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What technology will be driving adult Learning and Development in 10 years from now?

There is a lot happening in the technology space, and in the adult learning and development space. can you predict, what will be the future of adult learning, specifically from the technology side? Lets discuss.

10 Replies

Stephen Williams
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CTO & cofounder at Change My Path
We've come up with a lot of ideas that we've been building. We're combining gaming & simulation with a methodology for capturing and mapping concepts, plus a lot more features to make it work. We're looking for a little more investment to get there; we're close.
Lester de Souza
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Lester de Souza Entrepreneur
Counsel, Barrister & Solicitor at DE SOUZAS
Sudhakar - do you mean in 10 months or 10 years? If you know someone who can say what the world will look like in 10 years I would like to know about them. Stephen - are you with Sudhakar or is the 'we' in your comment a different group? I am curious which adults would want to game their learning? For both of you, please don't misunderstand - not saying it doesn't make sense - just who is the target customer? In 10 years a 20 year old now will be 30 which is a different person than a 40 year old now who will be 50 then. These are different learning styles and technology expectations.
Sudhakar I. Prabu - Consultant, Coach, Facilitator
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Optimizing Organizational Performance | Leadership Development | Learning and Development Strategy
@Stephen - Gaming and Simulation highly engaging, Will be interesting to know how you conceptualize learning modules, assessment, feedback into gaming and simulations. Like to discuss more with you. lets connect over skype some time.
@Lester - technology is evolving and constantly changing, though it is difficult to predict exactly what will happen in 10 years we can surely spot the trends and direction in which it will go and based on that we can estimate what the state will be.
Stephen Williams
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CTO & cofounder at Change My Path
@Lester - The rest of my team. A lot of people are tired of painful and boring corporate training, companies are looking for more engaging methods, people can't get excited about taking formal or traditional classes, even online, and there are a wide range of people who could get better jobs if they started on an incremental learning program. Many people play video games, casual games, or Facebook games, at all ages. Many people would find an interactive experience more interesting, even if it is a new experience. We support text, video, and game / simulation lesson types for the same concepts and units so that people can learn in different or multiple ways, finding what works.
Renee Lewis
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Renee Lewis Advisor
President, Pensare Group
I entered the eLearning market in the late-'90s - early in the elearning market. Some of the work done by Joe Miller (techonomy.com/participant/joe-miller/simple) and Clark Quinn (http://www.quinnovation.com/About.html) has yet to be leveraged in wide-spread distribution. Joe used adaptive gaming techniques on emerging technologies that are easy to acquire today. We got into simulation and virtualization as well to support experiential learning. They would be the ones that I would love to hear from about what they see in the future from today's vantage point given the distribution channels and revenue models are remarkably different from the late-90's, and served as (productively) disruptive influence.
Stephen Williams
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CTO & cofounder at Change My Path
Note: If anyone is interested in supporting our progress, getting involved in some way, or hiring us to solve a training need, please let me know. We have a live demo, an explainer video, and we're close to rolling out a live system. But solving the what in a non-shallow way took investigation, and solving the how so that the result is a powerful, easily accessible, widely available web + mobile technology platform required breaking new ground in several ways. We have had solid funding, but we need to get to traction very soon.

Thanks for those references Renee, I find Clark Quinn's work, blog, and books relevant and useful.

Unfortunately, it seems that Joe Miller passed away in 2014. I haven't been able to find any details on his approaches. Do you have pointers? http://www.retrogamer.net/blog_post/in-memoriam-joe-miller/

Jay Cross also passed away in 2015. I already have at least one of his books. http://jarche.com/2015/11/farewell-jay-cross/

There are many older instructional / learning theories, some still useful: http://www.instructionaldesign.org/theories/index.html

Jerome Bruner died just last month at nearly 101; his bio and accomplishments are amazing. His books, even from the 60's and 70's, are still relevant and interesting. Of the older theorists, I find Bruner most interesting, most correct of anyone before the last 10-20 years. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aljvAuXqhds

My combined working theory combines all (that I can gather about) what we know about learning with a new way of looking at concepts that is an extension of Bruner's ideas:

http://infed.org/mobi/jerome-bruner-and-the-process-of-education/
http://www.simplypsychology.org/bruner.html
https://prezi.com/yerpzdw3oprh/bruners-theory-of-instruction/
http://www.myenglishpages.com/blog/implication-of-bruners-learning-theory-on-teaching/
http://www.instructionaldesign.org/theories/constructivist.html


Some interesting new teaching / learning theory, informed by a lot that we've learned about learning and neurology, plus what we now know about social networking, influence, machine learning. These are a few on my queue:

http://education.jhu.edu/PD/newhorizons/Journals/spring2010/thebraintargetedteachingmodel/
http://ww.braintargetedteaching.org/Media/Study%20Guide%20BTT%20for%2021st%20Century%20Schools.%20Corwin.pdf
http://braintargetedteaching.org/
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lsf5TwsAhHU
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3577286/

Acquiring Literacy Naturally https://mambo.ucsc.edu/wp-content/uploads/sites/158/2015/03/2012-07MassaroFinal2.pdf

And, finally, there have been some serious and comprehensive studies of education. In addition to the whole Common Core process, there is this:

http://www.oecd-ilibrary.org/education
The Nature of Learning https://www.oecd.org/edu/ceri/50300814.pdf
http://www.keepeek.com/Digital-Asset-Management/oecd/education/innovative-learning-environments_9789264203488-en

There is also an explosion of cognitive science which has many implications. These conference proceedings are a good example:
https://mindmodeling.org/cogsci2015/

There are also clear-thinking, experienced individuals who are distilling very interesting and useful knowledge from a variety of perspectives. I'm processing the following right now for the Concept Factoring paper (and training manual) I'm writing. The mental models he notes will make good examples of how to capture the essence of concepts and map them to experiential learning games and simulations.

https://medium.com/@yegg/mental-models-i-find-repeatedly-useful-936f1cc405d#.q8gaefy9t


Sharon McCarthy
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Sharon McCarthy Entrepreneur
Chief Marketing Officer
Virtual reality + machine learning...can't wait!
Joseph Wang
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Joseph Wang Entrepreneur
Chief Science Officer at Bitquant Research Laboratories
The web and mobile. Social media and maybe video.

One thing about education is that it's not a technology issue. It's a social, economic, and political issue, and those take a long time to change. The main technologies that will influence education are the ones that exist right now, and the next ten years will be to develop social, economic, and political structures that incorporate technologies that exist now, and that means web, mobile, and maybe video. Any technologies that get developed in the next ten years will take another ten to twenty years to get incorporated into a curriculum and how they get incorporated will be determined by social factors rather than technological ones.

Also the big thing that will drive adult learning and development will be how the world responds to the "Great Recession." A lot of the things that in this space have been developed with the pre-2008 world in mind, and what happens next depends on the economic and political forces that come out next. In particular, we now have an entire generation that is angry and coping with a world of diminished expectations, and we are all figuring out how to cope with this.

Gaming and simulations can be extremely useful, but the problem is that there is often not that much thought given into want you are trying to game and what you are trying to simulate, and what happens if it turns out that the simulation is wrong.

The problem with gaming is that there is a huge amount of knowledge about how to make people do certain things, and a most of that knowledge is intended to turn people into passive consumers of goods (i.e. drink this, buy this, vote for this). Applying that tech and mindset into adult education leads to a dystopian world, and there's been something of a backlash against that since the financial crisis. The promise of the pre-crisis world is that if you just be a good boy or girl, get the grades, then the corporate power structure will give you a nice house where you can spend the rest of your life consuming products. That's fallen apart.

One thing that I find scary is that if you go to a young person in 1968 and ask them to imagine the world in 2001, you get something that's pretty optimistic (i.e. Stanley Kubrick's 2001). Even the pessimistic visions of the future were things to be avoided (i.e. Planet of the Apes).

Ask a young person now what they think the world is going to be like in 2040, and you draw a blank stare. The problem is that people are angry and scared about the current situation, and to ask them to look ahead forty years is something that just terrifies people.

The technologies that will be important are those that let people imagine and change the future.
Clark Quinn
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Clark Quinn Advisor
Executive Director at Quinnovation
Thanks, Renee for the mention (and memories), and likewise Stephen for the vote of confidence. Yes, sadly, Joe Miller and Jay Cross have both passed away, but their legacy continues. Joe was responsible for the adaptive learning system we developed, and Jay was one of the foremost proponents of informal and social learning.

I wrote about new learning technologies recently. And I do like Bruner, but my favorite model is Cognitive Apprenticeship by Collins and Brown. However, when I put it together, I think the future will be continual meta-learning coaching.

What I mean here is a continual coaching model, that understands your current context and knows you and your goals and needs, and provides just the right minimal amount of support (whether content or connecting to a person) to both help you succeed in the moment and develop you in small bits over time (slow learning ;). It's an integration of sensors, semantics, and AI. Lots of barriers, lots of integration required, but it's doable now.

And, at the organizational level, I think L&D will be about nurturing the learning organization. My most recent book talks about where L&D could, and should, be going: deeper learning, and adding in performance support and facilitating innovation and agility.

Thanks, Sudhakar, for starting the conversation.
Renee Lewis
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Renee Lewis Advisor
President, Pensare Group
Hey,Clark Quinn! I'm sure you're working with Virtual Reality at this point, but if you want a connection to my friend Amy Nichols at bThere ([removed to protect privacy]) who has a really advanced film stitching tool and cloud server that makes some of the difficult part easy.

Check int he next time you're in DC! So sorry to hear about Joe and Jay. It's indeed a true lost and they will be remembered fondly.

Renee
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