October 19, 2015

Alvin Toffler, American writer and futurist, observed: “The illiterate of the 21st Century will not be those who cannot read and write, but those who cannot learn, unlearn, and relearn.”

Among other things, Toffler and others have acknowledged that individual learning styles are unique and should be addressed more successfully.

And other observers have recognized that we live primarily in a multisensory learning culture:

“ . . . We suggest that training protocols that employ unisensory stimulus regimes do not engage multisensory learning mechanisms and, therefore, might not be optimal for learning. However, multisensory-training protocols can better approximate natural settings and are more effective for learning.” (“Benefits of multisensory learning” by Ladan Shams and Aaron R. Seitz)

People get much more of their information and form many more of their opinions from what they see on the tube, smartphones, tablets and computers —- rather than through the historical practice of reading newspapers and magazines (just look at the crises facing print journalism today).

In terms of skills acquisition, most people are visual learners. Seeing, Hearing, and Doing — in combination — is still the best way. And, that is why at least half of our population will be better served with multi-sensory learning. (Nearly 40% of our adult population does not fully comprehend anything written above a 4th grade reading level.)

So what kind of technology-based learning should you avoid?:

• Shun reading-only e-Learning courses.

• Avoid adapted PowerPoint presentations and adapted written procedures, posing as e-Learning. As e-Learning they are counterfeit.

Reading and writing skills need not be de-emphasized.

However, multi-sensory media deserves an equal place for the many whose learning culture requires it.

Learning should be our end game and the means much more inclusive.

Most of your workforce-learners already rely on visual-based learning in their daily lives. Your organization will benefit from your recognition of that fact.

Finally —- as Toffler also observed: “The illiterate of the future will not be the person who cannot read. It will be the person who does not know how to learn.”

More on Wednesday – – –

— Bill Walton, co-Founder, ITC Learning
www.itclearning.com/blog/ (Mondays & Wednesdays)