Training the Next Generation

There was a great article in the May 2008 issue of Training titled, “Teach Tomorrow’s Leaders.” In it author Jay Jacobson discusses the need to move beyond training to learning.

The next generation of future leaders has had access to the Internet for most of their lives. They are wired to be entertained–almost 24 hours a day. The text-messaging phenomenon feeds their “rapid-fire” mentality, and people now expect information in short, abbreviated doses. As a result, current training techniques often are misaligned with the way the next generation of leaders will learn new information and stay engaged.

In the article Jacobson goes on to give some tips for creating this entertaining environment of learning. I found this one point interesting, “Make sure trainers provide thought leadership and guidance, and are not the preeminent source of knowledge. If the trainer is speaking more than 25 percent of the time, consider it a red flag.”

That’s a really bold statement. We need to let our participants talk and lead the discussion 75% of the time during a training learning session. Aren’t those the people we normally want to kick out of the session? 🙂  In all seriousness I am lucky to get some of my learners to talk at all.

I agree with this in theory, and this is something for us to work towards in libraries. What ideas do you have to make learning more participatory for the learner? Especially for technology training…how can we get learners to take the floor? As we make this paradigm shift do you see your more traditional learners being confused or annoyed by this change in dynamics? What do you think your facilitator/learner talking ratio is?