Looking Ahead At Social Learning -- 10 Predictions

07/21/2011 4:58 PM | Paul Venderley (Administrator)

By Jeanne Meister and Karie Willyerd

The last decade has brought a multitude of changes in technology and in the learning function. What will the next 10 years have to offer?

This is an excerpt from a T&D article published June 2010.  Complete article can be found here.

Ten years ago, we had just come out of one of the most costly IT investments of all timeundefinedthe Y2K scare. Mark Zuckerberg, co-founder of Facebook, was in high school. Microsoft had just lost a major antitrust lawsuit; Google was getting settled in its first office space after being in a garage for its first year; and the presidential election results were stalled due to hanging chads. The economy was in a state of hope and opportunity known as the dot-com boom, and the phrase "Web 2.0" was 1 year old.

In the learning industry, the LMS was seen as the provider of the comprehensive solution for the technology needed in an organization; e-learning content providers were merging to provide comprehensive libraries; and portals were the intranet solution of choice for content destinations.

What a difference a decade makes. Will the next decade bring just as much change or more? Not only are there new technologies being introduced daily, but shifts such as globalization and demographic changes will surely affect our future. In 1999, the United States accounted for 43 percent of the largest global companies in the Financial Times Global 500. By 2009, only 36 percent of global companies were from the United States, while the BRIC countries (Brazil, Russia, India, and China) moved from a combined four top 500 companies in 1999, to 52 in 2009.

Teams composed of employees from multiple countries across several time zones are no longer unusual, which makes face-to-face training logistically difficult and expensive. Regarding demographics, in only four years, Millennials (born between 1977 and 1997) will make up 47 percent of the workforce. Their comfort with tools such as Twitter, Facebook, and texting surely indicates that they will expect tools like those to be used in their work and learning experience.

Throughout the last three years, we have researched what the future holds for fields as diverse as human longevity and the future of the web. That research helped us come up with 10 predictions for the future of social learning. If you are just now dipping your toes into the social learning pool, we hope the following predictions will give you some ideas about where the future is headed so that you can prepare accordingly.

Read Jeanne and Karie's predictions.

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