The Evolution of Learning: Classrooms are just the beginning


How were you taught growing up? If your education was like mine, you sat in a classroom with other students (and maybe a class clown or two) being taught by an instructor. And what did you learn? Likely, your education focused on the three “R”s: Reading, Writing, and Arithmetic. Most of what you learned in these classes probably wasn’t very different from what your parents learned, or their parents before them. These are topics that do evolve over time, but slowly, over generations.

Traditional learning methods are based on the idea that learning is a one-time event, and that made sense because the topics you learned didn’t changed. A teacher serves as a gatekeeper to information, they teach you the things you need to know, and then you go out into the workforce to become a productive member of society armed with the relevant knowledge you needed to be successful.

In the late ‘90s and early 2000s, the mass adoption of personal computers changed everything. Now, in nearly every home, personal computers, laptops, tablets, smart phones, and wearable technology unite us with software.

Software is now everywhere and it’s different, it’s dynamic and quickly evolving. Within a few years, software can evolve to become almost unrecognizable from its first iteration. Yet, we still apply traditional teaching methods we’ve used for generations to learning software. The “one and done” approach to learning technology is wholly ineffective. So why do we persist in trying to apply an outdated model of learning to a new era of knowledge?

I’m not saying that classroom learning is irrelevant, but it isn’t enough. After you’ve established a foundation of software skills, ongoing learning is essential to maintaining proficiency and keep up as the software our daily lives and jobs revolve around evolves.

So, what does this next generation of learning look like?  How do we adjust our learning process to address the needs of software training?

  •  Perpetual, think of learning as ongoing, not one and done
  • On demand, ready when you are
  • Searchable, so you can find the answers you need quickly
  • Concise, give you just the information you need, be brief
  • Up-to-date, the latest functionalities and features
  • Accessible, only a few clicks to get what you need
  • Mobile, available anywhere you are

These qualities are dramatically different from one-time classroom learning. We need to change the way we think about learning in order to keep up with software that we rely on every day.

Tony Glockler is the co-founder of SolidProfessor, an eLearning company that specializes in creating highly technical content, specifically multimedia learning resources for software applications used in engineering and design. Over the past decade, SolidProfessor has pursued its passion for learning by developing thousands of hours of online multimedia resources for its members. To learn more, sign up for a free account or explore the website! 

John Farmer
About the Author

SolidProfessor Digital Marketing Manager and keeper of Rahn, the office dog.