What’s the next buzzword?

Author: Clark
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I was perusing an old list of potential column topics, and came across one that asked about MOOCs. Now, you probably recognize that the term is pretty much evaporated from any list of top L&D concerns. That’s kind of funny, to me (ok, so you may question my sense of humor).  And it makes me wonder what topics are current and are on the horizon. What is the coming buzzword?

I talked in a column about the problem with chasing shiny objects. In short, it’s easy to get swayed by the latest hot topic, and want to be seen to be on top of things. But, as I’ve said repeatedly, a gilded dud is still a dud. If we get the core right first, then we can move on to see what’s real. And, of course, we need to dig into the real affordances, not just the hype (PowerPoint in Second Life, anyone?).

So there are some buzzwords already on the wane. Such as MOOCs. A good sign is if someone’s trademarked it, it’s jumped the shark. Frankly, that already characterizes microlearning. And we’ve had someone recently claim to have invented workflow learning (though it’s been talked about for years).  When they’re fighting about ownership, it’s done.

What’s waxing as opposed to waning?  How about ‘bots?  That’s the topic du jour! Often, as part of AI; as is Machine Learning, Deep Learning, and so on. Also Analytics (I think Big Data is already in the last paragraph’s category). Not necessarily bad, but part of this phenomenon is a lack of clarity about what we mean when we use any of these terms.  So, maybe it is like AI: if you know what you’re talking about, it’s no longer new and shiny! And of course, AR and VR are very much now. And personalized and adaptive! (Time for some ownership moves!)

So here’s the question: what’s the next buzzword? Would that it were learning science!  Ok, there’s been a bit of a resurgence (time to plug the coming Science of Learning Summit, with the usual caveat), but not near enough. C’mon, folks, lets get together and work on taking your design approaches and tuning them up!  Of course, I could wish we’re talking IA instead of AI, too. What else? Contextual. Content Systems. Those are my thinking (and I’ve been talking about these things for years; maybe it’s time).

So, what’s on your list? What’s next? What’s ready for primetime? Wearables? Post-AI? (I just made that up.)  I look forward to hearing your thoughts!


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What’s the next buzzword?
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