How learning is changing

How learning is changing
Expectations around learning have changed. In the past, employees relied on employers to map out
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and guide career paths, providing much of the learning and opportunity (where feasible) to expedite that journey. Those were the days when a person might have one job for a long time, or at least one career. So there was a give and take, based on a foundation of a longer-term commitment.

Now we shift around a lot, as employers and employees. There is, arguably, less loyalty all round. Whilst employers must and should meet learning needs, it's falling more to the individual to drive their own learning path. But the good news is that there are generally more tools available to us. Technological advancements are paving the way for new, accessible forms of learning.

One example of this is MOOCs: Massive Open Online Courses. These courses are offered, many of them free, by a huge range of learning providers across the globe. And that includes prestigious institutions like MIT and Stanford, to single out two. If you can get online, you can access MOOCs. MOOC providers include Coursera and EdX - they empower learners, as well as employers, because you can find almost any learning subject in their extensive catalogues. Sometimes it really isn't necessary to reinvent the wheel, you can use programmes already offered, and build on them for your own corporate or individual needs.

So learning is really changing, and it's our job to find out what's new and how we can benefit from it. We'd add that in South Africa, we shouldn't lose sight of opportunities that can be excellent sources of learning – whilst benefitting others too. How about considering a mentoring relationship? Patrice Motsepe, Africa's first black billionaire, credits the role of mentorship in his success. Or there is always the option to lend your hand to a community project. There is certain wisdom gained from these types of experiences that can't be taught elsewhere.

Of course, conferences also still offer excellent opportunities to learn and question, as well as to network. And now we can connect and easily share learning from events across social media platforms too.

How is your learning changing as the world around you changes? Share your thoughts with us.

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