The next generation of learning professionals is already making a huge contribution to our industry – here are a few names you should watch for.
Learning and development is evolving at a faster pace than ever before. Since the advent of mass digital learning, technological innovations have been shaping the way that people learn, and how we help them achieve learning outcomes from big data to virtual reality and artificial intelligence.
Many of these changes are being driven by pioneers who often don't get the same attention as the stalwarts of the past. They take a different perspective and seek to disrupt conventional wisdom.
Let's look at some of the trailblazers who we see quietly revolutionising the world of learning. They are not listed here in any order and they're not the only ones. The aim of this article is to inspire and perhaps give you some new perspective on the future of learning.
1. Massive Open Online Courses – Dr. Hannah Gore, Talent Development Manager, Solera
Hannah is 'making waves in technology-based learning'. She describes herself as someone who's a naturally strategic thinker that enjoys challenges that her roles over the years have brought.
After gaining a bronze in ‘Learning Professional of the Year’ last year, she was a Learning Awards 2020 finalist. Her doctoral thesis ‘Engagement of Learners Undertaking Massive Open Online Courses is available via the Open University website. One for your book club perhaps…
You can follow her on Twitter @HRGore.
2. Mobile Learning – Benjamin Ridgway, Founder & Director, Yap Technology
Benjamin may have flown under your radar. But his Staffordshire-based company is blazing a trail in mobile learning. Even if you don’t know him, the award committees do, having won no less than five mobile learning awards in 2019.
His innovative approach brings children’s stories to life through sights, sounds and speech, providing an immersive and memorable reading experience. For those who wanted learning success to be child’s play, Yap has made that a reality.
Follow their journey on Twitter @yapbooks
3. Transformation Design – Danny Seals, Experience Design Architect, GP Strategies
Manchester-based Danny Seals is an experience design architect and consultant at GP Strategies. The purpose of his work is to create 'strategic change through transformational design'. Essentially, he believes that solutions to challenges can often lie in design and that experience design can fill in unanswered questions around learning.
Follow @TheDannySeals on Twitter or his podcast alter-ego The Mind Chimp.
4. Virtual Reality – Sophie Costin, Head of Learning Design, Make Real
Heard of Sophie Costin? Even if you’ve seen (or interacted with) Make Real’s award-winning ‘Working at Height’ VR campaign for Vodafone, she’d barely get a name check. But after stints at Kineo and Brightwave, her new gig is spearheading learning and development based on immersive technologies that will make you feel what you learn.
Follow @MakeRealVR on Twitter, or for the full visual experience check out their YouTube videos.
5. AI – Chris Littlewood, Director of Data Science and Innovation, Filtered
Following stints at both Oxford & Cambridge universities, Chris became a Higgs-Boson researcher at CERN. For the past decade, he has been leading the charge at London-based Filtered to use AI algorithms to make learning recommendations. As the world moves to the adoption of learning experience platforms and learning record store, such algorithms will become as central to L&D as Google is to search.
Follow @filtered_chris on Twitter.
6. Adaptive learning – Glynn Willet, Co-founder, MobyMax
One from across the pond now. Glynn Willet is a co-founder of MobyMax, deserved winners of a 2019 EdTech Award for Best Adaptive Technology Solution. His goal was “enabling all children to learn twice as fast.” And he achieved this by automatically assigning lessons based on students’ diagnostic results, ensuring they practice skills they need to work on, not those they’ve mastered.
Follow @MobyMax on Twitter.
7. Gamification – Pawel Bendor, Training & Development Manager, Alior Bank
So, what can I learn from a provincial Polish Bank? It turns out, quite a bit. With the help of Westhill Consulting, Pawel Bendor introduced a new 'Digital Rebel' strategy. His Project Leader Academy 3.0 delivers leadership and personal competencies training, and lasts for 18 months! How does he keep them engaged? Clever, effective and award-winning gamified learning.
Find out more (in English) on the Game Hill website.
8. Content curation/video-learning – Jake Millar & Yuuki Ogino, Co-founders, Unfiltered
Finally, a duo from New Zealand, currently residing in New York. At Unfiltered, Jake and Yuuki aim to help aspiring entrepreneurs and creators gain the business skills they need to achieve their goals. To do this, they’ve built a platform that curates video interviews with many of the world's most successful entrepreneurs and business leaders. They must be doing something right to attract 27 million video views and a place on Forbes 30 under 30 in 2019.
This article was originally published by Training Zone, a key destination for L&D professionals to seek guidance, opinions and up-to-date information on learning developments and trends.
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