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The Learning Technologies Ecosphere: Creating a Sustainable Strategy

The Learning Technologies Ecosphere is a key part of the overall experience that we, as learning and development professionals, are trying to create for our learners. Historically, organizations have used one monolithic tool such as a learning management system, but the disruption we’re seeing now is from a variety of tools being brought together to create deeper and richer learning experiences.

We call this the appification of the learning industry. This creates an ecosphere and learning experience that is unique to each organization.

During the Learning Transformation Breakfast held in London this summer, I had the pleasure of sitting down with Nigel Paine to discuss this in more detail. Watch the video of our discussion to learn more about the Learning Technologies Ecosphere and sustainable strategies to manage them.

For learning and development professionals, one of the biggest challenges is to discover and combine the right elements that work for an organization’s goal, and then to stay on top of changes as they happen. By creating a sustainable strategy to address this challenge, your organization will be able to efficiently manage the Learning Technologies Ecosphere.

For more digital learning strategies, solutions, and examples, visit our Innovation Kitchen. If you liked this post, please connect with me on social media or share it with your colleagues!

About the Authors

Matt Donovan
Chief Learning & Innovation Officer
Early in life, I found that I had a natural curiosity that not only led to a passion for learning and sharing with others, but it also got me into trouble. Although not a bad kid, I often found overly structured classrooms a challenge. I could be a bit disruptive as I would explore the content and activities in a manner that made sense to me. I found that classes and teachers that nurtured a personalized approach really resonated with me, while those that did not were demotivating and affected my relationship with the content. Too often, the conversation would come to a head where the teacher would ask, “Why can’t you learn it this way?” I would push back with, “Why can’t you teach it in a variety of ways?” The only path for success was when I would deconstruct and reconstruct the lessons in a meaningful way for myself. I would say that this early experience has shaped my career. I have been blessed with a range of opportunities to work with innovative organizations that advocate for the learner, endeavor to deliver relevance, and look to bend technology to further these goals. For example, while working at Unext.com, I had the opportunity to experience over 3,000 hours of “learnability” testing on my blended learning designs. I could see for my own eyes how learners would react to my designs and how they made meaning of it. Learners asked two common questions: Is it relevant to me? Is it authentic? Through observations of and conversations with learners, I began to sharpen my skills and designed for inclusion and relevance rather than control. This lesson has served me well. In our industry, we have become overly focused on the volume and arrangement of content, instead of its value. Not surprising—content is static and easier to define. Value (relevance), on the other hand, is fluid and much harder to describe. The real insight is that you can’t really design relevance; you can only design the environment or systems that promote it. Relevance ultimately is in the eye of the learner—not the designer. So, this is why, when asked for an elevator pitch, I share my passion of being an advocate for the learner and a warrior for relevance.

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