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988 - Where Has All The Learning Gone? CES Report #2

Elliott Masie’s Learning TRENDS - January 10, 2018.
#988 - Updates on Learning, Business & Technology Since 1997.
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“Where Has All the Learning Gone?” Report #2 from Consumer Electronics Show - Las Vegas: 

Hello from Las Vegas - There are now almost 176,000 people attending this year’s Consumer Electronics event - from all over world - exploring thousands of new and evolving technologies.  As a media person covering this event, I have been focusing on the learning elements of emerging technologies and the implications of new tech on the workplace.  Here is a big personal observation: 

Where Has All the Learning Gone?” My friend and performer, Peter Yarrow (Peter, Paul & Mary) sings a powerful song about “Where Have All the Flowers Gone”.   I thought about the song yesterday as I visited almost 400 exhibits and technology demonstrations. 

Learning is Everywhere But Rarely Branded!  There are buildings and aisles filled with Health Tech, Retail Tech, Automobile Tech, Video Tech, Security Tech, Sports Tech, Home Tech, Travel Tech and more.  So, one might expect that one could find dedicated areas for education and/or learning?  Nope. 

The technologies that are popping intoo the marketplace  often include the sub-processes for learning and education.  Phrases like these are in the literature and from the mouths of the technology innovators. They say proudly - “Our Product Does:” 

* Inform!
* Coach!
* Guide!
* Simulate!
* Assess!
* Connect!
* Correct!
* Predict!
* Engage!
* Prevent!
* Facilitate! 

Yet, few say that their innovations are about “Learning” and there are few groups that target learning or education as part of their go-to-market strategy.  In some ways, it flows from the sense that retailers do not directly target education as a category in their stores.  And, some would wrongly state that customers are not ready to spend on education-focused products that would assist performance or careers. 

But, we may need to look at our field’s branding and engagement with the evolving technologies to better Brand and Position Learning, Education and Skills as some of the investments that individuals and enterprises will make to enhance and optimize people and processes. 

So, “Where Has All the Learning Gone?”  EdTech and Learning Professionals should recognize these shifts and opportunities: 

* The worker (or consumer) is rarely wanting to “go back to school” - so they may avoid things that look and feel like class.  They jump on a TED Talk Video (that has awesome design and outcome structure) but don’t want to take a small class on the same item.  

* Learning will be embedded and integrated into more and more products and environments.  Our expertise as learning producers could be seen in building the coaching framework for a health product that informs or builds skills for the patient.  Yet, that product will not be sold or even seen as an Education or Learning product. 

* Learning will be triggered more and more by customers’ curiosity, actions, data and other elements.  Sure, we will continue to build and deliver Compliance and Job-Specific Requirements - but learning will be less about a single event that one registers for.  Learning must be woven into spaces and cultures and larger product sets. 

* There is a marketplace for enhancing and developing Skills, Career Paths, Education Points and Personal Development.  But, the Consumer side of the market is undernourished and poorly focused.  I can imagine an amazing building at a future CES that is focused on how we, as consumers and workers, will Optimize our Learning and Performance. 

Stay tuned for a report tomorrow on Technologies that may impact Learning and Development in the years ahead.  I am going to the VR and Mixed Media areas and also diving deeper into the Health and Safety areas of CES.

If you have any questions, please send me a note to 

More perspectives to come.

Yours in learning, 

Elliott Masie
Twitter: @emasie 

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