Tools have changed, and so must the way we learn how to use them. Where once one might pick up a pen and make it move without any training, possibly even producing a reasonable approximation of what was intended, it could be daunting to open a program like Adobe Illustrator for the first time. While the richness of what might be accomplished is infinite, the learning curve is often steeper. As a sometimes user, I have to turn to Google Search with a specific idea of what I want to do each time I open an Adobe program. And with enough gaps in time between usage opportunities, I often have to search again to remember how to do that “one thing.” Enter Lynda.
Lynda describes itself as a learning platform by which one may develop skills to achieve personal and professional goals. In essence, it is a tool to learn how to use other tools. There are different subscription types and five language offerings, making it more broadly accessible. Cost may be prohibitive for some (starting at $25/month or $250/year). However, the possibilities Lynda offers, in tackling the endlessness of endless tools, seem endless. There are currently nearly 5,500 courses with more reportedly being added.
Lynda would be useful to many leadership situations. The particular aspects would depend on one’s role, responsibilities, and goals. As a communications professional at a business, Lynda has relevant modules for marketing, branding, business skills, communication, computer skills, content strategy, and more. Educators and healthcare professionals would also find ample learning opportunity for various software programs unique to them or specific skill development. From a personal enrichment perspective, all of the offerings are intriguing to stay relevant in one’s field or even expand to another.
From an organizational use angle, security settings can present problems. In testing Lynda out at my location, I had no trouble accessing the site or playing its content. However, I do run into issues for other tech tools pertaining to the company browser of choice and/or because the company has chosen to block access for business reasons. I cannot, for example, access any type of cloud storage such as Dropbox or Google Drive. The need for a secure system leads to some tools being built internally, while a superior tech tool may already exist. I publish stories regularly to an internal site, and the short week plus with WordPress has shown it to be infinitely superior to my publishing system. Ease of access in accordance with security policies is likely a common issue for many.
I find Sinek’s (2016) comparison of social media and cell phones to alcohol in their release of dopamine of concern. Neuroscientist Greenfield (2017) cautioned also that technology changes our brains. While I am not immune to the endorphin zing of seeing a new “like” or “follow,” I am grateful that I grew up in a time before today’s tools, as well as before computers became standard. I appreciate the tools, while being aware of other ways to do things. I often look at my fifteen year old and wonder what he would do if all of the “shortcuts” went away. And while we have grown more connected through technology, those connections are not as intimate. Fundamentals are being lost (Weinberger, 2011). As Shirky (2014) said, “Abundance breaks more things than scarcity.”
Taking a closer look at tools I was previously unaware of, I am interested in trying Piktochart. I have been planning to create an infographic for my internal audience that shows the storytelling process, helping educate team members on necessary elements to tell a good story and all of the places their story might appear. I would also like to delve into Movie Maker. Understanding that visuals are often more effective for storytelling purposes, I am considering reallocating some of my time toward developing video as yet another opportunity to reach my audiences.
Greenfield, S. (2017, January 19). Modern technology is changing the way our brains work, says neuroscientist. Daily Mail. Retrieved from http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-565207/Modern-technology-changing-way-brains-work-says-neuroscientist.html
Shirky, C., & Chui, M. (2014, March). The disruptive power of collaboration: An interview with Clay Shirkey. McKinsey & Company. Retrieved from http://www.mckinsey.com/industries/high-tech/our-insights/the-disruptive-power-of-collaboration-an-interview-with-clay-shirky
Sinek, S. (2016). How to get people to follow you. Inside Quest. Retrieved from http://www.insidequest.com/episode/simon-sinek/
Weinberger, D. (2011). Too big to know: Rethinking knowledge now that the facts aren’t the facts, experts are everywhere, and the smartest person in the room is the room [Kindle version]. Retrieved from http://www.amazon.com/