No phones at Knebworth

No phones at Knebworth by sub-10

Perhaps I’ve turned into one of those people who moan about how times have changed, but they really have! It could just be nostalgic rumblings as we fast approach the end of yet another year…

I watched a documentary the other day on the band Oasis, and it showed life 30 years ago and I was shocked at how dated it looked. They did a huge concert at Knebworth, and nobody had a mobile phone. No social media. Phone boxes were a practical thing. People carried cash. Cars in the UK then were all square and boxy looking, the TVs were also square and boxy… I remember trying to move a TV back then with my mum from one side of the living room to the other and we had to do the shuffle-dance with it, there was no way one of us could have lifted it.

I sent my first email in 1996 and thought, ‘that’ll never catch on’. I had to go into the University computer lab to do it specially, so it was an ordeal. It was very stressful, and I never got an email back from the person I wrote to either, so I wasn’t motivated or impressed.

It wasn’t until I got my first mobile phone about 10 years later in the early 2000s that I could see the benefits of texting and emailing – and that was mainly driven by work to be fair.

The world today is so different with advanced systems literally at our fingertips and automated features that make life easier. Cars drive themselves, fridges order food when low, homes heat themselves when cold. My car even sends me a text when it’s raining to let me know I’ve left the window down!

It’s incredible where we are and where we could go with the world of tomorrow. But are some areas of society and business lagging?
I work in Learning and Development, and I see a lot of organisations that are happy to use learning platforms that haven’t changed much over the last 30 years. Some look modern on the surface but the actual technology sitting underneath is basic. If we put that into context, that’s tech that was designed when I was in HMV buying my first Oasis CD.

The whole area of digital learning seems to struggle with embracing change and when we look closely, we can see Victorian traditions poking through. The authoritarian presence telling you what you need to know, which doesn’t sit well with me personally or the many learners who want autonomy over their own learning. Think about it. Learning is deeply personal. The one-sized-fits-all lesson doesn’t wash and being told what you need is well, patronising.

If we live in an era where my car can message information to me that it knows is useful to me, why are we not doing that with learning?
At sub-10 we are developing an intelligent learning platform. We want to pull learning into the modern era. Our platform uses data to try to understand what you need as a learner, and then our AI makes decisions and pushes bite-sized content towards you in a consumable way, progressively over time. No cognitive overload, no content chaos. We want to develop a system that allows for just-in-time learning.
Learning is invaluable to honing a workforce and developing business skills and knowledge appropriately.

The right tech will allow organisations to foster positive learning cultures where learning is an integral part of the business mindset.
As we head into 2023, take a reflective pause to assess your learning platform. Is it doing enough? Is it fit for use today… tomorrow…?

In the words of Oasis ‘There we were. Now here we are’. The future of learning really is there for the taking. ‘Roll with it’.


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