Here Today. Gone Tomorrow?

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Earlier this week Henry Cloke posted an interesting question to the Learning Education and Training Professionals Group on LinkedIn.  I thought I’d repost his question here, provide my answer and then hopefully my silent readers might comment with their answers.

Henry asked, What’s the biggest trend in the learning technologies space (and is it here to stay)?  He put forward six candidates:

  • mLearning – do we really learn on our mobile devices?
  • Bite-sized learning – linked to the rise of mLearning, isn’t this just good practise… didn’t we know this years ago?
  • Gamification – surely it’s time to go beyond badges, points and leaderboards?
  • Game-based learning – expensive and difficult to implement
  • Virtual Reality – expensive and difficult to implement
  • Personalisation – again, this is just good practise – is the industry really just realising this?
  • xAPI – the group added this tool to the list by concensus

My answer to his question was:

Mobile learning is going to stick simply because that is where consumers are heading for everything they do. Mobile will be more than just phones, it will be the Internet of Things (IoT) and if we are on the ball, we’ll figure out how to build learning into the workplace IoT.

Bite-sized learning has been around for a long time. I personally believe it’s best use will be as we embed learning into the everyday tools that employees use (the old just-in-time concept). Gamification of learning isn’t new either. Remember the bookworm in elementary school that you got to add a section to every time you turned in a book report?

I agree that xAPI is a trend that will be with us for a while and is going to make SCORM an artifact of our history. But just as new capabilities in technology and the needs of L&D drove the birth of xAPI, it will be replaced down the road by a new standard that addresses issues we are yet unaware of.

What do you think?  Are there other tools that you see trending that should on this list?  What do you think of the tools listed?  Do any have real value staying power?

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