As a true seeker of constant opportunities to learn and engage with other talent development professionals, I attend a lot of events. After attending events, I like to take the time to reflect on the topic that was covered. Some events are more impactful than others. One such event that I am still reflecting on was the chapter’s recent event, “The Now & Next of Learning and Technology” facilitated by David Kelly.
David Kelly is the Executive Vice President and Executive Director for The eLearning Guild. It has been a few weeks since the event took place and I am still thinking about how to apply what I learned personally and how to share this new knowledge with others. The highlight of the event was a look at learning and technology and how it’s incorporated into people’s everyday lives. As I continue my reflection on this concept, I’ve organized my thoughts into three key takeaways:
1) How to think differently as a consultant about learning and technology to solve a problem.
2) What language I use when discussing learning and technology with others.
3) How I personally stay on top of current and emerging learning solutions and technology.
I started reflecting on how I think differently about learning and technology. As a consultant I want to help my clients solve a problem. Am I consistently taking a step back to really understand the problem and all the potential solutions that would be appropriate? Or, am I recommending the latest and coolest learning solution or technology? I really need to continue thinking about my bias towards new technology, as I like what’s new and shiny- much like other people do. For example, in my personal life, I purchased my mom an eReader (Kindle) for her birthday because she loves to read. I then purchased an iPad for her for Christmas because I thought she needed it. It’s funny that that the potential problem of having more things accessible, internet, email, etc. is not what she uses the iPad for. She simply uses the Kindle app on her iPad to read. I did not take a step back to ask if I was solving a problem, I purchased the new technology because it was cool.
My second key takeaway is around language. I need to ask myself, am I adjusting my language to communicate in a way that is tailored for my audience? Am I using Instructional Design terms? Do I translate the words appropriately so that my messaging or intent is not lost? For example, when I speak with my senior leaders and sharing potential solutions, do I use common terms that my stakeholders understand? Using business language will help influence an invitation to a strategic planning session.
The third takeway relates to my knowledge of current and emerging learning solutions and technology. Do I know enough about current technology trends to have a conversation with my business partners in order to help them understand if this is the best solution? There will be times when they are hearing the latest buzz words related to learning and technology and they will ask for these solutions. What am I personally doing to know the terms and gain a foundational understanding in order to ask the right questions? At the very least, I should know the description and pros/cons of the relevant technology in order to consult with my clients.
In my professional and personal journey, I find that my membership in local and national professional organizations continue to increase in value on so many levels. It’s the experiences through these organizations that trigger deep reflection moments and great conversation topics. Applying just these three key takeaways from this local event will make me a more effective business partner.