Digital technology is creating a huge opportunity to elevate the learning and talent development function from a distraction to a driver of business results. But effectively evolving the L&D approach to meet the needs of our always-on workforce is harder than ever. Reality is getting more virtual. Intelligence is getting more artificial. Data is getting bigger.

The difference between the disruptors and the disrupted is what the organization does with the technology available.

Join Bersin by Deloitte analyst, Dani Johnson, for a conversation with 3 corporate learning trailblazers: Chris Trout, VP, Learning & Development at The Walt Disney Company, Barry Murphy, Global Learning Manager at Airbnb, and Amy Rouse, a Senior Learning Technologist formerly of AT&T, on their different approaches to engaging technology to confront the digital disruption happening in L&D.

The live, one-hour discussion will explore urgent questions about learning systems, such as:

  1. How are requirements for learning technology changing
  2. How to navigate the sea of “next-gen” vendors
  3. Why to consider an ecosystem instead of one, integrated system

Register for “The near future of learning technology” webinar now!

Corporate learning professionals have access to more learning content than ever before. In a recent CLO article, Josh Bersin describes the effect of the internet on the e-learning ecosystem:

“Today, we can watch an expert, jump from topic to topic, interact with the teacher, and submit real exercises and exams for evaluation online. Most community colleges and universities offer accredited courses online, and my personal experience shows they work extremely well. What does this all mean to us in corporate training? E-learning is back with a vengeance. Digital learning today is more exciting, dynamic and relevant than ever. Video, social experiences, gaming and online accreditation are all common.”

Not only has the medium of learning content diversified, the sheer amount of learning content has exploded. Degreed has cataloged over 250,000 online learning courses and 3 million informal learning activities from more than 1200 sources. Everything from live, virtual and eLearning courses to videos, MOOCs, bootcamps, articles, books, podcasts, webinars, conferences, online communities, apps and more. This content is coming from new and diverse sources, Crunchbase lists 1400+ edtech startups. In addition to traditional academic institutions bringing learning directly to individuals via the MOOCs, there’s also for-profit education providers, consulting firms, publishers, tech firms and non-profits.

The result? Here’s what the learning content landscape looks like today:

Degreed_2016_Learning_Landscape

In our August Webinar “Bring Your Own Learning” we explored the data behind the Bring Your Own Learning trend and discussed how you can manage the BYOL shift. As part of the data we shared, 77% of employees told us that their own self-directed learning was more effective towards helping them be successful in their profession. These are adults, they know what they need and they know what their strengths and weaknesses are. When we asked people how they find new information to do their jobs, 69% of them said the first thing they do is Google it and read or watch what they find. The behavior pattern here is critical: people expect immediate answers.

The takeaway is that empowering employee learning is the next big movement in education. Those who embrace it will thrive.

How can you start to manage the shift to bring your own learning? Here are 5 ideas for supporting employee learning in the new learning ecosystem.

1. Weekly lunch and learns. These are informal opportunities to tap into the knowledge and skills of employees, by having those people share what they know with their colleagues. We’ve seen this implemented with tools like Google Hangouts or Webcasts.

2. Tuition reimbursement and recognition programs. Increasingly we’re seeing organizations thinking about these programs differently to work for informal and self-directed learning.

3. Set specific learning goals. Consider reevaluating performance management processes to connect the idea of career advancement to learning in concrete and specific ways.

4. Curate and recommend resources. Look for resources that aren’t just formal; video, articles, webinars, MOOCs. Mix a variety of formats.

5. Recognize and value all kinds of learning and development. 

Jane Hart, Founder of Centre for Learning and Performance Technologies  has said regarding the future of learning “It will not be about designing personalized training nor managing people’s learning for them, but rather supporting their own personal learning strategies.”

Bring-Y

We agree, we also believe that accountability equals love. Organizations should think about guiding and empowering learning as much as they do enforcing .

Do you have more ideas for supporting employee learning? Tweet them to us @Degreed. Find out how Degreed can help you empower your learners here.

Everyone in L&D is obsessed with innovation and leveraging new approaches to learning to get better results. In July’s Webinar we teamed up with Comcast’s Eric VanDerSluis to give you some ideas on how to get started reinventing learning content for the next-generation learners.

There is a lot of research out there on putting learners first. When you boil it down, it points to these three important changes going on in people’s learning habits.

1. From instructor-led to self-directed

The most important shift is from L&D-driven, instructor-led training to self-directed development. Degreed’s own research (which we’ve talked about before) says that the typical worker spends 4x to 5x more time learning on their own than from the training their employers provide.

What those people say works best are social learning (both from their teams and their networks), search and reading. Less than 20% of them think courses are essential for learning what they need to do their jobs or build their careers. That goes for courses they find on their own as well as the ones L&D teams build and buy for them (check out Jane Hart’s research here).

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2. From uniform to fragmented

When learners do choose their own learning, another big shift happens: They go from uniform, one-size-fits-all solutions (like LMSs, classes and courses) to a more fragmented, diverse mix. People may end up taking fewer classes and courses. But they replace or augment them with all those other things — like projects, search, articles, videos and conversations with other people.

Think about your own habits. You probably learn a little bit every day just from reading and working through problems with your colleagues. Occasionally, you go to an event (like this one) or watch a video. Every once in a while, you take a class or do a course online.

L&D organizations have to do more than just build, buy and deliver courses. You also need to invest in the content and systems and capabilities to leverage that whole ecosystem.

3. From sometimes to every day

The reason you need to invest your L&D resources differently now is that learning is not an occasional event anymore. People are still learning, they’re just doing it differently.

More than 70%, for example, told us they have learned something for their job from an article, a video or some other informal resource — like Google, Twitter, Quora or Flipboard — in the last 24 hours. People are increasingly empowered by apps like those to learn whatever they need whenever and wherever they want. As a result, the amount of stuff that people read has actually tripled since the 1980s.

You cannot fight that. And more enlightened, forward thinking employers aren’t trying to anymore. Instead, they are beginning to reinvent how they design and deliver learning experiences to empower and channel these new habits. You should, too.

Takeaway:

The big takeaway here is simple: Workplace learning needs to adapt. And sooner would be better. Because even though learners have already moved on, 70% of L&D is still instructor-led.

From evolution to a revolution

Most people in L&D seem to be understanding the need to adapt. The consultants and analysts and pundits do, and so does the industry media; CLO just published an article called “Learning Needs a Revolution”.

Everyone is finally talking about how L&D needs to innovate. That’s good. The trouble is, not enough organizations are actually doing it for real.

Innovations and Technology

Most people equate innovation with technology. Learning professionals have more technology at their disposal now than ever before. Pair that tech with the dozens of new kinds of solutions available for creating, curating, delivering and tracking all kinds of learning, and that’s a stacked toolkit.

It’s exciting to see so many people and organizations experimenting with, and adopting, these new tools.

Innovation takes more than shiny new toys

There’s some shiny new toy every year, though. 2015 is the year of micro-learning and gamification. 2014 was MOOCs and big data analytics. Before that, it was social learning and mobile. Next year, it’ll probably be wearables and xAPI.

Unfortunately, few of these new tools seem to make it past that experimental phase to become a core part of L&D. Mobile is a prime example. Even though 64% of the workforce uses smartphones now, barely a third of employers have any mobile learning program yet, only 19% of LMS shoppers say mobile is a primary consideration and only a tiny fraction of content is accessible on mobile devices.

That’s because technology and content are just tools. They don’t solve problems by themselves. That takes people.

Innovation demands new ways of thinking, working and managing

Yes, new technology and content are essential to making learning work better, faster and cheaper. But they are useless without new ways of learning require new ways of thinking, working and managing L&D, too.

1. Learning leaders need to manage innovation differently. Figuring out how to get the most out of new methods calls for new attitudes and approaches: Embracing diversity over efficiency, moving faster, making smaller bets, and accepting failure.

2. To spread those new approaches, you’ll probably need some new operating practices, too. Recruit for new kinds of skills. Try new team structures. Build more flexible, agile processes. Adjust your metrics and incentives.

Remember: You cannot create a new culture with the same old ways.

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3. L&D teams will also need to build some new capabilities. Explore new tools and technologies. Start experimenting with new methods. Figure out how to segment audiences and solutions. Learn to crowdsource and curate content. Do what learning people do best: Learn!

Takeaway:

L&D professionals have more tools in their toolkits now than ever before, but new technology and content are only part of the solution. If you want different results, you have to do something different.

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Comcast’s Chief Learning Officer, Martha Soehren, put that very elegantly.

 

For the full recording of July’s webinar and Eric’s story of how Comcast reinvented learning click here. For more on how Degreed can help you reinvent learning content to check us out here.

Employees are looking beyond what their Learning & Development (L&D) departments have to offer. And they’re choosing to learn in different ways from a much more diverse range of sources. Here’s the upside for you, though: Leveraging new forms and sources of content can make L&D more effective, not to mention more engaging.

Can you hear your workforce? They’re screaming for more diverse options. Truth is, we all learn through a constantly changing, increasingly diverse and incredibly fragmented mix of content, feedback, and experiences – both planned and ad-hoc. So you can better engage learners (and drive performance in the process) by leveraging the entire learning ecosystem to give them more diverse options.

The way to start is to think differently about how you define learning. Most people don’t; over 70% of employer-provided development is still formal, instructor-led training (according to ATD’s latest numbers). L&D is still stuck on classes and courses. Sure, more flexible virtual classes, online courses, and MOOCs are all great steps toward making courses more accessible, but they are not enough.

Here’s why: Fewer than 25% of people have completed a course of any kind in the last 2 years – not at college, not online, and not professionally. However, more than 70% of those same people say they have learned something for their job from an article, a video, or a book in the last 24 hours.

What does that tell you? People like to pick and choose different kinds of content to meet different kinds of learning needs. Even though innovative new forms of content like micro-learning, on-demand videos and gamification are more in tune with people’s habits now, simply swapping long-form courses for those snacks, fun and games still misses the bigger picture.

The bigger picture is that learning at (and for) work is not an ‘either/or’ proposition. Learning and development are not only formal or only informal; they’re both. We all learn through a constantly shifting mix of planned, scheduled, formal training along with regular doses of ad-hoc on-demand, social and on-the-job learning.

The thing is, a massive chunk of what we learn is informal – it’s through the books, articles, and videos we consume every day, and the context in which we apply them through work and our interactions with our peers, customers and managers. That means many L&D teams probably ought to think about rebalancing their own mixes.

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Here’s how you can get started and engage learners:

First, give your learners more diverse options – and not just a variety of instructor-led or e-learning courses.

Second, increase engagement by building a learning culture that really values informal learning.

Third (and this is a vital step), engage learners by opening up the line of sight into all that informal learning.

How would it change the learning environment if  your employees could see what their peers were learning about, consume that same content and easily share it with others on their teams? How would it change the learning environment if you and managers within your organization had a line of sight into all the learning employees were really doing? It would probably help you make better, smarter, more targeted investments in learning programs. It would certainly give you more insight into the problems employees are trying to solve.

Odds are, your learners are already going outside of L&D to learn on their own time (and maybe even on their own dime). And if you’re not measuring and valuing informal learning, then you’re missing a big piece of the picture. Learning cultures thrive when employees are given diverse options, shown that all their learning is valued, and empowered to consume and share learning whenever they need, however they want.

Degreed can help you offer more diverse options and empower you and your learners to leverage the entire learning ecosystem. Let’s get started!

Employees are learning differently than they were 10 years ago, and it’s time for L&D leaders to listen to the crowd and change some things. That may be uncomfortable for a lot of people in L&D, but it is unavoidable. The good news is you have choices too: You can try to change everyone else’s preferences and habits or you can change how enterprise learning works. Here are 7 stats that show why learning isn’t limited to L&D anymore to help you decide:

Almost 70% of the people we asked told us the first thing they do when they need to learn something new for their jobs is Google it and read or watch what they find. We are all “just Googling it”, and not just because it’s expedient. We’re doing it because, in many cases, Google is all we really need. 

– Less than 50% say they look specifically for a course, but they’re inclined to do so on their own.

– Fewer than 12% said they ask their L&D or HR department for courses or other resources.

– By a 3.5 to 1 margin, people tell us they believe their own self-directed learning is more effective in helping them be successful at work than the training provided by their employers. 

– More than 70% of the people we’ve surveyed say they’ve learned something for their job from an article, a video or a book in the last 24 hours.

-Informal learning needs to be valued more highly. Most workers told us they believe that up to 60% of the knowledge and skills they use at work come from informal learning.

4 of the top 10 learning tools are consumer social networks.  Additionally, only 4 the top 25 tools for learning are enterprise products, and only one is an LMS.

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Learning is not limited to L&D anymore. Learners are adults who have a good idea of what they need. In many cases, they say they don’t need a day-long course or even a 2-hour workshop or a 1-hour video. They just need some targeted articles and a few short video clips — just enough to get started. It’s time to start embracing the ‘random’, ‘just in time’, and ‘just because learning’ and open our learning and development tools to include the entire learning ecosystem.

Learn how Degreed can help you leverage the entire learning ecosystem here.

 

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We know that employees are looking beyond what their Learning & Development departments have to offer. They’re choosing to learn in different ways from a much more diverse range of sources. Meanwhile, most L&D infrastructure is still geared for the same old thing – managing formal training.It’s time to meet, and embrace, the new learning ecosystem. Here’s how you can leverage it.

Start by listening to the crowd and what they’re teaching us about learning. Learning at (and for) work has changed radically. Learners are making their own choices now: People spend at least 4-5x more time on self-directed learning than on what their L&D departments build and buy. The crowd is telling us 3 major things about learning:

1. Learners want faster, easier answers.  The easiest way to find an answer or learn something for their jobs is to Google it and watch or read what they find. We’re doing this because in many cases it’s efficient and all we really need.

2. Learners need more diverse options. They want to learn in many different ways–not just from courses and formal training programs. In fact, more than 70% of people have learned something for their job from an article, a video, or a book in the last 24 hours. Unfortunately, most of that learning is outside of the view of the L&D or HR process.

3. Learners want to leverage the entire learning ecosystem.  Most workers told us that up to 60% of the knowledge and skills they use at work come from informal training.

In addition, 90% said they would prefer to be given credit for their own learning vs. learning at L&D or HR’s direction.

Learning ecosystem

We need to start valuing informal learning- which could be a big, under-leveraged tool for building learning culture. You can try to change everyone else’s preferences and habits or you can change how L&D works.

The difficulty is that while the way we’re all learning has evolved, the way many L&D organizations invest hasn’t really. Right now most systems are set up for command-and-control, one-to-many broadcast approach. In order to put learners first, the people and processes, the programs and content, and the tools and technology systems all need to reflect this new reality.

Say hello to the new learning ecosystem

The tools to help you leverage it are already out there, and it’s much more than just LMSs and SharePoint sites.

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The Learning Ecosystem should include a rich mix of 3 things

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What does that look like in practice?

-Look past proprietary or vendor content. Embrace alternative formats and sources.

Do more than just build, buy, and push content. Crowdsource, curate, and assemble it. Remember that 4 of the top 10 tools for learning are consumer social networks. Empower your learners to crowdsource and assemble content too!

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-Measure more than formal training. Track, recognize, and value all kinds of learning. There’s no excuse: You should be recognizing and valuing all kinds of learning. This means measuring more than formal training.

New ways of learning demand different kinds of infrastructure. Infrastructure that empowers. New tools, content and technologies are essential for re-engaging learners and reconnecting L&D to business. By focusing on some new priorities, incorporating some new approaches, and rebalancing your investments you can leverage this new learning ecosystem to make L&D better serve your learners.

If you missed the webinar get the full recording here

To discover how we can help you empower learners and leverage the entire learning ecosystem check out get.degreed.com.

Tweet your thoughts on leveraging the new learning ecosystem to @degreed

Everyone knows most learning happens beyond classroom walls and outside learning management systems (LMSs). New research is finally showing just how much, and the data is startling.

Our research, conducted via two separate surveys over the last year, shows that workers spend 4x to 5x more time on self-directed learning than on what their L&D departments build and buy. They invest more than 14 hours a month, on average, learning on their own, but just two to three hours on employer-provided training.

That should matter to learning professionals because it’s the starting point for understanding not just why L&D needs to evolve – urgently – but also how. And if you watch and listen carefully, the crowd is giving us three major clues about the future of talent development. Here’s what learners really want:

What-Learners-Want

 

In this month’s Webinar we’re diving into how to leverage the new learning ecosystem to better serve learners. Sign up here and join us! If you’re interested in what Degreed does to leverage the new learning ecosystem click here.

In May’s “Putting Learners First” Webinar VP of Product Marketing Todd Tauber presented on the current issues with L&D approaches and how to make the shift to put learners first. In this final recap post we’ll explore reimagining L&D for learners. For the first two sections of this Webinar checkout Webinar Recap I: Why It’s Time to Rethink L&D Approaches, and Webinar Recap II: How To Make The Shift. 

Rewire L&D infrastructure to reinvent learning for learners
The hard part is doing the work to actually reinvent workplace learning. Transforming how L&D works all at once can be a huge, complicated job. It often takes months or years, depending on how complicated the organization is.

The key is not cost cutting and reorganizing, though. It’s investing time and money differently. L&D organizations only really invest in 3 things: people, content and tools.

Companies who are making this shift are approaching their content and programs very differently.
– They still do programs and classes and online courses, but they’re tilting the balance much more heavily toward experiential, social and on-demand learning experiences, with more modern formats like short videos, simulations and apps.

These companies are able to do that in large part because they’re changing their people and processes.
– Some are cleaning house and starting over, looking for new kinds of learning consultants and instructional designers who “get” the business and audiences better.
– Others are evolving, re-training their existing staff, adding new kinds of people into the mix alongside their or even creating entirely new roles.
– Several companies – for example Bank of America, EY, LinkedIn, Macy’s and Nike – now have product managers instead of (or in addition to) their LMS administrators.

The problem with different people trying to do different things is that it’s creating some new problems, those problems demand new and different kinds of technology to work better. Very few authoring tools or LMSs, for example, make it easy to create, find, access or track informal learning content or social and on-the-job learning experiences.

Make it simpler to create (and curate) learning
Most authoring tools and LMSs were designed and built for an era of one-to-many learning – the broadcast model. Now, people do a lot more than just consume; they’re also crowdsourcing and collaborating. Learning is no longer one-to-many, it’s many-to-many.

A lot of learners (and L&D teams) now need better tools for creating, curating and sharing learning.

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– Almost 90% of workers say that sharing knowledge is an important or essential part of learning what they need for their jobs.
-Only around ⅓ of employers have invested in dedicated social learning systems.

Make it faster to find learning
Creating learning is only the first step, though. Learners also need better tools for finding the right things at the right time. We are all overwhelmed by information. We are also all impatient. Especially online- if we can’t find what we want – fast – we move on.

Learning content is so easy to make, and so cheap to buy now that it’s become almost too available. Making sense of all the learning clutter out there is a growing problem.

Make it easier to access learning
Finding the right content isn’t much use if people can’t access it. One word: Mobile.
More than half of workers now say they would like to be able to access learning on mobile devices. They may not all need it to do their jobs, but they want it.

Most companies are barely scratching the surface when it comes to mobile learning. Sure, it’s encouraging that more than 70% of organizations now say they’re doing something with mobile learning. However, only 12% of learning content is actually mobile-ready.

Make it possible to track all learning
Companies that do that are just trying to stuff the toothpaste back in the tube, though. It’s become clear that both L&D organizations and individual employees need better ways to track, measure and value all of their learning.

Almost every CLO says they feel the need and urgency to demonstrate the value of their organization’s investment in L&D. In spite of that need and urgency, less than 30% of big companies capture much data on their informal learning activity. It’s hard to manage L&D when you can’t see the whole picture.

It’s also hard for individuals to act on that data. Even if they did collect it, it’s rare for employers to provide workers with easy access to information about their development beyond basic LMS transcripts.
Almost ⅔ of working professionals that we’ve surveyed say they would spend more time on informal learning if it was tracked and given professional credit of some kind.

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Takeaway 3

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Putting learners first requires new, different and better tools:
– For creating and curating learning.
– For discovering and finding learning.
– For accessing learning.
– And for valuing learning.

That means ALL kinds of learning – not just formal training. For more information on how Degreed makes it easy for organizations and their people to discover, curate, and track ALL their learning check out get.degreed.com

In the ‘Putting Learners First’ Webinar, VP of Product Marketing, Todd Tauber dived into the problems with L&D approaches, what it’ll take to start putting learners first, and how to start rewiring L&D to provide what people and employers need. In Part II of the Webinar Recap: ‘Putting Learners First’ we’ll dive into what it takes to start putting learners first. Read Part I: Why It’s Time to Rethink L&D Approaches here.

1. Start putting learners first
We think that the most important shift to make here is about mindsets; it’s putting learners not just at the center, but at the beginning. That’s not as easy as it sounds. Pretty much everyone in L&D recognizes that most learning doesn’t happen inside classrooms or learning management systems (LMSs).
– The 70:20:10 learning framework – which says only 10% of learning comes from formal training, 20% from other people and 70% from experiences on-the-job – is almost 20 years old. It’s amazing, then, to see how far away most corporate L&D teams are.

The first step toward recovery is recognizing that you have a problem. When CLOs and their teams acknowledge that this is, in fact, a problem, then they start approaching a lot of things differently. They also start investing their time and budget money very differently.

2. Stop trying to command and control, and start empowering

A big one is the role and definition of L&D itself.

If you believe, for example, that the role of the organization’s learning team is to manage training and development, then you make some very different choices about some very basic questions:

Who’s responsible for driving L&D activity – HR and L&D or employees and their managers?
When and where does learning happen – on a schedule at work or anytime, anywhere?
What and why do people learn – for operational efficiency and compliance or to build strategic capabilities and performance?
How do they learn – mainly through formal classes and online courses or in the flow of their work?

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Janice Burns, the CLO at MasterCard, believes her team’s jobs are to be, “motivators and facilitators more than anything else.” And as a result, they prioritize providing people with the tools, resources and access they need to do their jobs better.

3. Stop making learning one-size-fits-all, and start offering choices
Thinking that way has prompted MasterCard to experiment with all kinds of new, unconventional approaches to learning, development and performance improvement.

Examples include:
– Creating animated role plays and games to teach new hires – especially recent college grads – compliance.
– Pairing short videos with quizzes to get new, external IT hires up to speed on the payments industry so they can do their jobs better.
– Invitations for 5-minute tutorials on people management skills directly into leaders’ calendars.
– Producing scheduled, 3 to 6-week blended learning journeys to get product managers up to speed on innovation and entrepreneurship techniques, and to diffuse infuse their marketing managers with up-to-date digital skills.

MasterCard still has an LMS and course catalog, but now they’re also acknowledging that they have an incredibly diverse workforce spread around the world – who all want and need different things. MasterCard segments those people into logical groups and then they design, develop and deliver differentiated solutions based on what makes sense for them.

By doing that, they’re giving learners as well as L&D professionals choices. Guess what? It’s working.

4. Stop making learners have to, and start making them want to.

Learners-First
Something else happens when you approach L&D from the learners’ perspectives: You tend to focus more effort on the things they care about – like leadership, soft-skills and sales. Coincidentally, these are also the things that enable strategy and drive business performance.

That doesn’t mean you don’t do the operational and compliance stuff – for example on desktop applications or proprietary processes or generic training for industry certifications. Of course you still do those things, they are still important. Higher-performing L&D organizations – the ones who are better aligned with business priorities and who deliver more effective learning more efficiently – make it a point to do them smarter.

Takeaway 2
Modernizing workplace learning demands some big shifts in how we think about L&D. And those shifts start with putting learners first.

 

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Here’s the full Webinar: Putting Learners First

 

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