When Two Worlds Collide

Join us for this #chat2lrn on Thursday, February 2, 2012 at 16.00GMT/ 11.00EST. And tell your colleagues to join us! (Check the How to join in the chat link for more information.)

There are many disconnects between the world of education and the world of work, and many of us feel that they are getting wider, especially in light of the world’s  economic problems. Entering the workplace involves different cultural issues, expectations, access, information, and technologies than the world of education.

Finishing school or getting a degree is not enough, especially in the current economic  climate. Graduates and school leavers need to know what employers are looking for, and then prepare themselves for the skills and attributes that organizations are looking for. They need to understand the world of work and how to work in an environment where not only are there often many more constraints, but also where the rules and protocols are not as obvious as they were in school or at university. As an employee, you frequently have to make decisions on your own and need to learn how to use a number of different tools, protocols and devices, often with little or no help or time. You also need workplace survival skills!

Where are the ‘new-to-the-workforce’ workers supposed to get these skills? From their educational experience or from the workplace, or both?

Those of us who support learning in the workplace probably don’t spend enough time considering the learning and workplace ‘survival’ needs of those who are coming to us from school and university and yet, it’s an important issue, worthy of our consideration. Likewise, schools and universities don’t seem to place enough emphasis on how to ease the transitions from ‘there’ to ‘here’.

However, some changes are afoot, both in the world of work and in primary/elementary and secondary/high school education to try and remove some of the disconnects. The question remains though, will these changes be sufficient to prevent the two tribes  (education and work) going to war and the inevitable outcome?

Before participating in this #chat2lrn take a look at these 3 articles, all of which make a number of very important observations with regard to this debate:

Nic Laycock: Doing the same things – but not sure learners see it that way http://niclaycock.blogspot.com/2012/01/doing-same-things-but-not-sure-learners.html

Steve Wheeler: Border crossings http://steve-wheeler.blogspot.com/2012/01/border-crossings.html

CBI – Future Fit: Preparing graduates for the world of work http://www.universitiesuk.ac.uk/Publications/Documents/FutureFit.PDF

Further reading:

Mark Sheppard (@elearningguy) has written a blog post reflecting on the discussion https://elearningguy.wordpress.com/2012/02/04/reflections-on-chat2lrn-the-businesseducation-gap/

Company and Business Law Advice: What do your children need to know to succeed in today’s world?  http://www.med08.org/what-do-your-children-need-to-know-to-succeed-in-todays-world-and-what-can-you-do-to-help-them-at-school-and-at-home.htm

Questions from today’s chat

Q1) What major skills gaps do you see in people coming from education that make it hard for them to adapt to your organization? #chat2lrn

Q2) What role do school and universities have in readying students for the world of work? #chat2lrn

Q3) What role do organizations have in helping new graduates adapt to the world of work? #chat2lrn

Q4) What does the world of education need to do to encourage the learning needed for success in the workplace? #chat2lrn

Q5) How are current economic realities in both worlds exacerbating these problems? #chat2lrn

QWrap) Chatting is great…but reflection and action are better. What is your ‘take away’ from our chat? #chat2lrn

Ch-ch-ch-ch-Changes – Learning Scenarios – how is your world changing?

Forty years ago, in January 1972, David Bowie released the iconic song Changes.  Later that year, Atari launched their first video game, Pong, which interestingly enough was developed as a training exercise.  However in 1972, if you wanted to play Pong, you would have to go to a games arcade as it was another three years before the home version became available. Ten years later, in 1982, we were introduced to the Sinclair ZX Spectrum.

By the time we reached 1992 the term “Surfing the Internet” had been coined by Jean Armour Polly and by 2002, although mobile phones were becoming a part of our lives, we didn’t have 3G phones in the UK for another two years!  So now we find ourselves in 2012 and David Bowie has just turned 65.

As for technology, we take it for granted and when something goes wrong it can affect tens of millions of users and hit the headlines .  The impact technology has on our personal and working lives is something we could not have imagined forty years ago.  It has also changed the way we can access learning, if we want to find out about something, we simply ‘google’ it or pose a question on one of our social networks.

Technology is also having a huge impact on learning in the workplace, but in an ever changing world where will this take us? The pace of change is increasing exponentially and companies are going to have to keep reinventing themselves to even maintain their position in the marketplace never mind improve it.  There is going to be even more pressure for employees to continually improve performance and learn new skills.  So what will learning in the workplace look like ten years from now and what does the future hold for the corporate learning organisation?

This was the one of the challenges given to those who attended the Business Educa strand of Online Educa in December 2011. The outcome was the development of four different scenarios.   Not all of us could attend Online Educa, but we can now all contribute.

Working on the premise that learning is an integral and important constituent of any organisation’s process, it is important that those of us who seek to apply our expertise in the field are aware of the broad environment in which we operate. We live in a fast changing and uncertain world, so taking a bit of time to look at some possible scenarios for the future will help us understand both the freedoms and constraints that we are likely to encounter in the years ahead.  Understanding where our organisations are positioned and therefore the challenges they are likely to face in continuing their success in that changed world is critical to “learning people” understanding how to position and apply the new technology and understanding of the learning process to help ensure that success. BusinessEduca produced some possible scenarios to be used in wider debate about where and how learning will change.

As you read these scenarios ask yourself “What is my view of the world as it will be in 2022?”  Laura Overton , Managing Director of Towards Maturity has written an article summarising them. We will share those ideas and what leads from them when we tweet together in #chat2lrn on Thursday 19 January at 16.00 GMT/11.00 EST

Questions from today’s chat

Q1) On the scenario model, where do you see your organisation now?

Q2) What will the world be like in 2020, economically, socially, technologically?

Q3) What major changes does that vision suggest for organisations?

Q4) What changes will be required for learning in supporting organisations?

Q5) What opportunities open up for learning to add value to organisations?

and as promised, lets carry on the conversation:

Q6) What risks exist and how can they be overcome?

You can find a transcript of the tweetchat that took place here

Welcome to chat2lrn!

So what is #chat2lrn

It is a place for people interested in the topic of Learning who use the social messaging service Twitter to learn from one another.   Our chats will explore and discuss how the social and business environment, especially the digital experience is changing the world and how that impacts learning and the way that we operate and function within it.

#chat2lrn will last an hour and take place every two weeks at 4.00pm GMT/BST on a Thursday commencing 19th January 2012.

Prior to every session @chat2lrn will tweet a link to articles/blog posts that will be discussed during the chat.  This will give participants the opportunity to think about the topic and what impact that may have on their working lives, the organisation they work for and the service they are delivering to the organisations and learners they support.  Following the discussion, a record of the discussion will be posted on the #chat2lrn blog as well as a summary of the key points.  This will allow us all to reflect and comment, following which we can either park it for the time being or come back to it in the future.

Why should I take part #chat2lrn?

It will give you the opportunity to discuss current topics with other Learning Professionals from all over the world.  Since the early #lrnchat closed, we have been asking people who used to take part whether they would be interested in participating in something similar and the overwhelming response has been “Yes!” and “When will it start??!!”  We have had interest from the UK, the USA, Canada and South Africa as well as other European countries.  As far as we know, now that #lrnchat is no longer doing an early session, there is no other regular tweetchat that will allow you to discuss how the digital world is affecting the way that we support and develop performance in the workplace.

Ok…sounds interesting, but who is running it?

We see this as being a community effort, but you are right, somebody has to make sure that the blog is kept up to date, the discussion is both topical and interesting and we don’t get infiltrated by spammers!  So far those who have put their heads above the parapet are Lesley Price, Nic Laycock, Judith Christian-Carter, Ollie Gardener, Patti  Shank and Meg Bertapelle aka @lesleywprice, @alc47,  @JudithELS, @olliegardener @pattishank and @megbertapelle

Sounds good…how do I join in?

The online chat (#chat2lrn) happens every second Thursday at 16.00 GMT/BST, starting on January 19th. The “#” sign, known as a hashtag enables you to search for #chat2lrn and participate in the discussion. You can also use live-chat services such as TweetChat and TweetGrid or even seek out #chat2lrn in Twitter search. @chat2lrn will post the topic for discussion on the chat2lrn blog the weekend before the chat and also start sending tweets inviting you to join in.

Why set up a new regular twitterchat?

#lrnchat runs every Thursday 8.30 – 10pm EST/1.30- 3.00GMT and for about a year, until in October 2011,  the organisers also ran an early session starting at 16.30GMT/9.30EST.  The early session ran at a time meant that tweeps in EMEA  could take part and join in the conversation without having to stay up until the early hours of the morning. Each session used the same format and lasted for an hour and a half.  It had a truly global flavour and gave us all the opportunity to discuss topics of common interest, share experiences and learn from each other in real time.  Unfortunately, the early session ended in October 2011, so unless you have the stamina to stay up until the early hours, then the only opportunity to join in now to read the transcripts and comment on them. Don’t know about you folks, but @chat2lrn needs beauty sleep…otherwise my bright colours may begin to fade :-(.

So I thought I would gather together some people together who would help me. So far I have got six tweeps who have said we like your colours and we also miss the early #lrnchat…they are the crew!  They are great,  but I could always do with new and fresh ideas.  So if you have a topic that you are really interested in…email me chat2lrn@gmail.com.  If you would like to be a crew member and help run the chat…the more the merrier..so same applies either email or contact me on twitter @chat2lrn.