Microlearning Videos, Mobile and Social Learning, and Tony Bingham at ATD 2017

The Association of Training and Development held their 2017 International Conference and Exhibition last week with over 10,000 attendees and 300 exhibitors.  The week kicked off with an exciting, Monday morning keynote from Tony Bingham, president of ATD, who talked about the importance of microlearning videos, among other things.  Being new to this industry (six-month tenure) I found his keynote exciting because he basically described ej4’s offering.

He began talking about how mobile and social learning bridge the gap between learning and doing, how important it is to have on-demand learning accessible to anyone at any time on any device, and how microlearning is poised to take off. He defined microlearning as small, focused bites of knowledge, tied to learning objectives delivered via technology. And mobile is the big enabler.

I was giddy!  The president of ATD was promoting and validating our business model!  I’ve worked in corporate America where training was limited to certain titles and certain departments and was comprised primarily of instructor-led, classroom courses - many of which required the additional cost of travel. One of the things that appealed to me about ej4 was that our platform makes training available to any employee, at any time, on any device.  And our short-form videos can fit into your schedule in between meetings without the need to travel or spend full days out of the office.

Why microlearning videos are the present and future of training

He went on to say that 38% of training and development professionals are already using microlearning videos. These little training nuggets deliver the precise information we need when we need it.  We are all used to getting the answers to our questions immediately.  Training should be as well. If you don’t know the answer to something, Google it!  We all do it on our phones!

(At this point I was texting people back in the office with my excitement over his key messages!)

And now with full libraries of microlearning content, it’s like Netflix for your personal development.  Content will have a shorter shelf-life.  “Video just makes sense!”  (I tweeted that quote!) Our product roadmap works around a rotation of creating and launching new off-the-shelf content every month, refreshing old courses every two years, and allowing flexibility for custom content requests.  Be wary of libraries that have over 3,000 courses.  How dated or stale are they? Were all of them created with sound instructional design?

Tony also stressed the importance of thinking outside the classroom. Learning needs to be embedded into what we do. It needs to be agile. Content should be short and focused on need to know, not nice to know. Think about the millennials who have grown up with technology and expect the 24/7 access. As they take over the workplace, this becomes a requirement, not a feature.

He began summarizing by tying microlearning videos, mobile and social learning together as the future.  He humbly promoted his book: “The New Social Learning, 2nd Edition: Connect. Collaborate. Work.” which was available in the ATD store. Social learning?!  Are you kidding me?!  That morning ej4 had just officially launched our social learning technology, The Quad as part of our LMS, Thinkzoom. It’s as if we sponsored Tony’s keynote and gave him his talking points! (but I swear we didn’t!)

He closed by encouraging the attendees to use this conference to accelerate their journey into microlearning. To connect with the people who can help. We had a great show and enjoyed meeting everyone at our booth. Some people even mentioned Tony’s keynote and how well-positioned we are to help.

ATD 2017 delivered hours of excellent content and keynotes.  I am even more excited to be part of this industry. Our focus is to help employees improve their skills and be better at what they do, which will help their companies grow. Win/win/win.

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