What Will We Learn From This Time Of Disruption?

What will we learn from disruption?
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    Many of us know the story of Pompeii, the town that was so quickly destroyed by the eruption of Mount Vesuvius that in a flash – the entire city was wiped out, covered in ash, and preserved for the ages – an eerie moment is frozen in time. 


    As we like most you are watching the current state of disruption, the current global environment is laying bare some interesting observations: 

    • On a macro level, the disruption to our educational (K-12 and higher education) is astounding as millions of learners of all ages are shifting from their brick and mortar experience to learning online. 

    • Jobs and roles that were previously thought to not be suitable for WFH are suddenly equipped to do so. 

    • Parents are juggling roles of being a business professional, school teacher, and full-time child care – all from their homes with minimal support.

    • Thousands of employees who have previously not had to work with platforms such as Zoom, Teams, or Slack are being brought up to speed – rapidly – in days – not weeks or months. 

    • Our learning experiences – especially those that are classroom-based – moving to a virtual delivery in days and weeks – not months. 

    • Our learning technology stack is being utilized in ways we may not have ever imagined.

    • The arrival of “the future of work” is happening and presenting opportunities for us to rethink the ways in which work – and learning happen.

    At WeLearn this has us thinking, what will we as a learning profession learn from this time of disruption? 

    It’s during a crisis we see people come together and create new ways of engaging and solving problems.  It’s no different for learning. Learning doesn’t stop, we are learning all the time. It’s important to step back and reflect on what is needed to learn effectively in these changing times.

    As learning professionals: 

    • How well do you understand your learning tech stack, what do you need to add/subtract from it/ what new forms of learning need to emerge? 

    • When was the last time you reviewed your learning technology stack? How has the current environment changed your view of your learning technology stack? 

    • How does your organizational learning strategy need to change as we are learning in this time of disruption? How does your model for staffing the learning organization change? 

    • How do you begin to build the business case for change?

    • How do we engage learners in this new “normal”? What will that experience look like?

    Right now, there is no shortage of partners in the ecosystem who are pushing their technology or services as the thing that is going to help you solve for the here and now. Too many times, we add more technologies because something catches our eye, or a colleague recommended this or that, or we find something novel.   We would like to encourage you to:


    • Close your eyes and think about how you would envision the learner experience

    • Write down the activities you want technology to do for you or would enhance the experience.


    • Impulse buy.  A bad fit will only cause you to spend more time, money and resources. You can’t retro-fit – so don’t try.

    • Don’t fit the technology to the experience. Design your experience first and choose a technology that is designed to do what you want it to do.

    In the coming weeks, we will be exploring some of the lessons we are learning and observing and we would invite you to share some of yours with us. 

    We are all on this journey together, and as we say around here together we learn. 

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