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Virtual learning at cloud’s center

Bank of blue clouds above a lighter horizonMore than two years ago in this space, we used a free word cloud generator to see what words showed up the most in our blog posts. That’s what a word cloud generator does: You plug in a bunch of words from a text or texts to see which ones show up the most. Once you remove common verbs like can and will, you can identify common themes among a series of articles. We wanted to go through the exercise again to see how our focus may have changed since 2019.

In our 2019 experiment, it was no surprise that training came up a lot. We wrote a lot about training trends tools, trends, and techniques. We still do. It was also no surprise that software, time, and email showed up a lot.

In our latest look, from Spring 2020 to now, training is still the most common term we use. However, training has a lot more company now from other words that indicate how Learning Stream’s focus—and likely yours—have changed in the past two years.

Learning” and “Virtual
Training was far and away the most used word the past years. We mentioned it 59 times. But learning (mentioned 27 times after removing all2021 Learning Stream word cloud references to Learning Stream) and virtual (22 mentions) are second and third on the list. Virtual was nowhere on the 2019 list.

Right behind virtual was in-person. That would make sense, because many articles addressed how organizations have begun offering more virtual classes compared to in-person learning. Hybrid was also in the mix, with a emphasis on a mix of learning delivery options.

Much of the movement to virtual learning, you would be right to think, was spurred by the pandemic. But we were surprised to see that pandemic was mentioned only nine times going back two-plus years. Covid was only mentioned twice.

Since 2019, Learning Stream has put a lot more emphasis on integrating with the virtual platforms such as Zoom and Canvas. That’s what Learning Stream adherents now need in a registration management system: a registration process that works as well with virtual learning as with in-person offerings.

We’ll take another look in a few years to see if that’s changed.

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