People learn in a variety of ways, explains educational pioneer Kelly Palmer. At LinkedIn, she’s helped build a platform that offers on-demand learning to adults building their careers. To her, three things distinguish the next stage of learning from the current one: curated content, personalized content, and incorporated social features. LinkedIn’s acquisition of Lynda, the hard-skill online learning platform, strongly indicates the direction of continuing education services, worker training, and on-demand education that meets everyone’s needs.
Kelly Palmer: I have to say I joined LinkedIn about four years ago with this vision of doing learning differently I started the learning organization from the ground up here which was really exciting to do because usually you don’t get a blank canvas in which to build your learning dream. So I had that to work with which was really great. And one of the first things I did was hire a couple of developers which is also pretty unusual for a learning organization and said let’s build a learning platform, a simple learning platform that actually does what we’ve always been dreaming about doing with learning. And so we built a learning platform that was all about curated content, personalized content and incorporating social features into that. And so I think that what we found is that the LMS is a little bit antiquated and that a learning platform that’s very user centric rather than administrative centric is really how we’re differentiating the future of learning.
People learn best from content that’s practical because what happens is is that people want to learn when they have a real problem to solve. If you for example say you want to teach all managers about having great interviewing skills. If you train all your managers at one time but say only a third of them are actually going to go out and start interviewing people, those people who aren’t going to use those skills for a while and they’re not going to be interviewing anyone are really not going to be able to take advantage of learning about interviewing skills because by the time they actually interview someone they will have lost that. So I think that’s where it comes back to learning what you need, when you need it. So you’re able to apply those skills right away. So for example with some of our Lynda.com courses what’s so great is it’s split up by chapter so that you can actually go in and say okay, this is the topic I’m interested in and you can go to the section in the Lynda content that’s specifically what you’re trying to focus on at that time.
People learn in a variety of ways, right, whether it be from books. We also offer Safari online books because a lot of our engineers love to learn through books. The Lynda.com, our own content whether that be video or whether that be online courses, whether that be snippets of information this whole spectrum of content that’s curated together and seen as a complete menu of choices for a learner so the learner gets to choose what they want. I believe that’s the future of learning.