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deputy Editor, training journal @LightbulbJo

Cook looks T

his month in the magazine we discuss and, dare I say, celebrate technology. I’m

well known for my use and love of webinars and the virtual classroom, as well as more broad digital approaches to modern learning. However, a really important point was made by eLearning Guild chairman, David Kelly, at his technology presentation during the Learning Technologies Summer Forum in June of this year. Kelly pointed out that ‘learning

technology’ and ‘learning AND technology’ are two very different things. I loved that he didn’t focus on the types of systems and platforms such as the Learning Management System, Learning Ecosystems, video hosting services, webinar platforms and so on.

Jo Cook tries to tell us that she’s not really a computer geek …

in dangerous jobs such as the fire service. Personally, though, I’m not too bothered about experiencing a virtual rollercoaster or virtual scuba dive. In my work, I’m often helping

clients focus on the right technology for their job – this could be some kind of social platform for encouraging team communication or group discussion as part of a learning solution. We could be looking at MOOC-style learning, where we take the aspects of sharing curated content with a discussion question where we learn as a group. Or it could be suggesting using survey websites in order to ask questions to measure the perfor- mance results of a learning intervention. Whenever I’m having these dis-

cussions, I’m aware that my clients (the organisation as well as the

In my work, I’m often helping clients focus on the right technology for their job

Instead, Kelly pointed out that

we need to focus on the learning aspect, and that technology is there to support the learning, as and when appropriate. For so many people ‘technology’ has a poor reputation, but really it’s how it has been selected and implemented that is often the problem. Another key point Kelly highlighted at the beginning of his presentation was that, while he was going to speak about technology such as Virtual Reality (VR) and wearable technology, we, as professionals, needed to listen in the context of our own journey and where our organisation is at the moment. I speak at various conferences,

webinars and podcasts about the use of technology – in learning, performance, work and life. When discussing different technologies and options, it’s imperative you tune into what is relevant to you. For instance, I find VR fascinating from the perspective of how it can be used to enhance learning, especially

person I’m speaking to) are at different points in their understanding of technology AND learning and therefore have different levels of acceptance to sugges- tions. As a consultant and learning solution designer, I need to take those things into account and find the right tool for the job, while perhaps nudging my learners out of their comfort zone. And so should you.

Jo Cook is deputy editor

of TJ and responsible for webinars and the online community. She can be contacted at jo.cook@

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