Decoding The Learning Technology Market.


A single of the more thrilling aspects of business is corporate learning. It’s an estimated $360 billion market and is the defining factor for performance or failure for nearly every industry. Every time you hire a new employee, launch a new product or change how your business operates, there’s a massive requirement for training. In addition, with SkillsTech and an enormous market for creator content, it’s one of the most creative technologies markets anywhere in the world.

Many people refer to this area as “edTech,” but it’s a lot more. Traditional edTech markets conjure up programs such as MOOCs (Coursera) and online diplomas (SNHU, Capella, Strayer) or platforms like Khan’s Academy. They’re just barely scratching off the surface. Inside the halls and offices of the most innovative organizations, we can now find effective solutions that use VR AR, AR, AI-powered learning pathways, and intelligent career paths.

In my experience, I’ve observed that when innovative technology is developed, the first application is usually learning. (One might say that dating and sex might be the priority but the process of learning is after that.) This is possible due to the large variety of innovators in the field. Take a look at the number of educational YouTube videos you’ll find.

The first personal computers were first invented (1981). The first program we could use within IBM used to be”laserdisc “laserdisc.” It’s no wonder that the technology-driven learning market has not diminished.

One reason “Learning Technologies” is so popular is that we can use APIs and industry standards that can assist. Ten years ago, the only way to gauge or measure online learning was with SCORM, a bar that was based on CD-ROM tracking, which was initially created to train pilots in aviation. Today, the X-API allows us to analyze and monitor every interaction users have with the content, which is like advertising technology. This means that HR and L&D leaders can be ingeniously creative and still be able to measure and test to determine what is working.

There are also many other innovative ideas being developed.

The first is the explosive development in what we refer to as “cohort-based teaching.” If you can recall, we prefer to study in smaller groups in school. We had our desks together during grade school to collaborate on different tasks. This is spreading across corporate training, with various ways to “learn from your colleagues” through exercises or classes. (Our whole Josh Bersin Academy is a collaborative educational platform.)

Another is the rise of video. It was once thought of as a way to “capture an individual’s expertise,” similar to TedTalks. In reality, TedTalks are losing popularity due to their length! Still, now it’s an opportunity to “micro-capture” ideas, moments, and concepts in a highly memorable manner. TikTok is one of my most beloved apps is an excellent illustration. TikTok is a clever micro-learning application, and I’m challenging L&D managers to design the best training on earth using TikTok. If you’ve got good examples, submit them to me, and I”ll recommend them.

(TikTok is working on building this feature, and for example, by and is promoting the hashtag #LearnonTikTok. This is a first for AI, but wait.) it’s currently awash with noisy content, but I’m presently getting helpful cooking advice, Yoga classes, and some interesting videos about how AI works.

The third is the rise of AI. Of the many applications, I’ve encountered that use AI for HR work. Platforms such as EdCast and Eightfold, Degreed, and others can determine your abilities, monitor your online activity, and even recommend content for the workflow. I first discussed this in 2016, and It’s a reality now. Now that Microsoft, LinkedIn, Cornerstone, and other major corporations are investing in this area, it will only become better. The new place I refer to as SkillsTech is spreading across all businesses.

Brian Santiago

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