#astd2013, General Session: Part 1 – Tony Bingham

The second day of the ASTD 2013 conference opened with the first general session. I was personally excited about this session because Sir Ken Robinson was the keynote speaker. I was not disappointed, he gave a great presentation. Before that, however, we had the opening acts: The Passing Zone, a juggling act and Tony Bingham, the president and CEO of ASTD.

The Passing Zone did a great job and set the stage for the rest of the general session.

Tony Bingham

Tony Bingham then welcomed all the participants and gave some trending comments. He first pointed out that the May 20th issue of Time magazine had a picture of a millennial on the cover. He quipped that millennials believe they should be promoted every two years. They grew up with cellphones. They are 80 million strong in the US, and act similar to millennials in other countries. The traditional model of learning will not work for millenials. We will have to develop short info courses for millenials rather than long classes.

Bingham pointed out that mobile devices are increasing. Smartphones will soon outsell feature phones. We need to focus on developing for mobile learning. Mobile learning is not just putting classes online, it is also learner support. He recommended reading the book, Going Mobile.

When developing for a mobile audience content and visuals have to be simple. Information should be chunked into 4-10 minute blocks. The look and feel of the site needs to be consistent.

Bingham talked about security concerns. Aware of the sensitivity of proprietary information, he pointed out that some content is simply not appropriate for mobile learning. We need to be aware of the sensitivity of security.

CEOs are concerned about taxes and skill shortages. As learning and development professionals, we need to accelerate employee development. Mobile and social learning is a means to help satisfy this need. We need to look for opportunities for using mobile learning.

Key Steps

  • Think mobile
  • Start small
  • Create content specific for mobile device
  • Partner with IT
  • Identify impact and effectiveness

Book: Learning everywhere