What should we do?

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Where to go. That’s where I was this morning, actually the day before. Normally, I have an idea of what to write. Other times, an epiphany that zings into my brain on the day of the post. Then there are “this is what I will write” only to change my mind at the last second.

Never though a total conundrum.

Should I write a follow-up to a webinar that I co-presented whereas nearly 500 people attended, even though webinar and online meeting fatigue has set in? (Which I thank all those who did push pas that)

Should I dive into specific topics that were covered, such as the premise that initial LMSs were driven by HR – which I strongly disagree – I saw no proof of that, but then again, I wasn’t flying all over the country to validate it.

Should I write how EdTech scored a huge F this past year, with their continued believe that synchronous based learning is effective? It is so effective, supposedly, that way too many people, students, teachers, politicians all pushed towards back into the classroom, and repeatedly ripped into “virtual learning”.

Should I write about the debate on whether commercial authoring tools are starting a decline, with the masses (due to COVID-19) and the anyone can build content being the key narrative – leading to an extensive amount of bad courses and content (simply due to the lack of sound instructional design knowledge -a cause to push quickly and you have to do it – because we need it, even though you lack those skills) – an irony, because rapid course authoring tools broke the market, under the premise of anyone can build quickly (and caused the demise of solutions such as Authorware, Dazzler Max and similar).

Should I write about the CLO role (not everyone but plenty) who push hard on new learning technologies because their companies can afford it – such as custom VR content, even though, overall other companies can’t – creating a have and have not? OR some CLOs who are leery about e-learning, but have to add it, still they are driven by OD to such a degree, that it impedes the overall growth (IMO).

Should I write that the reason VR has not taken off is due to the reality that great VR content requires custom development which easily can run into the 100 of thousands of dollars? With some custom shops who create wonderful VR setting back companies, a price point that is out of reach to so many?

Should I write about the potential liability concerns with VR headsets being used at someone’s home, knowing that they (the individual) needs to mark out (ahead of time) the space they will use, so that they do not bang into a wall or door or trip over a toy, and decide it is the fault of the company who supplied the headset in the first place? (Even though, the employee should have read the directions).

Should I write about the cost of VR headsets and again, the have and have-not is clearly defined as a result? I mean, big companies can buy them for a chunk or all their employees if they so desire. A small company or even mid-size has to find the budget to do so.

Should I write about whether e-learning, and even learning technologies are creating an exclusivity atmosphere to such an extent, we – as a collective are spurring this on, without realizing it?

Should I write that while the industry around internet access can fix itself by governments investing in broadband infrastructure, even though at least in the U.S., we still can’t pass a 3 Trillion dollars infrastructure bill to fix our crumbling highways, bridges (which everyone gripes about), invest in solar and other green technologies to counter climate change.

Should I write that some companies are willing to invest in their front line workforce, blue-collar workforce with engaging, interactive e-learning and learning technologies, but again, it is not universal. Creating, once again, a have and have not situation.

Should I write about systems who excel at deep configuration, and systems that even offer it, compared to those who really don’t? Deep configuration offers the client, the ability to strip the system down to the studs (using a house metaphor) and re-build it. It’s not cheap, with average pricing ranges running from 75 thousand dollars to more than 500, 000 thousand dollars (USD). Once again limiting companies, businesses, associations, and so on, to a few and not all?

Should I write that authoring tools themselves are pricing in many cases, out of the range to businesses, or entities entering the space for the first time, or causing a line item that requires a budget change, and potential impact to other learning technology initiatives? Again, have and have not.

Should I write how L&D and Training departments are still being stripped of funds, despite more than ever the need for learning systems with the push around upskilling and re-skilling at the forefront? Causing a do we do this and buy this OR sacrifice that – at the cost of their own learners?

Should I write about the implementation fees, with many systems, going far higher than in the past, for the usual items, including basic configuration – of skinning, adding your own logo and perhaps a tweak in your system? Plus the updates and maintenance component, which everyone gets?

OR how such basics as white labeling is an extra cost for so many, even though if you are customer education, especially selling B2B and B2C, the majority want to see only their name and not that of the vendor.

Should I write that there are vendors today who still lack a mobile app (iOS and Android) but espouse that their system looks great on mobile and more people are accessing mobile to take content? Should I add, that there are are vendors who have a mobile app for iOS (iPhones) but still lack one for Android, even though the latter has over 70% market share worldwide?

Should I write how there are learning system vendors who will white-label their mobile app (native) to the client’s brand name, which is an added plus when your learners are searching for your WidgetU in the Apple or Google Play stores, rather than the name of the vendor? Should I write that some vendors charge as low at 10 thousand dollars and others a King’s ransom?

Should I write that there are a handful of learning system vendors today who allow the sharing of content on What’s App which is used by over 1 billion people worldwide or that there are only a handful that can share content (created by your learners) on Instagram? And that the number that offers video content sharing by your learners on Tik-Tok is zero (to my knowledge), despite this social medium being red hot?

Should I write as you see repeatedly my very grave concern around have and have not, that so many of us believed would never cross into e-learning, even though it is rampant in society? Should I add that this is not limited to e-learning, rather learning (on-site) in general?

Should I write that way too many vendors think one session to train your administrator(s) is enough to learn the system and if they want more they pay for it? Or to offset the “fee” feel free to read our manual (PDF) or knowledge base or by golly our outstanding chat bot that they themselves may get frustrated with, on other web sites (which data continues to support that people as a whole, hate chatbots for support.

Should I write that there are learning system vendors whose own system that offers learners the ability to select skills tied to their job role or one they are interested in, often will not include skills or even the job role for an Instructional Designer, Instructional Technologist, even a training or L&D executive? Including, CLO?

Should I write that learning system vendors as a whole who push learner content creation, do not provide any basics on how do to that OR even for those who are using their built-in authoring tool, some common Instructional design techniques to help them? The assumption being people who are interested while search for it, ignoring the fact that in today’s business environment, the majority of people creating the courses have zero knowledge around training or learning, even what is ID?

Should I write that assigned learning exists not just in LMSs, but LXPs – and has for a few years? Or that learner-centric the narrative LXPs pushed in marketing, doesn’t exist when all your are offering to your learners is assigned learning?

Should I write about a few learning systems that I can'[t understand why anyone would want to buy them, when there are far better systems out there- even within your budget?

Should I write that “everything you may want especially around skills capabilities” may not be available with your budget and thus you have to compromise? Then have to listen to the CEO or whomever who can’t understand why the system for the company isn’t like so-so, as though you are intentionally doing this? As if undermining is the goal (which, uh its all about the budget you have been given).

Bottom Line

Perhaps, I shouldn’t.

Too late.

I just did.

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