Is Paying To Learn More Effective Than Just Using The Free Stuff?

As we grow into adulthood, and all that wonderful brain plasticity we came into the world gifted with starts to change. Sure, we are all lifelong learners by default, but learning, remapping, and establishing new habits in the adult brain, gets tougher and requires more attention and motivation. Perhaps learning a new language as an adult might provide the perfect use case.

“It is important to recognize that the normal course of aging is one of decline in many core cognitive abilities (commonly referred to as fluid intelligence), including speed of processing, working memory, long-term memory, and reasoning.” Park and Bischof. The aging mind: neuroplasticity in response to cognitive training

Sigh! Like many of us, I’ve put my brain — and myself — to the test by attempting to brush up my Spanish and French in the last few years. I’ve learnt a lot about myself and the study process along the way, which is why tomorrow’s episode of Season 3 of ‘Learning Is The New Working,’ The Learning Futures Group’s podcast, was so interesting for me — and, I hope, you guys!

 Available in a few short hours, it’s a chance to learn from one of the world’s biggest e-learning companies, language platform Babbel. Specifically, we got a chance to chat with the company’s Chief Product Officer, Geoff Stead, who leads us on an amazing journey about everything from cultural and generational Learner differences to why changing routines is so central to getting Learner motivation right and what Attention Economics can maybe teach us.

 I really wanted to see how Geoff sees the difference between learning a language to what Workplace Learning asks of us, and he gives me some fascinating thoughts, especially around motivation and persistence. Indeed, my conversation with Geoff is a brilliant example of what we’re trying to do in Season 3 of LITNW: explore The Rise of the Learning Scientist. We’re looking at what we can learn from adjacent disciplines to help start to build a new model for Adult and Workplace Learning. And we’re doing that by talking to computer scientists and engineers, social scientists, neuro- and data-scientists, experts and practitioners who are both doing great work but also trying hard to fall in love with the problem, not the solution.

 Don’t worry, we’ll still be hearing from frontline CLOs and HR thinkers on other episodes of the podcast.. but it’s time, we feel, to build a scientific basis for our practice if we are to respond to the challenges Learning is starting to face, and Babbel, as a company on the cusp of both exploitation of data-science and edtech, is well-placed to comment on all of these issues. And by the way, there is no charge to listen in on our conversation!

Por favor, escucha nuestro podcast. Gracias. See what I did there?