I got all of my degrees by the “old-fashioned” way by participating in physical classes and listening to professors in large auditoriums. My last degree is from 2004 and all of my courses and sessions were in person.
Fast-forward to 2013 and I am realizing that I am using eLearning to deliver business modeling/management courses to my students around the world via TELLUS Academy that is a learning management system portal that I have built to facilitate my sessions with pre-reading and my students to watch videos and doing quizzes. So what happened? How come I decided to go this route?
There are many reasons for this, but I guess after 4 million miles on American Airlines and tightening budgets by enterprise clients for travel, I had to work out a new model that would both scale and provide me the freedom how I work, when I work and also give me more time to be with my family. That is how TELLUS Academy came about. It is not going to replace all of my in person training sessions/workshops/seminars, but it is going to be a combination of things that will give the overall experience of what we do. This hybrid model will give my students the flexibility to learn whenever they have time for it as well. So it is a win-win scenario.
What has been interesting though is that I have recently started to use eLearning myself in learning new solutions. A good example is SharePoint 2013 that I had to learn quickly and effectively (from development perspective) and after having bought all of the existing books on the topic (eBooks of course), I decided to listen in some sessions on Udemy, Pluralsight and Lynda.com. Some of those courses gave me everything I needed to know about Content Types, Site Columns, Term Store Management and a myriad of other topics. The books got me going on the topic, and the video sessions gave me some clues about best practices in each area. Yet again, these are not going to replace practical experience, but these will give the student the directions and do’s and don’ts. When you combine this information with the discussion with domain-specialists in the topic, your learning will be more optimized as ever before. This is also the way our younger generation are learning things. My kids go to Youtube.com and Vimeo.com first to see how things are done, before they go anywhere else. That is the reality and that is how we need to adjust our business processes.
What has been interesting to me is the experience that this new eLearning wave has given me. I have now suddenly access to everything I need from almost any device, I can stream the content in small sub-sets not to consume too much time each day and I can pick and choose the topics that I want to learn each day. Seems very easy and common sense, but how many of you have thought through this in your own environment. Do you put time in learning new things or do you expect to wait for that one annual training event where you go to learn something new? I believe in continuous learning and I believe I have been a pretty good representative of this for all these years. One has to change and educate oneself to stay relevant in this economy. The world is full of generalists, but the ones that provide true value for the money, will survive. This applies to everything in life.
I will continue on creating new content to our LMS site and I will also create another post of the technology I ended up with in our TELLUS Academy LMS platform. I spent lots of time learning of the domain, reading blog posts of eLearning and then finally making my decision on all of the modules I needed to run my learning business.