Thursday, September 20, 2018

Are you ready? #elearning #cisco

In late 1999/early 2000, in just Cisco's second wave of brand advertising they asked the question:

Over 70 million people are receiving an education on the Internet this year.
One day, training for every job on Earth will be available on the Internet.
Are you ready?

At this time I was working in Global Services in SmartForce, and quotes such as this were manna from heaven for a company that sold eLearning content in what was then the very early days of on-line education. I recall a lot of technical issues compounded by the Y2K phenomenon in delivering training content over the Internet. Most companies still purchased their content from SmartForce via CD-ROM - at the time many were just not equipped with fast Internet connections.

Almost 19 years later I feel the same question can still be asked. Millions of people are learning on-line (over 16 million people have watched my videos alone). This year I am finally involved in delivering a course on-line - but this is to just 35 students out of over 100 that I am teaching this semester. Most of our College students still come to the classroom - but the on-line figures are growing. YouTube, which did not exist in the year 2000, has become the "Go To" location for learning anything from Maths, to fixing a tire, to removing contact lenses, or to learning a programming language. While this can be regarded as informal learning (it cannot be tracked or certified), it is taking a much increased proportion of the time that people take for learning.

We have not yet reached "training for every job on Earth" being "available on the Internet" - otherwise classrooms everywhere would not be required. Having delivered a class on-line for the first time ever this week I feel that while Cisco's advertising question "Are you ready" is getting closer to a "Yes" answer - we still have a long way to go for this prediction to come through.

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