Technology Infusion

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When I wrote about deeper learning last week I didn’t expect it to be so well-read. Since then, I’ve had a feeling the last element, technology, might be the most anticipated.

LnD has a difficult relationship with technology for learning. Please note my choice of words; this isn’t about learning technology, the proprietary software, and systems which we buy to track activity but the technology which we can use to help people learn. That means the day to day tech like the mobile and the office systems and platforms which we’re switched into every day.

LnD has a slight fetish for the shiny shiny learning technology systems and the desire to create ‘engaging learning’. What often happens are more interesting ways to put words on a screen with plenty of input data to justify its purchase.

What causes relationship issues between LnD and technology? I think it’s partly a product of the previous shifts described by Scott McLeod. The fixation we have on doing things the way we did them and the lack of agency leads us into proprietary platforms to maintain the culture and control. I doubt this is the intended purpose but it means LnD is described as the learning police to manage the compliance across the business.

When did LnD last tell the business that we didn’t need a learning system and that using the tools people engaged within work were good enough?

This unpreparedness to let go also comes from a lack of technical skills. That may be to do with technology but is more likely to do with understanding data. As I mentioned recently, collecting the right data matters and our adherence to discrete current technology platforms means we can bypass demands for data which supports accurate performance improvement measures.

The real shift, which infusion in technology provides, is the ability to build support networks and enjoy the benefits of communities of practice and interest on a global scale. For the LnD professional this loss of control can be embraced as a way of people finding support for their ‘real work’. Another LnD professional might see this as a threat. Which are you?

You’re reading this blog post on an independent website, linked through Twitter or LinkedIn, suggesting you are one of the outliers. How do we help people who aren’t as engaged as you, to understand the shifts they need to make?

One thought on “Technology Infusion

  1. I’m a Learning Technologist (or as we’re beginning to prefer, for the reasons you outline above, Digital Learning Advisors) at a university, supporting professional and academic colleagues.

    I agree – my biggest hobby-horse is: just because you CAN use a clicky-clicky-bling-bling approach, doesn’t mean you SHOULD. And if a colleague can’t, then I’ll work to find their digital literacy level, and conjure up a solution using technologies that they’re reasonably familiar and comfortable with. It’s amazing how quickly, with small, safe steps like these, we gain confidence, experience and enthusiasm.

    The question is, what platforms are our digital-averse colleagues using? I guess we need to reach them through those. Facebook? Paper magazines? Newsletters / emails?


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