L&D as ‘curators’? Doesn't ring true...
Curator? Doesn’t chime
Something’s been puzzling me for some time – the use of the word ‘curator’ for learning bods. Curator, to my mind, suggests someone who oversees a dusty, old collection of curiosities to do with the past; not the exciting virtual, digital and social media world of the future. It doesn’t just doesn’t chime.
From what I gather, these L&D ‘curators’ see their role as selecting digital content. But do we learners need to be saved from ourselves, and the world of digital abundance, by professional L&D people as ‘curators’. They argue that we’re overwhelmed by information which leads to addiction, depression, inattention and loss of productivity. So, in steps the ‘curator’, who doesn’t suffer from these afflictions. He/she has his/her finger right on the pulse and can filter, select and summarise the good stuff on your behalf. It’s like having a super-efficient, digital butler.
L&D and curates’ eggs
Well that’s the theory. In practice, where’s the evidence that L&D professionals, especially trainers, are high on research skills, empirical evidence and solid theory?. You’re more likely to be fed a diet of curates’ eggs - old-fashioned, 50 year old theories, faddish trends, non-empirical, anecdotal evidence and bandwagons. Think learning styles, NLP, Maslow, Kirkpatrick……. If you need to know something do you think “I’ll ask the L&D department” or do you get on Google or seek out an expert?
Coach in disguise
So do you really need someone to regurgitate their choice topics for your digestion? Is this is just the old ‘mentor’ or ‘coach’ idea in disguise, desperately trying to find a cool role in the world of social media. Or is it the antithesis of social learning. I suspect it’s just good, old coaching by the back door. As I’ve said many times, “Get a life not a coach”.
Rather than get a cabinet of curiosities, get the real deal. The filters are already there – just learn a little about efficient searching, feeds, good web sites, reliable academic sources, informative blogs and network with people who deliver the goods. You don’t need an interloper to do this for you.