It’s Raining Resolutions - The Month That Was


IMO, New YearEves are crazily glorified. Hear me out. It’s the only time of the year whenall food and party destinations break even by having exorbitant entry charges,overfilling to capacity, pre-booking weeks in advance, and dishing out a menuthat does little to justify your time, effort and money. And yet, people throngin huge numbers, shelling out dollars and making merry through the stroke ofmidnight.

As for myfamily, we are chill. We lounge on the sofa, watching free entertainment on aStreaming Service and filling our tummies with food ordered from a FoodDelivery App while filing our best-intended, heart-crossed resolutions intoEvernote just for reference, ofcourse!

“Mumma, does everyone have to make new yearresolutions?”, asks my son as I reach out for another slice of thegooey-cheesy-pizza, demonstrating complete disrespect to my health resolutionfor 2020.

“Absolutely, this is what mature people do”,I answer in an authoritative tone only to immediately regret it. Explaining themeaning of ‘mature’ to a rather ‘immature’ 6-year old brain isn’t my idea ofNew Year celebration.

In an effort tocounter the most probable discussion that ensues my rather lofty statement, Icontinue, “Not just people, companies too make technology resolutions”.  

Tech resolutionsare big in 2020. From companies to individuals (here are 6tech resolutions to follow in your personal life), everyone has their ownbucket list for the year touted as ‘theyear of seeing clearly on AI and Machine Learning’.

This may seemsurprising to most as AI and ML have been around for quite some time, makingtheir presence felt in every industry, every vertical and every function. However,if the 2020workplace learning trends are anything to go by, it is THIS year when AIwill go mainstream – influencing business operations and taking companies tonewer heights.

AI in retail market is anticipated to register a CAGR of 42% over 2018-2024. Artificial Intelligence will also remain a top national military and economic security issue in 2020 and beyond with governments investing heavily - China with over $140 billion, the UK, France, and rest of Europe with over $25 billion and the U.S. roughly spending more than $4 billion in 2020. Heck, there are over 120 AI predictions for 2020.

Wait, weren’t wetalking about Resolutions? It’s so confusing with all these to-dos suddenlyvying for your attention at the year-end. To me, personally, it feels like aplot against sane people to off-track you from what could have been an organic progression into the New Year. But whoam I to comment? Theancient Babylonians are said to have been the first people to make New Year'sresolutions, some 4,000 years ago. For early Christians, the first day ofthe new year became the traditional occasion for thinking about one’s pastmistakes and resolving to do and be better in the future. Despite thetradition’s religious roots, New Year’s resolutions today are a mostly secularpractice.

Meanwhile, 2020has also brought in a renewed focus on ‘human safety’. A UniqueeLearning System to Expand Avalanche Safety Awareness and a FreeTraining Course on Anti-Terrorism To Help Protect The UK have been in thenews for all the right reasons.

Not just safety,the past year has also paved a deeper way for learning technology into theeducation field. In Brisbane, Australia, dentalstudents and medical nurses have been experimenting with Augmented Reality tobuild their skills and knowledge. While on the other side of the planet, inHouston, TheCypress-Fairbanks Independent School District is tapping into collaborativetechnology to expand student learning.

And while youmay think that ‘Technology’ is the key to everything, the ‘steaming’ discussionof STEAMvs. STEM in childhood education will reset your focus. STEAM is a conceptspearheaded by the students and academics at the Rhode Island School of Design(RISD)—which brings the elements of STEM together with Arts to guide students'critical thinking, inquiry, and dialogue. Proponents of STEAM educationrecognize the importance of creativity and innovation in the future to solveour problems.

But who’s gotthe time to think about the future when your day’s packed with streaming seriesto gouge your eyes out on, social media to snoop around, video games to kidaround and messaging apps to get unsolicited advice on!

As forresolutions, they look good only on paper. 4000 years of habit does die hard.

Happy 2020,y’all!

The month that was’ is a monthly columncovering the hot and the happening in the eLearning, L&D and learningtechnology space presented in a light, easy-to-digest format. While the aim ofthese posts is to keep the HR and the Learning & Development fraternityabreast with the latest news and views, it is a vent out for the author,Pranjalee Lahri, who deals with a one-and-a-half men pair – her hubby and her6-year old son – as she moonlights as a wife and a mother.