Distracted, overwhelmed, and impatient

I read a slideshare this week on the disruptive nature on digital learning and ten things learned about it by Josh Bersin. (From Bersin by Deloitte). As a learner I can relate to the findings of the report where today’s employees as digital learners are said to be distracted, overwhelmed and impatient. I’m not working on the side of studying this spring, but I can still relate.

As a learner I use brief moments for micro-learning using videos, articles, code samples and tools. This is usually hyper-specific, to learn something small, that can be applied right away, quickly. I also have my courses (sometimes online in Optima) and classes to go to, people to talk to and learn from.

Then there’s the noice/stuff (emails, chats, bills, job-applications, news etc.) interrupting me all the time. Often it is the interruptions that make me feel overwhelmed as a learner; distracted and impatient sometimes.  From a student’s perspective I need to learn to turn away from the distractions.

From a teacher’s perspective I realise the need for designing learning experiences that are

  • clear to follow
  • well coordinated with other learning tasks my students may have during the time of the delivery of my (online) course and
  • easy to deliver and receive

We actually faced that coordination challenge in our course in Optima. We received two tasks, for two different courses, from two different university teachers, with almost the same name and content, on the same day. Now, that was confusing.

It’s things like this that add to the confusion and feeling of being overwhelmed.

Bersin writes, in his slideshare, that career rules have changed. Learning continues to move, even more, from instructor delivered learning towards online and collaborative learning. Compared to the old days when I did my Master’s degree it’s a totally different world now.

With the need for continuous re-skilling, to stay employable, our continuous job is to stay up-to-date with different learning methods, tools and technology.

It’s a field in which we are never completely ready – not as instructors, nor students. Learn and re-learn, teach, coach and share. Focus, resistance and loads of patience is required.


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