Flew home last night from Dallas and the “2013 ASTD Convention & Expo.” The best training Expo I’ve ever attended — and, I’ve been to a lot of them.

The reason is simple. Today, the values inherent in well-conceived training programs are respected throughout the world. With organizational representatives from nearly one hundred countries in attendance at the conference, training has gone global!

As more and more jobs and growth become “local” in nature, so do the needs for skills learning accelerate. No longer are regions isolated from opportunity. And, the world wide web has truly allowed us to create an international community of learning.

It used to be that attendees at these conferences were mostly tire-kickers with a lot of wish lists but no budgets. Many of them were only interested in looking at do-it-yourself products so that they could create their own solutions.

But, the do-it-yourself crowd could not “do it” because training takes deep understanding of both learning principles and the appropriate delivery technologies necessary to effectively communicate in the learning culture that is prevalent today. And, that means video, gaming and simulations.

I, also, attended a meeting of forty-some training vendors and providers the day before the convention started. Interestingly, the customer observations they shared emphasized the movement away from today’s formal e-Learning programs and toward the customer’s desire for streaming video.

Why? Because trainers are moving rapidly in the direction of blended learning. Streaming video allows instructors to utilize only the video segments they wish in order to illustrate the teaching points they are choosing to emphasize.

Plus, the do-it-yourselfers with their repurposed PowerPoints have given e-Learning a bad name. I could have told them that reading-based programs are not where it’s at today. People want to learn — but they do it best when they control their own learning paths and when the material comes to them in a video, gaming or simulation package.

The learning world is getting more and more exciting. Next year’s ASTD conference will be in DC. Hope to see you there!

And, enjoy your holiday weekend! More next Tuesday – – –

— Bill Walton, Founder
ITC Learning (Tuesdays & Thursdays)