John Winter, vice president of global learning solutions at International Institute for
Learning Inc., offers insight into the project managers of tomorrow.
IN 1910, NOVELIST E.M. FORSTER wrote as an epigraph for his novel Howards End, “Only con- nect...”. He was, of course, referring to the flawed
interaction of the class-ridden characters of his story.
But it is impossible to conceive how he could have
foreseen the relevance of two simple words today,
almost a hundred years later, in a society with access
to technology beyond his wildest dreams.
In the advent of Web 2.0 and social media, we
see the rapid rise in popularity of sites such as
Facebook, LinkedIn and You Tube, and we can see
that Mr. Forster’s words still hold true today.
For this generation and the next, it’s all about
relying on the Internet to connect. They are adept
at connecting, sharing messages, photographs,
music, videos and tweets with their friends and
the world beyond.
So what relevance does this have to project
THE WEB 2.0 GENERATION AS
Consider this: The average age of the project managers taking IIL’s Project Management Fundamentals
course is 23 to 25 years old.
Unlike the preceding generation, the new
breed of project managers has grown up with digital tools. Living with this level of “connectedness”
is as natural to them as living with television and
telephones was to their parents. They are the “digital
Developing educational content for this generation requires a paradigm shift by the “digital
immigrants” responsible for this task. The key to
success will be finding ways to use social media
as a catalyst for learning the methodologies and
practices of managing projects in a digitally connected way.
LEARNING TO CONNECT
Learning, in the very near future, will need to be a
digitally connected activity.
For example, Delicious is a wildly successful
social bookmarking site. People all over the world can
share their lists of browser bookmarks and see what
others are bookmarking. Imagine setting up a group
of learners on a social networking site such as
Facebook, giving the learners a task, and letting them
investigate and explore—with the requirement to
share the fruits of their labor with the group via a list
of tagged sites collected in Delicious.
Another way to reach these Web-savvy learners
is by setting up a project management category on
StumbleUpon, where they can tag any website they
decide is worth sharing with their fellow learners. If
you’ve never heard of this site, you may be amazed
to know that it already has 7. 8 million members who
are using it to categorize the social Web.
These are just two examples of new attitudes
towards communicating and accessing information.
Today’s educators must rise to the challenge presented by the next generation of professionals in
IIL’s mission is to connect with clients and industry leaders, and to stay ahead by providing the latest
in learning solutions.
Thank you, Mr. Forster, for giving us the
International Institute for Learning Inc. can be
found within the ever-expanding selection of social
networking platforms, including LinkedIn, Twitter and
Facebook. Visit www.iil.com to connect.
International Institute for Learning Inc.
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