Learning trends: From hype to (augmented) reality

Having now been working in learning and development for more years than I like to admit (ahem), I have been exposed to varying degrees of hype surrounding new trends over the years. Once upon a time it was virtual classrooms, followed by mobile learning, social learning, collaborative learning, MOOCs…the list goes on. There’s possibly a point to be made about how we love to label things in L&D and just how appropriate – or necessary – those labels are but that’s for another post.

Crazy shoes...a wearable trend? Maybe not! Photo credit: Flickr CC.

Crazy shoes…a wearable trend? Maybe not!

Now I like a trend as much as the next girl (florals for Spring anyone?) but all too often, just like some of the wilder designer garments that brave the catwalks of Paris and London, the hype doesn’t translate into the real world. And the so called trends just aren’t practical or usable for the average Joe. So what pleases me is when some of the hype does actually start to trickle down into use within organisations and real applications are found for these clever ideas and innovations.

I’ve been pleased to see the guys at Rustici start to share case studies of how xAPI (or Tin Can API) is now being used within organisations. This has been a trend that’s been very popular in terms of chatter and discussion but with very few real world examples. Gamification and Open Badges are other trends that are seeping into the consciousness and becoming less hype and more a recognised approach to encourage learner engagement.

HR Tech Europe logoWith the HR Tech Europe event coming up next week, I was struck by the fact that much of the Future of Workforce Learning stream consists of case studies that are also talking about recent trends. One on augmented reality stands out a mile. Now my eLearning Network colleague Andy Nock has done some clever stuff with AR in the automotive industry but I have heard of very little else taking place within corporate L&D. I shall be waiting to see how it’s being applied in Zurich with baited breath!

Fiona Leteney‘s session will also touch on Tin Can API and how Bupa is successfully harnessing a social approach to learning internally. And a case study from Ericsson will share how trendy technologies are completely transforming their learning function – including video sharing (an internal YouTube), webinars (used to such an extent they have created a ‘virtual campus’) and a resources (not courses) based approach consisting of shorter pieces of online content.

I always enjoy conference sessions on theory with insight from the experts, but case studies that share experiences of implementation, successes and even mistakes are the sessions I find most useful. I’ll be sharing what I hear on Tuesday 24th and Wednesday 25th March via the hashtag #HRTechEurope and some reflections right here on my blog. Stay tuned for updates!

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About kategraham23

Start-up founder, writer, connector, librarian's daughter. Interested in learning, HR, technology, online, media, marketing, fashion and cricket. Not always in that order. The views expressed here are solely my own and do not reflect the thoughts and opinions of the company I work for currently, or those I've worked for in the past.
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