Even with the many changes to the learning-technology space in 2018, I do believe that 2019 is the year the lens will focus, and companies truly begin to understand the possibilities in front of them — just in time for all those 2020 predictions to come to fruition.
This will be the year organizations realize the learning experience is not a technology but a strategy and will deploy technology to see that strategy through. Technology can’t fix a bad strategy or process. By building a solid, learner-focused strategy based on practical outcomes, companies will be able to deploy an array of technologies that give learners the experiences they need to develop and become successful.
This is the year when companies will stop overstating the promise and peril of artificial intelligence and recognize its real world-applications and that realizing its true potential remains a few years away. The relentless over-hyping of AI has prevented many companies from embracing and exploring it. By using machine learning in practical ways today, companies can be ready for what AI can do five to ten years from now.
This is the year virtual reality finally sheds the last vestiges of its 1980s heritage and is adopted across a wide spectrum of use cases. It’s not just for video games and terrible movies anymore. Practical uses abound thanks to constraints created by safety, logistics and budgets.
2019 will also be the year that the shift from more traditional learning environments begins in earnest. Until now, it has been difficult to do more than talk about the change. That’s because most companies are saddled with legacy technologies and mountains of older content that doesn’t meet modern needs. Companies are finally investing more resources in new places, and content is being updated and created at a rapid pace.
Overall, this will be the year when the path paved by early adopters becomes crowded with the masses (see you in 2025, laggards!). The talk has been talked and the walk will be walked. Emerging technologies of the past couple of years have proven their value and are becoming the standard.
So where are you? Are you a bleeding-edge company that experienced all this in 2018? Are you squarely in the middle, ready to make your move? Perhaps your organization is still waiting to see how this whole Internet thing works out before you jump in?
Here’s to an exciting, productive and successful 2019!