Digital Tribes, Virtual Clans, and Corporate Learning

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Online Forums 2013 - June 6, 2013
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Steve Wheeler

Associate Professor of Learning Technologies
Plymouth University

Traditionally, corporate learning and development has taken place in the physical classroom, with trainers taking center stage. But much needs to change to meet the expectations of new learners and their affinity with technology.

Participants in this session will explore this issue in the context of a variety of theories including “digital natives and immigrants,” the “net generation,” and the “digital divide.” You’ll explore how learning and development professionals are adapting emerging technologies and creating new learning environments. You’ll discuss blended, physical, and virtual learning environments, and evaluate the impact of social media, mobile learning, gaming, social learning, and the notion of “digital tribes and virtual clans”—loose aggregations of individuals who learn informally together through their habituated use of a bewildering array of information and communication technologies. You’ll also discover some of the new literacies and skills learners will need to acquire and practice if they are to capitalize on new technologies and apply them in real-world contexts. Finally, you’ll address the question “What will learning and development departments need to do to adapt to the new demands of a younger generation of learners?”

In this session, you will learn:

  • About the expectations learners now entering the workplace have for corporate learning and development
  • Theories that address how these new learners use and want to use technology for learning
  • How corporate learning and development departments need to adapt to new learner expectations with technology-enhanced learning environments


Handouts are available for Learning Guild members. Please log in or join to download these files.


This recording is available for Learning Guild members. Please log in or join to download this file.


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