Web 3.0 – BETTER, SMARTER, FASTER: HOW WEB 3.0 WILL TRANSFORM LEARNING IN HIGH-PERFORMING ORGANIZATIONS
Web 3.0| EXECUTIVE SUMMARY |
The growing role of technology in organizational learning is both a boon and a burden. While the benefits of emerging Technologies are broad and unprecedented, it is nearly impossible to keep pace with the rapid evolution of these tools. Even as today’s technology experts discuss artificial intelligence, immersive virtual worlds, and the future of mobile devices, many organizations are still wrestling with how to best leverage online learning. ASTD noted in its recent report, The Rise of Social Media: Enhancing Collaboration and Productivity Across Generations, that learning functions have not fully adopted many of the tools, technologies, and concepts associated with Web 2.0; and yet the next evolution, often referred to as Web 3.0, is upon us. The study Better, Smarter, Faster: How Web 3.0 Will Transform Learning in High-Performance Organizations (hereafter referred to as the Study) delves into the components of Web 3.0 and what they may mean to the future of the learning function, with a focus on the practices of high-performance organizations.
WEB 3.0 DEFINED
For the Study, we defined Web 3.0 as follows: Web 3.0 represents a range of Internet-based services and technologies that include components such as natural language search, forms of artificial intelligence and machine learning, software agents that make recommendations to users, and the application of context to content. By making data more understandable to machines, it also makes information easier to find and more understandable to people. Ultimately, it makes data integration and access easier, helping to usher in an era of seamless connectivity to a smarter web, regardless of device. Ninety-eight percent of Study participants agreed with this definition at least to some degree.
Figure 1 | A LACK OF RESOURCES AND LEADERSHIP SUPPORT WILL HINDER THE ADOPTION OF WEB 3.0 TECHNOLOGIES
To what extent do you believe the following will be barriers to adopting Web 3.0 technologies for the learning function in coming years?
Budget constraints | 76.4%
Lack of understanding from leadership | 64.3%
Lack of IT infrastructure to support these technologies | 59.6%
Lack of support from leadership | 58.4%
Still grappling with Web 2.0 technologies | 54.6%
Security concerns | 54.4%
Lack of internal skills to take advantage of these technologies for content development | 54.3%
Difficult to integrate into legacy learning systems | 51.0%
Adopting Web 3.0 technologies is not a priority | 50.3%
Lack of trusted brands | 32.5%
Lack of interest in using these technologies | 25.8%
Percent of respondents answering high or very high extent
WHAT IS WEB 3.0?
Rather than a collection of technologies or applications that can be purchased or installed, Web 3.0 represents a shift in how people interact with the web. Standards are continuously being created to make the data and information on the web smarter; mobile devices are becoming more powerful and versatile, making almost any kind of Internet activity available on the go; and immersive and virtual environments are becoming richer and more complex.
Based on current literature, the Study breaks Web 3.0 into three basic components. The first component is what is most commonly referred to as the Semantic Web. This is a vision of the Internet in which software can understand the meaning of data and use natural language searches. The Semantic Web is a customized experience; information is tailored to the users’ needs, location, and identity. The second component is the Mobile Web, which will allow users to experience the web seamlessly as they move from one device to another, and most interaction will take place on mobile devices. The third element is the idea of an immersive Internet, in which virtual worlds, augmented reality, and 3-D environments are the norm.
WHAT ARE COMPANIES CURRENTLY DOING AROUND WEB 3.0?
As noted earlier, learning functions have not yet caught up with Web 2.0 technologies, so it is no surprise that that Web 3.0 usage is even less common. For example, corporate search functions are not as robust as they could be. If an employee needs a piece of organizational knowledge, the internal search function is often the first place they look. But all too often, the results they receive do not provide the best answers and the information is only partially related to what they need. Sometimes they receive no useful information at all. Web 3.0 technologies offer the promise of smarter searches with better, more targeted results.
There is currently very little learning occurring on mobile devices. The Mobile Web is seen as the main component of Web 3.0 by Study participants, yet not much learning is being designed for or delivered on mobile devices. The immersive, virtual component of Web 3.0 has been around for years in the learning field. Yet for all the talk of virtual worlds, simulations, and other immersive technologies, this type of learning is just not taking place to any great extent in most companies.
However, the Study finds that organizations that are leveraging the latest technologies for their learning function are reaping the benefits. In fact, having someone in the learning function and in IT who is focused on Web 3.0’s role is correlated with both a successful learning function and high market performance.
WHAT DOES THE FUTURE HOLD FOR THE LEARNING FUNCTION?
Although some of the concepts may be foreign to some and even implausible to others, there is general consensus that there will be a fundamental shift in how we interact with the web. Applications will become smarter, the Internet experience will become more immersive, and people will increasingly interact with the web via their mobile devices. This shift will be felt in just about every incidence in which our lives intersect with technology, including organizational learning. What remains to be seen is how much of an impact it will have. The majority of Study participants believe Web 3.0 will positively influence learning to at least some extent.
The Study examines the ways these types of technologies affect and influence learning today and the impact they may have in the future. It includes real-world examples from organizations such as the Defense Acquisition University, EMC, and TELUS, as well as strategy recommendations for leveraging new technology. There is also a forecast of what learning technology may look like in the year 2015. Some of the key findings include:
• High-performing organizations are more likely to have learning functions that are open to emerging technology and to use that technology to solve business problems.
• The use of mobile devices for learning is correlated with market performance and highly correlated with effective learning. An increasingly Mobile Web experience is seen as the hallmark of Web 3.0.
• Very little learning is currently being designed for or taking place on mobile devices. But Study participants expect that to change exponentially in the next three years.
• Web 2.0 technologies have been shown to be effective tools for the learning function, yet many organizations are still grappling with how to leverage them.
• Web 3.0 technologies promise to make it easier to find and interact with the right content and subject matter experts, both of which are correlated to effective learning and market performance.
• The use of virtual world technology for learning is expected to increase by a factor of seven in the next three years.
• The use of simulations and multiplayer gaming technology are also expected to increase dramatically in the near future.
• Augmented reality, once a staple of science fiction, is becoming increasingly commonplace and holds incredible potential for learning and training.
• As with any technological advancement in the learning function, budget constraints and lack of leadership buy-in are viewed as the biggest obstacles to adoption.
FIGURE 2 | WEB 3.0 WILL LIKELY HAVE AN IMPACT ON LEARNING IN THE NEAR FUTURE
To what extent do you think Web 3.0 will have a positive impact on learning in your organization three years from now?
Not at all | 8.4%
Small extent | 34.0%
Moderate extent | 34.6%
High extent | 19.5%
Very high extent | 3.5%
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