a New Dimension to Enterprise Learning and Collaboration,” explores how emerging Web technologies are transforming the learning landscape within organizations. E-mail Tony. 11 TrainingIndustry Quarterly, Winter 2011 / A Training Industry, Inc. ezine /

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

Training Industry Quarterly - Winter 2011
Element K
From Where I Sit: Your 2011 Action Plan
Table of Contents
Ad Index
Training Industry Top 20
At the Editor's Desk: Becoming Enablers
Raytheon Professional Services
Performance & Productivity: The Power of Conversations
Learning Technologies: Paving Cow Paths for Dinosaurs?
Technical Training: Talent Management & Technical Training
Partnering for Performance Conference
Learning 2020: Thinking about the Future of Learning
Cornerstone On Demand
Cover Report: Proving Training's Value: Linking Training to Business Outcomes
The Training Associates
Tactics Feature: 7 Solutions for Workforce Training
Harvard Business Publishing
Strategies Feature: Onboarding: A Driving Force for Employee Engagement
Hemsley Fraser
Solutions Feature: Making Informal Learning Real
Training Industry Quarterly
CaseBook: Habitat for Humanity: Training Under Construction
Tracking Trends: The Big Shift
Closing Arguments: Focusing on the Future
Delta College Corporate Services

Training Industry Quarterly - Winter 2011