Learning + Technology Trends for 2011


By Holly MacDonald

Now is the time of year when trends are forecast all over the blogosphere.  Here is my take on things that will trend in 2011 when it comes to learning.

Mobile – we are going to see a big upswing in mobile learning due to iPad competitors that we’ll start seeing.  The iPad launched at the Consumer Electronic Show (CES) this time last year.  Check out what’s happening this year.  The smartphones have really branched out into the business marketplace as well.  These devices aren’t just for checking your email anymore.  They are powerful pocket computers and we’ll see more organizations using them to deliver short learning bursts.

Augmented Reality – we’ll see more of this in 2011. Think Star Trek’s holodeck or a virtual reality mask.  Augmented reality is where you can use technology to overlay information on to objects, webpages, etc.  Check out some descriptions here: http://www.howstuffworks.com/augmented-reality.htm

QR codes – this is a digital bar code which can be attached to physical objects. You use your smart phone to read the digital bar code and your physical object links you to a URL with more information, video, game, etc.  This blogger tells you how you might use them in training situations.  Very cool stuff!

Video – is going to hit the business world as well.  The ability to create and share videos for learning is endless, even intranets include video-centric and with Flip cameras which will include pico projectors, we’ll be able to have a pocket device that can be used on the shop floor to capture and show all sorts of performance scenarios.  Add in the mash-up ability and social components and you’ve got recorded learning in any situation.

Social learning will continue to rise as twitter/facebook middleware continues to grow and all our new mobile devices link in to our social sites.

What about non-tech stuff?

Budgets will bounce back. First to get cut, but last to be reinstated: the training budgets. Leadership will continue to get lots of corporate attention.  Learning analytics will get a much needed overhaul as groups like TEKRI pop open the hood with this MOOC (Massive Open Online Course).

If you don’t believe me, maybe you’ll listen to  the eLearning coach: http://theelearningcoach.com/elearning2-0/2011-learning-technology-trends/

Holly MacDonald is an independent consultant with well over 15 years of experience in the learning & development field.  Holly is a bit of a techno-geek and can often be found playing online.  When she steps away from her computer, she spends time outside: hiking, kayaking, gardening and of course walking the dog.  She lives on Saltspring Island and is a leader in the live/work revolution.

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  1. Hi Holly,
    Thanks for the mention. Yes, your readers should listen to at least one of us! Wish you the best in the coming year.
    Connie Malamed (a.k.a. The eLearning Coach)

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