Tuesday, 6 January 2009

My eLearning predictions for 2009


What will 2009 give us? Whatever we want it to give us, I imagine. And I imagine 2009 will give us: content, social media, educational policies and ... mobile learning.

First of all why should any of us learn? No matter how restricted your life has become, if you study you increase your chances to pick-up life once chances come along. My inspiring example: during imprisonment on Robben Island Nelson Mandela studied Bachelor of Laws from the University of London External Program. He never gave up hope and he kept investing in his knowledge and his future.

So let me give you my predictions for 2009. The media is filled with gloomy tidings these last few months. The world is in an economical crisis and both companies, organisations, institutions and especially the people in them will be affected by it. Traditionally eLearning, or training in general, is downsized during economically challenged periods... but will this be a wise thing in this case? No this time it would be the stupidest thing to do. Trust knowledge and expand it in your organisation.

I think that this time investing in (e)Learning will make or break companies and organizations. The world is evolving from an industrial age into a knowledge age, so content will become key in 2009. If a company can profile itself as a strong knowledgeable organisation/company, they will attract more people that are willing to collaborate with them. If your organisation is allowing its personal or employees to learn the latest in their field of expertise, it will make all the difference in any competitive market.

Partly because of this social media use will increase because it saves money as it keeps knowledge in a central place (quick retrievability, international access…). This is something all of the knowledge workers know, but that is not always seen as a positive evolution by management. But in this world one person no longer knows it all, it is our networks that make the difference and thanks to the networks knowledge workers and people around the world grow continuously.

Emerging and finalized educational policies will enable educational institutions to come to terms with new learning technologies. This will make a significant difference. In the past too much legislations suddenly banned new technologies (portables, cell phones, social media) from the classrooms. This resulted in a growing gap between the students' real life, their teachers and parents knowledge of new media and the new media that are out there. To ban new media from educational institutions will only result in bigger unwanted use of these new media. Policies can make students, teachers and parents aware of the dangers, but also of the benefits of using new technologies in the classroom.

Mobile learning will keep on growing. Especially in developing countries as landlines are skipped in those regions. Mobile learning is still missing solid educational frameworks and the use is not optimal yet, but ... more and more people use their mobile devices to get access to content and information.

I wish you all a fantastic 2009 in which you will see your wishes come true.