Mission accomplished

Reda SadkiThinking aloud

We won.

  • The former school teacher and humanitarian trainer who argued vociferously that nothing would ever supplant face-to-face training is now running a MOOC.
  • The training manager who refused to consider e-learning is now running a distance learning, scenario-based simulation. People he trains are now working remotely – and a simulation, dirt-cheap and run by e-mail, is closer to modelling the real world than is the artificially and unrealistically “safe space” of the high-cost, low-volume training room. Work went through digital transformation before “training” did.
  • The old-school learning and development manager is getting certified to run webinars. Through practice, she has surprised herself by how much she feels when running a session.
  • A digital course run ahead of a face-to-face workshop mobilized ten times as many (people), for ten times less (money). Course participants produced tangible artefacts, directly applicable to work, through collaboration and peer review. And they did not need to take time off in order to do so. The outcome of the physical-world, residential experience is less tangible. Or, with a double entendre, one could say: more virtual.

These are not stories of the superiority of one medium over another. They are stories of the accelerating pace of change.

These are not stories of victory. They are stories of experiencing our humanity in and through new, rapidly-changing spaces where we work, live, and grow.

This is how we learn.

Image: A metaphor for irony. Bush delivers a speech to crew onboard the USS Abraham Lincoln to declare combat operations over in Iraq, as the carrier steamed toward San Diego, California on May 1, 2003 (Larry Downing/file/Reuters).