"Cart, meet Horse" … Tools Looking for a Solution

To start with – I’m a HUGE fan of technology … of all the fun of trying out something new and interesting; and I love having mind experiments where I imagine how it can be used for learning and such.

So I was THRILLED that I’m going to be presenting at a Tech Expo for one of my clients … and in preparing for it I had conversations about the different techs they were looking to showcase. “Houston, we have a problem … ”

The entire focus is backwards! Why oh why are they focusing on the technology first? It’s like those Judy Garland and Micky Rooney movies … “we’ve got a barn full of clothes and stuff – let’s put on a show!” To the point, this group has not looked at the lack of tech adoption by their learners (which in my opinion has much more to do with this group’s mis-perceptions rather than the characteristics of the learners themselves, who would be willing to quickly adopt tech for their learning needs – so long as it had some clear benefit in doing so) … nor has this group done even an iota of assessing what the LEARNING NEEDS are …

Instead, they jump right to all this ‘glitz and glamour’ so they can pretend to be impressive and invaluable.

It will be a definite challenge for me … I’ll want to push (gently!) them into the realm of figuring out learning needs FIRST and then determine the best tool to meet those needs … and I cannot tick them off in the process. Should be fun.


About Rory

I make my home in the central part of the Garden State along with my family. When I'm not working as an Instructional Designer (focusing mostly on Web-Based learning ... and other eLearning technologies) or researching something, I'm found at home playing computer or video games. Among other things, I volunteer as a choir member and catechist for 8th graders at my parish.
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2 Responses to "Cart, meet Horse" … Tools Looking for a Solution

  1. nkilkenny says:

    I love you’re Judy/Mickey analogy! I’ll have to use that sometime. Is it me or do they ever assess learning needs prior to setting goals? I can’t put my finger on it, but the lack of self-awareness about their learning state might be attributed to some preconceptions that organizations/management have about training and learning. Also, they have no clear understanding of ‘user adoption’ and how to make this happen. Question: Do you have some suspicions to where the roadblocks to ‘tech adoption’ lie within this group?

  2. Rory says:

    They have little suspicions; however, I have a bunch of my own. Unfortunately, with a lack of assessment and awareness on their end, they believe that just showing a bunch of tools – where everyone can collectively go: “oooh … ahhh ” will somehow get folks onboard with tech.

    My humble opinion is that this group of learners have been conditioned in large measure by the training team – where classroom ILT has been the preferred delivery channel …

    The irony, of course, is that this training team is now rushing headlong into tech … with no consideration for the learning needs and goals of the organization and the needs and goals of the intended user audience.

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