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Learning tech trends to watch in 2018 and beyond

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eading into 2018, learning professionals have plenty to keep an eye on when it comes to technology. Some trends are showing promising results and requiring leaders to think about their jobs differently.

We asked Christa Manning, vice president of solution provider research for Bersin, Deloitte Consulting LLP, to tell us about these emerging trends in learning to watch for this coming year and beyond.

Manning helps businesses align their workforce support strategies with the right third-party software and service partners and governance models to deliver functional capabilities and employee experiences that support productivity, engagement and workforce efficiency. Questions and answers have been editing for length and clarity.

HR Dive: What’s new in learning technology right now?

Christa Manning: There are so many exciting new things in learning technology. It’s rapidly expanding with innovations to make learning more impactful and relevant.

We’re seeing an explosion of startups doing new things with micro-learning, video and self-authoring tools; and, at the same time, a lot of the bigger platforms starting to incorporate the same type of capabilities right within the flow of work. You might be able to access social media profiles of colleagues who are subject matter experts right from within your email system. Or, in your collaboration platform you could click on a link that would bring you to a piece of micro-video learning that your colleague has created.

HR Dive: How are employers responding?

Manning: It’s exciting and daunting at the same time because most organizations really never start from a clean slate. They have to come up with a technology strategy where learning and development is a part of it: but you can’t throw the baby out with the bath water. You need to find what’s helping you adapt and change and add and complement.

That’s really brought about the popularity of learning experience platforms, one of the areas we’re most focused on right now, because it tries to tie together the proliferation of lots of different tools and content with more of a self-directed pull by the individual. Self-directed learning and collaborative learning are the two big trends that are impacting technology providers. A new report by Bersin, “Corporate Learning Solutions,” delves deeper into the issue.

HR Dive: How are learning professionals adapting to this shift?

Manning: Curation has come into the role of the learning professional in that you may not be creating content yourself, or leading the creation of content and tracks and curriculum, but facilitating the curation, and the collaborative creation of new content by internal employees and peers helping each other and understanding what assets are out in the marketplace that are popular and impactful and available to the workforce.

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