There are few aspects of life that technology doesn’t touch, but it’s easy to let the horse lead the cart. We are seeing technology transforming learning: systems provide infrastructure, media can be easily created to enhance learning, language itself is translated and transformed, we capture, share and journal with ease. The learning experience is more easily quantified, both for individuals and for organisations. But quantification doesn’t always equate to quality.
It’s about balance: agility is about our ability to learn, to innovate and be creative, to do things differently tomorrow from how we did them yesterday. It means that we should have as much say in things as the devices we buy and carry around with us. Whilst the features of technology may connect us ever more closely and ever more vocally, scheduling, chasing and reprimanding us ever more often, we need to ensure that underneath it all we are being effective. It should be our native behaviours that are being enhanced by the technology, not the technology forcing us to adapt our behaviours.
Many systems have failed to deliver what they promised: not because the technology failed (necessarily), but because the promises were never realistic. Great learning is about great design, storytelling, opportunities for exploration, reflection, understanding context, rehearsal and practice. All of which may be facilitated by technology, but is not guaranteed by it.
Technology can make us more effective, it can help us, but only if it plays by our rules and if we learn how to use it effectively.