I was recently in Turkey doing program evaluation training for the United Nations, which meant carrying a variety of ubiquitous plug adapters. I laughed at the above combination of plugs – all feeding into one that would fit the hotel outlet, allowing computer and IPhone to charge.
The need to convert, change or adapt in order to make things relevant and workable for my current circumstances caught my attention.
In the realm of plugs this can be essential. Especially as I’ve been known to singe my hair with my curling iron, as I mistook the plug adapter for the voltage adapter. (Putting a gadget that was designed for 120 through 220 is not a good combo, or so the smell of burned hair taught me.)
The learning and development field is ripe for new learning opportunities served up via new technology. Each need their own tweeks and adaptation. Examples?
- my VA (virtual assistant) is situated in India – technology allows us to communicate almost seamlessly. Translation? I need to remember that I’m working across cultures and be explicit with my instructions.
- at the end of all my workshops I now share my Delicious link – enabling participants to access a wide range of learning resources. Tweek required? I need to remember to explain what a social bookmarking site is, as it’s not common knowledge (yet).
- many of my workshops now include short video clips (thanks to Youtube) that reinforce and anchor the concepts that I teach. Conversion? Getting Internet accessibility in the training room can be a pain or downright impossible.
- Hootsuite amalgamates all my social media feeds into one place – easily and conveniently allowing me to follow other learning and development specialists. Adaptation? I need to be strategic about who I’m following and how much time I spend on social media, while at the same time recognizing that it’s a critical part of my business now.
Learning means converting, translating, tweeking and adapting content in order to get and hold the attention of participants.
No attention = no learning.