By Tony O’Driscoll
Relationships, Reach, and Robots. These three discrete words may have a particular meaning to each of us prior to attending Learning 3.0, but after the conference, I hope they mean a whole lot more to those of us who spend our days designing, developing, and delivering learning.
As the world has become increasingly digitally interconnected, it also has become more complex and confusing. Today the mean time between decisions is shrinking at an alarming rate and the amount of information surrounding each of those decisions is expanding at an even more alarming one. At Learning 3.0, it will be made clear that the digital world we live in has literally become too big for anyone to know, and most of us are beginning to feel the effects of digital vertigo. We now find ourselves in the midst of a Digital Divide of a Different kind—one where technology is proliferating, time is compressing, information is exploding, and change is accelerating.
As we navigate these seemingly permanent white water conditions of accelerating rates of change, “Business as Usual”—an environment where outcomes were predictable and the knowledge base needed to achieve those outcomes was stable—is rapidly devolving into “Business Unusual”—an environment where outcomes cannot be predicted in advance and where the knowledge base needed to make forward progress emerges in real time as business leaders grapple incessantly with ongoing uncertainty. As learning professionals, we need to pause to consider what we can do to support those we serve in navigating the permanent white water of “Business Unusual.”
Over the last 20 years, the Web has evolved from being a tool that allowed people to access information to a worldwide platform that we use to connect, communicate, coordinate, collaborate, and act collectively in real time. At Learning 3.0, we will see first-hand how this new platform has been leveraged to literally blow up the concept of the classroom. As learning professionals, we need to consider the opportunities and challenges we will face as organizations and institutions look to break the boundaries of the traditional classroom by leveraging this next-generation learning platform to reach a worldwide audience at a scale and price point that was inconceivable a decade ago.
Technology has not only been progressing on the connectivity front, it has been improving by leaps and bounds in other ways, too. Jeopardy star Ken Jennings’ personal story might very well become a much more familiar one over the next decade as we enter the era of what IBM calls “cognitive computing.” As learning professionals, we need to consider a world where machines have the ability to learn some things just as effectively as humans do and figure out how we leverage this newfound cognitive computing capability to allow people to focus on what they do best while computers do the rest.
In Ireland we have a saying: “If you are not confused, you don’t understand.” My guess is that coming out of Learning 3.0 you likely will experience your own case of digital vertigo. If so, we will have succeeded. Creating this feeling of disequilibrium was actually our design intent for the conference.
Einstein often is credited with having said, “Today’s problems cannot be solved with the same level of thinking that created them.” At Learning 3.0, our goal is to create enough discomfort with the status quo to encourage you to take your thinking to a new level about how the coming changes in Relationships, Reach, and Robots will require us to conceive of our own step change in how we design, develop, and deliver learning for the next generation.
Confused? I hope so! Now all we have to do is rethink everything to change the game in learning as we go from Learning as Usual to Learning Unusual.
Learning 3.0 Conference
Certificates: October 22-23, 2012 Conference: October 24-25, 2012
McCormick Place, Chicago, IL
Training 2013 Conference & Expo
Certificates: Feb. 15-17, 2013
Conference: Feb. 18-20, 2013
Expo: Feb. 18-19, 2013
Disney’s Coronado Springs Resort
Walt Disney World, FL
Learning Live + Online
Certificates and Clinics
Tony O’Driscoll is an executive director at Duke Corporate Education. His most recent book, “Learning in 3-D: Bringing a New Dimension to Enterprise Learning and Collaboration,” explores how emerging Web technologies are transforming the learning landscape within organizations.