For organizations, the paradigm of workplace learning remains focused on internal development of staff, on the premise that staff need to be learning to improve, if only to keep their knowledge and competencies current.
In the past, education advocates struggled to gain recognition for the need to continually learn in the workplace. Opening workplace learning was difficult to justify or finance due to the economy of effort required to deploy educational activities.
In today’s hyper-connected world, organizations can no longer afford to restrict their educational activities to their own staff. Nor can they rationally allow for such activities to be limited to ad hoc face-to-face ‘trainings’ that do not scale. They need to reach their target audiences through education if they want the knowledge they produce to have more than superficial impact.
This is part and parcel of sustainability. Closed learning restricted to the workplace is the knowledge economy equivalent of strip-mining.
Photo: Opencast Mine, Germany (TablinumCarlson/Flickr).