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Learning and change – WOLCE preview


WOLCE, the World of Learning Conference and Exhibition, takes place on 2/3 October. Here Mark Frank, Mindspan Services Principal at IBM Learning Services, introduces the theme of his conference session "The evolution of learning: where are we now and where are we going?"

It is a well-worn cliche of the learning business that if you transported Athenians from 2500 years ago to the present day they would be overwhelmed by change in most areas of life - but when they walked into a typical
modern classroom they would recognise most of what was happening. This is an exaggeration - but there have been few fundamental changes to the way people learn since the printing press made reading a viable option; despite many of waves of apparently relevant technology from teaching machines, through television to modern e-learning systems.

However, the way we learn, and even what we mean by learning is changing in a fundamental way as we speak. We learn at different times, in different places, and using
different media - last year IBM did 43% of its training through e-learning.

Why is this change happening now? The technology is an enabler - but the key differences are in the business and social environment and the requirements they place on us to learn and keep on learning. At no other time in history have knowledge and skills been so fundamental to our personal and business success and at no other time have they been changing so quickly. This is why the current wave of learning technology will be a true revolution and not just the latest gadget sitting in the back of the classroom.


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