Degreed is honored to be recognized on two recent Training Industry Top 20 lists: Top Online Learning Library Company and Top Learning Portal  Company.

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“Workers today are inundated with resources. More successful learning teams are utilizing practices like curation to cut through the chaos and bring only relevant, personalized content to each employee,” said CEO David Blake. “Degreed helps people discover, curate, share, track and value all types of learning – from anywhere – all in one place. By using Degreed, L&D teams can spend less time managing and more time empowering.”

Thank you to Training Industry for the thoughtful recognition.

In the midst of the learning transformation happening today, we are seeing a new approach to bringing together technology, access to content and people, and dynamic user experiences that are shaped by human dynamics.  These learning ecosystems are supporting the need to be continually learning, filtering in the overwhelm of access to massive amounts of content, and bringing together connections amongst networks that enable learners to share, mentor and develop lifelong skills.

These learning ecosystems of today’s hyper-connected and networked world incorporate the best of all aspects that the latest technologies and support resources can deliver. They also strive to be simple to access, completely intuitive for the end user and personalized.  Although the concept may seem easy to explain, in reality, it certainly isn’t simple to determine the right foundation with the perfect mix of technologies and support resources needed to make it deliver on all expectations.

Building sustaining learning ecosystems requires a shift in mindsets.  It is critical to have an experimental mindset in creating a learning ecosystem in order to ensure it is future proof.  Also having a learner-driven, growth mindset in establishing the foundation based on the principles of human dynamics solidifies that it is grounded and strong enough to withstand the tumultuous changes yet to come. If it is built based on the learner needs, the human dynamics drive the design, then it becomes more than just the latest fad in a grouping of the hottest technologies but rather it becomes a foundational ecosystem that can evolve with the changing systems that operate it and drive the adoption and engagement anticipated.

As Degreed states in it’s Buyer’s Guide to the Near Future of Learning Technology, “Change is fast and increasingly unpredictable, making it a challenge for individuals and organizations to keep pace with the skills required to solve today’s problems.  It’s no longer enough to simply be competent on the job.  Everyone needs to keep on learning – indefinitely .”

What impacts the success and fortitude of learning ecosystems is the foundation it arises from.  Human dynamics, the study of how people work as a whole system – mentally, physically, and emotionally can spur that foundational story behind what fuels an ecosystem.  It becomes the energy source for the “why” and the architecture in building an ideal and sustaining learning ecosystem.  When built from an innovative, adaptable and connected foundation rooted in human dynamics, a learning ecosystem can evolve and withstand the unpredictability of the shifts that rock foundations.

Not sure what to put in your ecosystem? Stop by Degreed booth 3325 at the HR Technology conference. If you’re not at HR Tech, check out the Degreed website to create your own lifelong learning transcript.

The world’s largest companies are pushing a digital technology agenda that is changing the way the rest of the world works. Over $ 1.7 trillion in market capitalization resides in just four digital business masters: Apple, Google, Amazon, and Facebook. It seems companies have no choice but to innovate if they want to compete and succeed and stay on the cutting edge of technology.

It takes a certain skill set and certain employee network to accomplish these goals, and many organizations are having a hard time cutting the mustard. A recent survey by the Manpower Group reports that 38 percent of businesses globally are struggling to find the right talent. Rather than wait for the talent they need to emerge from the market, enterprises need to look to their current employees first with a focus on how to internally develop the skills needed.

Degreed, Accenture and Nyenrode Business Universities are joining forces in a partnership to address three of the important challenges companies face in retaining and developing the right talent:

  1. Alignment: More successful organizations view their people as a strategic differentiator. They have a clear business strategy in place, understand what capabilities are needed and can align their digital talent development agenda with business objectives.
  2. Adaptability: The classic model of education – a burst at the start and top-ups through formal company training – does not meet the needs of today’s fast-changing business environment. At the same time, learners are finding alternative ways and sources to acquire the expertise they need. Companies need to rethink the way they enable, engage and empower the learner.
  3. Acceleration: Workers understand they need to develop new skills to remain relevant. In our survey, 85% of respondents said they would be willing to invest their free time to learn new skills. If companies invest in developing rapid reskilling programs, they can mitigate automation’s negative impact on workers.

In a combined effort, Accenture, Nyenrode, and Degreed address these challenges. The partnership aims to better exploit the window of opportunity for targeted development and enrich the learning experience with personalized learning offerings that provide academic rigor and proficiency.

“This partnership propels our mission to rotate businesses to the new and emerging opportunities of digitalization, furthering our high-value transformation services,” said Robert-Paul Doove, Senior Manager at Accenture.

Degreed supports targeted skill development to take place within the walls of an organization, by facilitating the discovery, measurement, and recognition of all learning. As explained by Degreed CEO, David Blake, “Our platform automatically connects people to relevant resources and offers an engaging user experience, stimulating people to make learning a daily habit.”

Nyenrode reinforces the learning journey for targeted learners by blending the digital, informal learning journey with their renowned strengths in the field of action based learning, expert-led masterclasses, case assignments, network events and academic rigor. “This partnership enables us to deliver innovative learning solutions to our clients,” says Diederik Slob, Program Director Professional Programs at Nyenrode Business University.

After a period of experimentation and optimization, the team is excited to start serving its first learners on their journey to become the workforce of the future before the end of the year.

To learn more, visit the Degreed website.

If you could have any superpower, what would you choose? (Don’t worry, I just pictured a 10-year-old version of myself in a cape too.) My answer to this age-old question has always been reading minds.

Maybe that wasn’t your first choice, but if you’ve ever found yourself scratching your head about how to get learners better engaged with the content you’ve provided, I’m sure it’s a power you wouldn’t mind having.

The right content for your learners can feel like a guessing man’s game. It can be hard to know what’s working, what’s not, and how to do better.

That’s where data-driven design comes in. There’s an abundance of data that can be gathered about how users are interacting with content. It’s just a matter of knowing what kind of data to look for, and how to use it to shape your learning design.

Lori Niles-Hofmann, Director of Digital Learning at Scotiabank, is a data-driven design guru. She’s a firm believer in pursuing the insights that we can’t see and leveraging multiple sources of data to identify trends to get ahead of learner needs.

What kind of data are we talking about? Likes, dislikes, most viewed content, mobile vs desktop usage, popular content length… the list goes on. All of these pieces of information are the users’ way of speaking up about what they like and don’t like – and it’s time we started listening.

As Lori says, “It is not enough to just curate and push out links. You have to have a plan to engage in online dialogue and listen to the comments from the community.” Far too often, companies offer what they think learners need and never pause to find out if it’s actually what they want.

In her eBook, Data-Driven Learning Design, Niles-Hofmann summarizes it plainly: “We can no longer push out content that we believe learners should or must digest… not when there is evidence that tells us what learners are willing to consume as digital content. Instead, it is time to be bold and give learners what they want.”

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So how exactly do we find out and deliver what learners want? Join Lori Niles-Hofmann in person at Degreed LENS for her “Upskill Yourself: Data-Driven Design Skills” workshop where she’ll discuss in-depth how to change your learning design to better suit your audience.

There has been so much change in Learning and Development in the last decade, it’s hard to imagine what the next 5 years will hold.

Consider these life-changing advances we’ve experienced in the last 10 years: in 2007, Netflix launched and the first Kindle was released, Android Software and the iPad were released in 2010 and coffee-lovers cheer, the first Keurig for home use launched in 2012.

The inventors of these technologies started their lifelong learning journeys in the same place – grade school. Did you know one teacher can impact 25 students every day and up to 4,000 students during their career? Teachers that receive quality professional development can impact student achievement by 21 percentile points. By investing in our teacher’s professional development, the return in learning is 25x.

To enrich the learning experiences of students across the United States, organizations like Computer Science Teachers Association (CSTA)  are committed to offering professional development resources to K-12 computer science teachers.

In preparation for her speaking session at LENS, I recently interviewed CSTA Director of Professional Development, Marina Theodotou on the future of education and learning.

Marina believes that education is rapidly evolving, much like the shifts we’ve seen in technology. Theodotou predicts that in the next five years we will need to learn to sharpen problem-solving and social interaction skills at a faster pace to keep up with the increasing speed of information and doing business globally. These skills will also be required to differentiate ourselves from  AI robots that have already taken over activities that take 30 seconds or less.

“The way to ensure that the learning sticks is to break it down into smaller chunks and make sure it’s  implementable,” she added.

So what is CSTA doing to ensure knowledge transfer among their teachers and staff?

“Computer Science changes rapidly so we must constantly make new content and learning opportunities available to educators.  We partnered with Degreed because we can curate content and create pathways on a variety of subjects. Degreed’s daily feed serves users new content every day is especially popular. It makes teachers lives easier because they can take that content and use it in their classrooms every day,” responded Marina.

CSTA teachers appreciate the easy access to diverse learning resources. The daily feed breaks learning down into smaller activities and makes it easy for teachers to implement what they learn.

Additionally important to learning from others is the investment we make in ourselves. I asked Marina what her most memorable learning experience was and how she was applying it today.

“When I was starting my career, I was invited to lunch by the CEO of Bank of America at the time, Mr. Hugh McColl. The 1.5-hour lunch was like getting an MBA. I asked him what the 3 ingredients to success were,  he said: to succeed you need brains, guts and public speaking skills. The next day I signed up to Toastmasters International and a year later got my competent toastmaster certification. Since then, I added two more skills to the mix: heart, which includes values, emotional intelligence and empathy, and tech skills, including knowing how to code, problem-solving and navigating social media. These pearls of wisdom have carried me throughout my career over the last 25 years.”

To hear more about her learning journey and how CSTA is specifically supporting our educators, please make time to attend Degreed LENS, September 28th in Chicago. Marina Theodotou will be speaking alongside UC Berkeley and Accenture for the session Upskill, Reskill, Repeat: How to Get Ready for Career-Long Learning with UC Berkeley, Accenture, and CSTA.

Today we announced the launch of Degreed Skill Certification, a new way to measure and communicate your skills. This new offering, only available through Degreed, will score existing skills and rank expertise levels using a scientifically backed method and technology.

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Degreed Skill Certification is a way for people to prove their expertise, regardless of how they acquired their skills.

How It’s Different From Other Certifications

  1. It’s all about skills: Degreed Skill Certification is purely skills based. You are evaluated and ranked based on submitted evidence of current skill knowledge.
  2. This is not a course: Degreed Skill Certification isn’t a training program, course, or class, but rather a credible way for you to prove what existing skills you have, regardless of how you acquired those skills.  Unlike other companies, Degreed does not funnel you into a “one size fits all” training program before certifying your skills.
  3. It’s flexible to your learning style: If you don’t like the score you receive or want to challenge yourself to get to a higher level, you can improve your skills in whatever way suits you. Take a course, get more experience, self-train using internet tutorials; use whatever resources are available to you.
  4. This doesn’t have to be a one-time certification: As you learn and develop skills, you can level up your expertise score.
  5. We’re changing the way people work: Degreed Skill Certification allows companies to benchmark the current skill levels of employees, target skill development resources to improve those skills, and then measure the improvements. Companies get codified transparency into the skills of their employees. Employees get the benefit of having their skills professionally certified.

How It Works

To get certified you will have to submit evidence of your skill mastery, have your evidence endorsed and verified, then it will be anonymously peer and expert reviewed. Now until Oct 13, 2017, we are offering a lifetime pass so you can get certified at any point in the future for no additional fee.

Why You Should Get Certified

“Degreed Skill Certification is a scalable, standardized way to rate and get recognized for the skills you have in whatever scrappy way you obtained them,” said David Blake, CEO of Degreed. “This should unlock opportunities in people’s lives because it will remove the lack of transparency between the education and labor markets. We’re looking to connect everyone to relevant, fulfilling career opportunities.”

For more information about Degreed Skill Certification, or to apply to be certified, click here.

 

What would you do if you could build a vision and strategy for learning at your company completely from scratch?  What would your structure and plan be? What specific things would you continue doing and what would you do differently?

The world of learning and work is changing dramatically so you may want to consider a few different areas as you think about your learning vision of the future.

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Culture

How would you imagine the perfect learning culture? Company cultures that support learning as a core, fundamental part of everything employees do every day are realizing their competitive advantage. Also, cultures that identify learning as a key guiding principle enable employees to continue to build the skills that they need for the future. Does your culture put learning front and center?

Content

I know when I ran learning organizations at Sun, Yahoo, and LinkedIn, we thought that we had to create most of the learning content ourselves.  But now, there is so much content out there, you may not need to create all your own anymore. The perfect balance is probably a little of both. What would a new content strategy look like in your company?

Technology

Technology is another component of your vision and strategy that can easily be re-imagined.  Your employees want to learn on-demand and they need personalized content that fits their particular needs. How can you think about learning technology in a new way – in a way that supports what the learner really wants and needs to build relevant skills for the future? Imagine a technology that incorporates curated content, personalization, social features, analytics, and skill plans as the platform that could support your learning strategy.

Analytics

Learning analytics and insights are key to understanding what your employees are learning and what skills they are building.  Does your learning strategy incorporate analyzing learner data and agile improvements so that you can validate and refine your strategy on an ongoing basis?

Internal Skills / Team

What about the people in your learning organization?  Do they have the skills and expertise to take you to the future? They are expanded and different than what might have been enough in the past.

For example, do they know how to curate content and analyze learning data? Can they facilitate online peer-to-peer learning or incorporate video content into in-person training? These are just some of the skills that the learning organization of the future will need.

Vision, strategy, culture, content, technology, analytics, and people. These are just some of the topics I’ll be discussing with Christopher Lind, Learning Experience and Digital Transformation Leader for GE Healthcare at our upcoming LENS conference in Chicago on September 28. I hope you’ll join us so that together we can develop the structure for making your vision a reality.

Every week. Every day. Every few hours. You’re challenged with immediate problems to solve and issues to overcome. In another hour, something is going to come across your inbox or instant message window and you are going to have to react. You will have to respond. You will have to drop what you’re doing. Some burning item will come up and you’ll need to fix it.

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Urgent matters come in all varieties in the Customer Success and services world. Each one is more important than the last and desperately needs attention. The issue might be finalizing a single sign on integration for an upcoming launch or it could be some metrics needed for a client briefing that snuck up on you.

Many of your HR and Learning & Development peers are presented with similar challenges. Their situation might be about a deliverable getting off track on a timeline or a group of people not completing their past-due compliance training.

Meanwhile, your “To Do List” is getting longer and longer on the other side of your desk. The important projects you have been setting aside, the ones that will require planning and work across functional lines are not kicking off. And you’re not strategically advancing the big things that matter most.

What are you going to do? How do you manage what is urgent versus what is most important?

Solving this daily challenge takes planning. It takes finding the right balance on how you allocate your time.  Dedicating time to strategic efforts takes rigor and discipline. Always attending to the most pressing topics (and putting off the important ones) doesn’t let your organization efficiently progress at achieving larger goals.

This is what works for me and how I deal with what is most important.

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I usually go outside with pen and paper for the focus part.  I unplug and change the scenery.  It works every time.

Now it’s your turn to get it done.

Urgent requests are not going to stop. Look…there’s another one that just came in on your phone. Carve out the time to plan ahead before you don’t have time at all. Focus on what will lead to the best results. Strengthen this behavior by making it a habit. You’ll be more successful by committing time to the important things and your customers will be better off for it.

A single, integrated, all-in-one technology ecosystem may work for some organizations sometimes, but it won’t work for everyone all the time. Learning is already too fragmented, and it’s only getting more diverse and complex as new ways to learn like video, chatbots and augmented reality become mainstream.

So to future-proof their investments, innovative L&D leaders are shifting to more flexible ecosystems – dynamic networks of tools, content, platforms that work together and share data to provide workers with on-demand access to all kinds of learning, performance, and career development.

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These ecosystems are all designed differently, to fit each organization’s unique business, operations, infrastructure, and culture needs. The ones we see most often share some common features and functions:

Open: They give people access to resources from inside and outside the organization, anywhere they need, anytime they want
Diverse: They provide a diverse mix of macro-learning (like live and online courses) and micro-learning (like articles, videos, and search)
Social: They enable people to learn with, and from, their peers, managers, and mentors, as well as from external experts
Personalized: They are personalized, targeting each workers’ specific roles, career paths, and interests, as well as their skill-sets
Insights: They track and analyze learning wherever it happens — in classrooms, on computers, on tablets and smartphones, and in real life
Career-long: They give people credit for informal as well as formal learning, and they allow workers to take their data with them through their careers

The challenge is, building an always-on learning environment requires a range of tools, content, and systems. It can get complicated, and it takes work. There are literally hundreds of solutions to choose from…and a lot of them look and sound alike. Plus, they need to fit in with (or replace) your existing processes and legacy infrastructure. So where do you even start?

One place to start is by joining us at Degreed LENS! At the session, The Robots are Here: How to Navigate Next-Gen Learning Technology, Caterpillar, Mastercard and Airbnb will dive into how each organization is adapting and evolving their strategy and ecosystems to confront the digital disruption of L&D.

Tickets are selling out fast. Make sure to save your seat now.

Technology is changing how we work and collaborate. One of the hottest trends right now is cloud-based team collaboration tools like Hipchat and Slack, which are sweeping the market. There are indications that these types of tools will replace email as the primary tool for workplace communication.

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Slack was launched in 2013, and Hipchat launched in 2010. In a short period of time, the number of companies using these tools has grown exponentially. In four years, Slack has grown to 5 million daily active users and a $3.8 billion valuation. These tools have been so popular that Microsoft and Google are getting into the game as well.

The perks of these cloud-based collaboration tools include a great mobile experience, private and public channels that you can drop in and out of as you need, the ability to search across channels and discussions, integrations with other tools like Degreed, calling, video chat, and even screen sharing.

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Some say that these types of tools will bring the end to email. And more than just email, features like file sharing, screen sharing, calling, and video chat mean that these tools are becoming the center of all work-related activity. Some companies even tout the use of these tools as a workplace perk.

But, if there’s no more email, how are you going to get that awesome Today’s Learning email from Degreed with all those personalized recommendations tailored to your needs and interests? Well, we have good news. Degreed offers integrations with both Hipchat and Slack.

Once you enable the Slack or Hipchat integration on Degreed, these tools immediately begin notifying you when you receive a recommendation in Degreed. Each morning, you’ll see your Today’s Learning list, five items of personalized content just for you, delivered in Slack or Hipchat.

The integration also allows you to scroll through a list of all your Degreed recommendations and Today’s Learning in one place.

Takeaways

Cloud-based collaboration tools, like Hipchat and Slack, are becoming the center of all workplace activity including, messaging, calling, file sharing, video chat, and as an integration point for other enterprise tools. Stay on top of this trend by leveraging the Degreed integration with Slack and Hipchat.

Contact your client experience partner for details on how to enable these integrations for your organization.

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