Webinar Summary: A Practical Approach for Supporting the Modern Learner

JD Dillon - #ModernLearner Webinar

This is how JD opened up a webinar we sponsored this past Tuesday titled, ‘A Practical Approach for Supporting the Modern Learner.’ He went on to say that the business equivalent of an asteroid (see slide 6 below) is headed our way and if L&D doesn’t do something about it, they might face the same fate as the dinosaurs.

Over the course of an hour, JD entertained and enlightened us with some hard-hitting truths about the state of corporate learning today. He also spent a good amount of time walking us through how he and his team at Kaplan are tackling many of the challenges that modern learning environments are facing.

Here are three big takeaways from the webinar:

1. Learning hasn’t changed, but the context in which it takes place has.

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At the root of it, the way we learn from a scientific standpoint has not changed that much. What has changed is the demand for modern learners to solve problems in new and increasingly challenging ways. During the webinar, JD touched on four different facets of context: tasks, variety, environment and flexibility. An interesting question to ask yourself is: “If you have the same job title that you did a year or two ago, are you still doing the exact same work?” The context of modern learning is always changing and L&D simply has to change with it.

2. You are not driving the bus. Your people are.

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During the webinar, JD made a rallying cry out to L&D professionals to step off the sidelines and become truly integrated into a modern learner’s work day. This means being present in the moment of need, rather than behind a request form or some other artificial barrier. The reality is, if you’re not present, you’re not picked. A modern learner will find the answer that he or she needs by simply going elsewhere to look for it.

3. You are no longer a creator. You’re a connector.

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L&D has the distinct advantage of ‘sitting in the middle.’ This means that it knows and can help connect many different individuals within a given organization. JD asks, ‘How do you shift from being the person who builds, to the person who finds me the information I need? The person who connects me to the people who have the information that’s going to help me do my job?” Being known as a connector has some serious advantages when it comes to being chosen in the time of need. Think of how quickly you turn to Google or YouTube to find an answer. Technically Google and YouTube aren’t actually giving you the answer, but rather connecting you with the source that has the answer.

Check out the slides from the webinar below:

Another big thank you to JD for taking the time to share his insights with us. If you’re eager to connect with JD, you can follow him on Twitter or check him out at DevLearn. If you want to watch the full webinar recording, it can be found on CLO’s website.

Feel free to share your stories on how modern learners are being supported in your organization by using the hashtag: #ModernLearner on Twitter.

Written by Shum Attygalle

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