The challenges we face are real, they're serious and they're many. We will not meet them in a short span of time. A few things we need to know about Thornton - he's not an astronomer, mathematician or a geographer in the second century who believes the world revolves around him. He's not the sage on the stage either. He believes that this is about us, not him and that's a good lesson for all of us -- it's not about us, it's the people we serve. Thornton also claims to be a futurist. When he says this people dismiss him and then challenge him to do something truly futuristic. He's genetically engineered for travel. He's short, and he likes airline food! He's ridiculously well travelled and is amazingly well connected and loves taking business cards. He claims to be to pathologically observant - his mother was a spy, who was good at everything but parenting. He did learn from his mother - your network will keep you safe. He IS absolutely brutally honest. Anyways, his idea is to get our barking dogs excited about what's coming next.
For the past two years, Thornton's been on a journey. In every major geoprgraphical market and every vertical he's been asking questions:
- What do you know?
- What do need to know?
- How do you get to know?
Exercise: Which historical moment closely resembles very closely the situation that we find ourselves in today? Thornton's gotten everyone chatting and he's prancing around this huge room! What? Isn't this a keynote? This guy is redefining what keynote addresses are all about. He is the true naked presenter. Anyways, Thornton mentions that as educators we need to be great pattern recognisers. The pattern we see is that the moment Thornton allowed us to speak, the energy level of the room went up. As educators, we need to give the mike up.
Thornton is running to the back of the room to give the mike up to one of the back benchers and the back bencher says she has no clue what situation resembles the situation of today. Another person is saying that this is an age where we're trying to forcefit solutions to mobilelearning as we did with elearning back in the day. Another person says that this is like the time we invented the printing press which triggered an information revolution. The next person says this is like the switch from horses to motorcars. There are quite a few others who're talking about the printing press. Another group said plastics and the space race. Someone says it's like the American revolution and my group thought it's like the Industrial Revolution. Lot's of great answers all around. This is nothing like any keynote I've ever seen. Thornton is rocking it!
So what patterns did we notice? There seems to be some sort of catalyst for change; there's power change happening. A lot of other people have answered this kind of situation and they've responded with:
- Pearl Harbour
- Day 30 of the Blitz
- The Day after Hiroshima
- Lewis and Clark after day 400 of their trip
- Joan of Arc at the stake
- Civil War
- The Cambrian Explosion
Exercise: When your CxO hears the phrase elearning, what's the first thing that leaps to their mind?
Here come the answers:
- elearning will make email look like a rounding error
- it should be learning minus the 'e', it should just be learning
- it will make them look cool and cutting
- what's the cost?
- how about the security?
- increase sales
- how does it impact the network?
- can we save cost by letting go of the field instructors?
- i want to see something different from what we've seen
- let's test it out for 6 months before you use it
There are four kinds of people when driving change in the organisation:
- Hi Resources/ Hi Agreement: Champions
- Hi Resources/ Low Agreement:Blockers
- Low Resources/Low Agreement: Squids
- Low Resources/ High Agreement: Allies
- Changing Landscape
Here come the answers:
- information will be free
- games and learning will find convergence
- global shift - will happen
- global learning and collaboration
- people with learn Mandarin and Hindi
- confusion as command and control disappears
- working remotely and from home
- people can keep wearing headphones at work
- the mobile device will replace the computer
- we'll be far more social -- moving to being community managers than learning managers
- mobile is going to have a lot of impact
- we might see more simulations
- we might see more interactive worlds
- the death of the LMS maybe
- ecommerce and communication
"May-san ware-ware mondai ga arimasu yo!" - quote from May. This is a Japanese quote that means, "Mr May, we have a problem -- yaay!" Now technology doesn't last forever, we can't keep getting enamoured by it. The next is going to be different from now. We as humans are going to have trouble keeping up. In the Industrial age and the later industrial age, major change happened every 50-20 years, now in this age we have change every 5 years!
There's a new world, new problems, new behaviours. The pace of change is accelerating the pace of change for various piece parts of the world we live in is not uniform. A macro trend we need to understand is desyncrhonisation. We need to connect our ability to collect data and our ability to process it. "Information is not learning - some assembly is required." Google gives us thousands of results - 2 million results about "too much information"! In 15 years, we might be able to IP address every molecule in the universe. We're talking about information overload - this is not a bug, it's a feature. There's nothing we cannot know and we're the path to that knowledge. The only thing that'll become obsolete next - ignorance. In the future we'll be expected to know. We're known by the mistakes we make and bad calls are making us study high-tech references. We're going to have instant replay for every managerial decisions.
Is elearning under-Caesared? When Caesar got kidnapped, he asked his pirate kidnappers to double the ransom. We shouldn't undervalue ourselves. May ends off with a picture of a dog strapped to rocket and asks us when we light that rocket, will we have a happy puppy!