Adapting to Learning Technology – Like Riding a Bike?

It’s been a while since my blog post. It has been very interesting times, as ‘austerity’ measures dig in. People and organisations now appear to work with insecurity as a given and attempt to manage outcomes which are increasingly unknown but which still need to be managed all the same. 

Whilst the world of e-learning and learning technology move on a-pace, there are still those laggard organisations that don’t seem to be able to integrate learning technologies in a seamless and intuitive way. 

Many people still view Learning Technologies as an IT issue…to be dealt with by IT. Now as L&D pro’s we are well aware of the wide chasm that can exist between IT departments and their compadre’s in the Learning and Development function. This means that in order to move any agenda forward to embed the use of technology as integral parts of the learning process, IT need to be involved as early as possible. 

Even with all indications, research and widespread adoption in some companies using Learning Technologies, there is still an element of fear in some organisations, of  how some tools can be abused. How will organisational privacy can be protected etc. The fear also comes from leaving the comfort zone, and doing something new, therefore inviting failure.

So how do we move these organisations forward? I’m going to use an analogy of a teaching a small child to ride a bike. We don’t hand the child said bike and tell them to get on with it. No.

  1. First we support the child as he or she learns to co-ordinate new movements. 
  2. We provide guidance.
  3. We praise unsuccessful attempts and reorient child and bike. 
  4. We provide encouragement for success.
  5. When they have the hang of the basics and are happy riding the new bike…we might decide it’s time to remove the stabilizers. This may mean repeating some of the original learning steps. 

We have to acknowledge that organisations, like children grow, learn and adapt at different paces.

Sometimes, the more mature the organisations, the more there may be to unlearn. Have you ever tried teaching an adult to ride a bike? Aside from being harder to teach an old dog new tricks…they are bloody heavy 🙂


Image courtesy of flickr commons


Singer/Songwriter Learning & Development Consultant Good Egg

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