Article Brainstorm- Online Learning Insights Blog (Debbie Morrison)

The link below is a very interesting article from Online Learning Insights Blog by Debbie Morrison titled ‘Three Trends That Will Influence Learning and Teaching in 2015′.

Recently my husband and I packed up and moved our entire house in 5 days. When I was going through old stuff I have no use for but insisted on always keeping, I came across a box of cd cases. Many of them no longer held their discs. Borrowed, scratched, misplaced… the list of possibilities for the whereabouts of these things I had spent money on is longer than it should have been. Considering we are talking about the hard earned dollars of the young woman I was before owning said house and having a career, this was a substantial amount of money. Estimating that each cd had cost approximately $10 new, give or take, the cases in the box represented $500. The whole box went to the donation pile because let’s face it, aside from old Uncle Carl who just upgraded from his beloved Walkman to a Discman, we all have iTunes.

I catch myself thinking sometimes about how our five year old will never know about things like cd’s, phones with a dial, cars that had windows you had to roll down or what a VCR is. Sometimes, I also feel really behind the times even though I am part of this generation that is ever adapting, changing and demanding that technology and life in general become faster, more efficient and ‘easier’. It seems that every few months there is a new and easier way to do things that I had no clue about. Whether it is file sharing, booking a flight and receiving my boarding pass, or being told that I can purchase my text books for an online course from a website and download them to my computer, I am left wondering ‘how did I not know this?’

There seems to be an app for everything. It is mind boggling. And I’m only 30.

It is exciting but somewhat frightening to think about the shift that is happening right now in education, continuing education and the options available for adult learners. Scratch that- not frightening, it is intimidating. Once someone can wrap their mind around the idea that they may be required to obtain some new technological skills (and that learning those skills is as simple as searching on Google as to how to do it) the possibilities are literally endless.

Online education and ‘on the go’ education aren’t necessarily new, however the options available are more diverse than ever. Certificates and programs that were once only available at a campus are now having their curriculums developed and adapted so that they can be obtained online. Instead of having to settle for one course online because you don’t have access to the other, people can now mix and match based on the outcome they desire, and are provided options to obtain the training they need completely online, or with minimal in-class commitment.

It is not impossible to imagine that larger companies donating to training institutes and supporting education with their own technology would help them to achieve their own desired outcomes either. Leading companies specializing in technology will certainly continue to partner with institutions in order to build and develop tools for certain skill sets. This will streamline what is being learned and in turn, taken away. The fact that this is already happening is in some ways a bit eerie, as it means that these companies have a certain amount of control on the experience, knowledge and standards that large groups of potential new employees possess when entering the workforce. If the company itself picks one of these students up afterwards, great; If not, their impact will still be made by having students use and become familiar with their products creating a preference and comfort in learning style.

Debbie writes in her post:

‘We can expect more institutions offering competency education programs and employer involvement in skill-specific education this year, as in the example of AT&T giving funds to Udacity and Georgia Tech for development of online programs. We’ll also see companies serving as advisors for curriculum and program development for courses of study at institutions.’

Both students and educators will be required to step it up a notch in this new age of learning. With the diversity that unlimited access and hyper-connectivity grants us, we must still recognize the need for specific areas of expertise, and experts in those fields. Hopefully, the world is not headed into a situation where everyone wants to know just a little bit about everything but not everything about something.


Morrison, D. (2014, December 29). Three Trends That Will Influence Learning and Teaching in 2015.

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