The Future of Online eLearning For Entrepreneurs & Educators

We going to be discussing the future of online education with Morten Rand Hendriksen senior staff instructor LinkedIn Learning, who is also a well-known public speaker and technologist. After COVID – 19 pandemic, the training and education landscape has been dramatically changed what are the medium and long-term consequences connected to online training how will technologies like virtual reality and AI (artificial intelligence) affect eLearning?

Intro: Welcome to the WP tonic, WordPress, and SaaS podcast, Jonathan Denwood and his co-host Steven Souder interview. The leading experts in WordPress e-learning and online marketing to help WordPress professionals launch their own SaaS take it away, guys.

Jonathan Denwood: Welcome back folks. The WP tonic this week in WordPress and SAS, where we discuss all things that will help the WordPress entrepreneur and business owner build the business of their dreams and get the freedom which hopefully they’re looking for, for themselves and their family. We have a great friend of the show, a personal friend, a great speaker, insightful argumentative, but really interesting. We’ve got the Viking in the house. We’ve got Morten Rand Hendriksen senior staff instructor at LinkedIn. So Morten would you like to quickly introduce yourself to the new listeners and viewers and the WP tribe in general?

Morten Rand Hendriksen: I think you did a pretty good job. My name is Morten. I am a senior staff instructor at LinkedIn learning. So I make courses about front-end web development design and the interaction between humans and computers for millions of people around the world. So if you go to LinkedIn and they click on the learning button at the top hill and type in Morten or something that sounds like Morten you’ll find my courses. 
Jonathan Denwood:
And I want to give a quick tip. Don’t get into a Twitter discussion with Morten he is vicious. 
Morten Rand Hendriksen:
Don’t say stupid things on Twitter and expect me to not call you out on it.

Jonathan Denwood: [Inaudible] Steven, would you like to introduce yourself to the new listeners and viewers Steven? 
Steven Sauder:
Yeah. Steven Sauder from hustle And apparently, I need to spend more time on Twitter because I missed it, the lightweight discussion.

Jonathan Denwood: Oh, it was hilarious how I was put in my place. so, what we’re going to be discussing, we’re going to be looking at online, learning for e-learning entrepreneurs educational this for anybody interested in where e-learning online, learning is going in the next couple of years is going to be a fascinating discussion before we get into the meat of our discussion we’re going to go over and you can to hear a message from my great major sponsor. Be back in a few seconds.

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Jonathan Denwood: We’re coming back. So, Morten, we got a hell of a lot to talk about, and you got a limited amount of time because you’re a busy guy. So let’s get stuck in. So, obviously, have you observed a couple of problems or patterns that a lot of people have when they want a build an online course, or do they just want, education list or entrepreneur, around online education. Are there a couple of patterns, a couple of things which a lot of people misunderstand or get wrong?

Morten Rand Hendriksen: I’d say, first of all, I just need to be precise here. As I speak for myself here, not for the company I work for, et cetera, et cetera, caution, blah, blah, blah. Just so that, online learning is, has been around for decades. I mean, I used to work for, which was bought by LinkedIn and, Linda pretty much invented that entire space. The idea of taking what used to be a classroom environment and putting it online so people can watch it on their terms when they want to. It started with DVDs and just like Netflix, I kind of switched over to online. Online learning is deceptively challenging because like anyone who’s taught in a classroom or anyone who’s done any type of teaching, even if it’s sitting next to a child or next to a coworker, learning something will know that a lot of learning has to do with the feedback.

So you show something or instruct something, and then you look at whether or not that is actually catching on. And then based on what happens with the learner, you then alter your path until you get where you want to go. In online learning, there is no such thing because you’re talking to someone who will watch what you’re doing sometime in the future and you don’t know their context. So, everyone has the ability to teach someone how to do what they know. Figuring out how to do that in a way that, where you’re addressing the concerns that come up in the learner as you’re moving forward when the learner isn’t, there is the big challenge. And especially doing that when you’re a subject matter expert because so there’s this difference between focal and tacit knowledge. And the classic example is if you talk to a doctor and they take like a chest x-ray or a lower body x-ray, or, or, ultrasound or something of you, and then they say, oh, yes, I see something that’s going on.

If you, if you’ve ever been in that situation or you ever find yourself in that situation, you should ask to see what they’re seeing. And what you’ll see is like a blurry cloud of mess. And then from this blurry mess, they will be able to discern things like, they’ll say this blurry mess over here is your liver. And this is your kidneys. And something is off here. And all you’re seeing is this blurry mess. Now, if you ask them to explain what they’re seeing, they are unlikely to be able to explain it to you. There’ll be like, there’s something that’s not right here, but they can’t really point at what’s right or wrong or anything. And the reason for that is they have a lot of tacit knowledge, meaning they’ve seen hundreds or thousands of images like this, and they start noticing patterns, it’s not focal in their minds. What is actually different. So they can’t explain it. 

As you professionalize, as you build skills and any Craft, a lot of your base knowledge of the craft becomes tacit. It just becomes built-in things you just do, because you know it’s right. When you’re teaching, you have to somehow know how to lift the tacit knowledge into the front of your mind. So you sort of become focal. And so that you can explain it. That’s part of what happens when you’re doing classroom teaching is you say something or you present something and then you can see everyone’s eyes glaze over. And you’re like, okay, that clearly didn’t catch on. So there’s some part of this I’m missing. And then you can go back and be like, okay, so which one of them a hundred thousand things I, I tacitly know is it that they need to know to understand this?

So this is the core of the challenge is figuring out how to do this. When you don’t get feedback. All the technical aspects of it have been solved. Like we are now in a world where anyone who has any Titan thing to say, all they need is a semi-functioning cell phone and an internet connection. And they can make anything they want. You can put it on, Tik-Tok, you can put it on YouTube. You can put it on whatever platform you want. You can build your own CMS with an LMS built-in. Like, you can do whatever you want with it. The true challenge is making actual quality learning content. And that’s something that I struggle with every day because it’s not like I’ve been doing this for 10 or 12 years now. And I still sit most of my time going, ah, is this actually a meaningful, do people actually understand this? Is there some part I’m missing or something I’m assuming the learner knows that they may not know? And should I address this on the chance that they don’t know it? Or is that a waste of time? Because everyone knows that, is this something that is common knowledge or not? Like, these are the questions that go through my mind constantly.

Steven Sauder: I think like the other aspect of that, like, you kind of mentioned it like the feedback loop, but the doing like, whenever I’ve been in a physical course, right? There’s like homework assignments or there’s something that you have to do. And then you have to show up the next day and you have to sit in front of the person that told you to do it and be like, here is what I did or I was lazy and I didn’t do it. But with like online courses, right, they have like quizzes or they have things that you’re supposed to do, but there’s this element of the personal responsibility or that connection that’s not there. So it’s so easy. Like for me to just go through a course and just watch the videos and be like, all right, check, completed that course. I learned all that information. And then a month later I go to do it and I’m like, oh wait, I did not learn a thing. Like, there’s just so much in that doing, that’s like a required aspect of learning. I think.

Morten Rand Hendriksen: So there’s the Netflix problem, right? So I have a course, let’s call it JavaScript, essential training. It’s free by the way. So if anyone’s watching this, you can go learn JavaScript for free, at least until the end of the year. And I remember I got an email from someone or a tweet like somehow someone contacted me and said, I watched your entire course and I didn’t learn anything. And I’m like, okay, thanks. That doesn’t tell me anything about your learning experience. Can you tell me more? And this person said they sat down and watched the course in one sitting like six hours and I’m like, of course, you didn’t learn anything. That is an unreasonable amount of information to try to process in six hours. Like no one can do that. If I watched that course in one sitting, I would be confused and I made it because it’s so condensed.

Like every single movie, it’s like a four to a five-minute movie that holds an entire concept in JavaScript. And the assumption is you will watch the movie. Then you will sit down and play around with it until it makes sense to you until you’re able to figure out, like, when I do these things, this happened, and these are the things that I can’t do.  Basically, the thing that you do in school, right? When you learn math for the first time. So the teacher tells you how to do addition, and then you do like sheet upon sheet upon sheet of basic edition until you’re like, my hand is cramping up and why am I doing this? And it’s because you’re training that tacit knowledge of how it’s supposed to work to the point you’re not thinking about it. 

Jonathan Denwood:
Your Educational experiences were a bit different than mine.

Morten Rand Hendriksen: Okay. Whatever.

Jonathan Denwood: Well, one point now I know I don’t, you’ll understand in the second, I have syndrome dyslexia. I was just put in a corner and classified as a subnormal idiot because, I couldn’t do the things, which you’ve just outlined in a proficient way. but I don’t really, I don’t exactly disagree with what you’re saying, but I don’t really, also really agree with it. I understand why you’re saying it. Cause I apply it to my own experiences. Cause I couldn’t do the fundamental thing, which you’ve just outlined 
Morten Rand Hendriksen:
 You. First of all, I also have dyslexia, but I did not have that experience because fortunate, for me and unfortunate for you, we were in different educational environments and it’s terrible that you were treated like that. That should not happen, because.

Jonathan Denwood: It’s a rough world.

Morten Rand Hendriksen: no, no, no, no, no. It’s because we’re old. And like 20, 30 years ago, the understanding of learning disabilities, for example, was not what it is today. And the attitude in the educational system was often if you don’t have certain skills, then you’re somehow of lesser value. That is a type of thinking that still exists in specific political circles and everything else and is extremely harmful, unfair. And quite frankly stupid because it, discounts people’s abilities to do things based on, whether or not they’re able to conform to specific ways of doing things that are normalized, which doesn’t make any sense.

Like the fact that I have severe dyslexia, which means I read at a speaking pace. So if someone, when I went to university, we would have liked reading assignments for a six, six-month term or four-month term, there were like 5,000 pages. And I’m like, there’s no way I’m going to read all this. Just, there’s no way I’m going to read this. So I went to the professor and I’m like, what is it I can omit from the curriculum to finish this. And he’s like, no, you can’t omit things. And then I just went to the students that were one year above me. And I said, which parts of the books were irrelevant to this class? And they would literally be like, okay, this entire section of the book, we never touched it. And I would sit there and strike out sections of the curriculum and not read it. And then of course, when I got to my oral exams, the examiner realized I had not read a bunch of the stuff. So he’s like, oh my God, you should fail this class because you didn’t read the material. And I’m like, it’s unreasonable to make me read materials. Like, make me read this much because I have a learning disability.

Jonathan Denwood: I don’t like that term disability when it comes to dyslexia. 
Morten Rand Hendriksen:
 It is the official term for it. If you want to disagree with the term disability, you need to have a larger conversation with

Jonathan Denwood: We need to get on track because as Steven can see where our discussions, go, 
Morten Rand Hendriksen:
okay, this is, this is kind of like off to the side. The point is, when you’re learning things, one of the key parts of learning, anything is repetition. You have to repeat things over and over and over what we are starting to see just as a society is that people are becoming more and more attuned to this idea that you can see something and do it once and then be perfect at it. And a part of that is because what we’re seeing on social media is often the end result of like a decade’s worth of training. 

So you see someone who’s, you have this, there’s this funny blog we’re just called, like cake disasters or something like that, where you see, like, here’s an Instagram cake that looks amazing. And then someone tries to do it. And it’s like a complete disaster. I mean, it’s hilarious because it’s so terrible. What you’re not realizing is the people who built the original cake may have been doing this for 10 years. And knows all the secrets, and don’t even know how they know it. And don’t know how to explain all the secrets or just have some intrinsic skill that you need to train yourself to. And then when, when people come into that, they go, they try once and they go, I can’t do this. So I’m a failure. And then they give up, right. Or they go, okay, I understood this once I don’t need to repeat it. And they don’t realize this whole concept of like, no, you actually have to repeat it until it’s built-in. 

My personal experience of this, in, in like the close in the last several years or within the last decade was when I learned to dance because I’ve been working with tech and code for so long that when I look at code, even if I don’t know the coding language, I can usually figure out what’s going on because I can see as the logic structure of it and understand pieces and how programming works and all that stuff. So it’s very hard for me to empathize or, or put myself in the shoes of someone who’s just learning to code because I have all this background knowledge. But when I started to learn how to dance, I had no background knowledge. And I had to very slowly build up my skill. 

And, I got the experience of that weird learning curve, which is you’re terrible at something. And then you quickly pick up some skill and it’s significant. And then you get to a point where you realize that what you know is nothing and your confidence in your skills drops below where it was when you started. And in the dance school, like now I’m like a gold level dancer. And I see that in all the new students that come in and they get to a certain point and I can see their confidence in themselves and their frustration is rising to the point where they want to quit. And I have to go in and say, look, the fact that you think you are terrible at this, it means that you are learning because you’ve gotten to the point where you realize you have to practice more. You have to like, and when I say practice where, I mean, you have to commit yourself for years to get to the point you need to be or get to the point you thought you were at. And that applies to all things. You have to do it many, many, many, many times. And that’s one of the things we can’t do in online training. I can’t make you do that.

Steven Sauder: Yeah. I think another contributing factor to that like you were saying, like tik-tok and Instagram and see, like, you, you get to see all of these like experts, but also like because the knowledge of the world is at your fingertips. There are times where you can hack the system and jump. And that, like, whatever, that feedback loop that happens, your brain, that’s like, wow, I just did this super complex thing. Reinforces this behavior that feels like you should be able to do it for everything. And if you can’t do it for everything that there’s something wrong. Just a couple of weeks ago, I was working with an older programmer, like in his fifties. And back in the good old days when you had to know everything, like, it was like you were thumbing through books or you knew it.

And just the amount of knowledge that was in his head that could just flow to his fingertips was just incredible. Like, I would have to Google half of that stuff, because like, I know there’s a function to do this. I know what it’s supposed to do, but I have to look it up to figure out exactly how it does [inaudible] used it in forever, but he’s just like, no, like I know this stuff because I had to learn, I had to memorize it or else coding was incredibly inefficient. And so the moments where it’s like that doesn’t work, I can’t just Google it and figure it out. I can’t just look at the tutorial and go replace, fix something to replace something, is a very frustrating thing because it feels like I should be able to do that more.

Morten Rand Hendriksen: That is something that I’m thinking a lot about now because of what’s happening in the front-end web world with the low-code and no-code environments. When I was in high school ages ago, they had just introduced this idea of these craft calculators the really big calculators that have a screen. And you can actually make the calculator draw graphs, graphing calculators, fancy crap. And there were little computers. And, like I started high school when there was a major reform in school. So they went from no calculators in the classroom to, we are going to use these calculators. So all our teachers were like, the calculator is a crutch. You shouldn’t really use it. And they were kind of fighting the curriculum which in the whole curriculum and all the books and everything were focused on using these calculators. And the debate there was, if you only learn how to do this, using a calculator, you don’t really learn the skill. 

The pushback that we as the students gave and that eventually won out was you don’t need to know the skill because computers do this better. And unless you’re like trapped on a boat in a river with no internet or electricity, and you need to calculate how quickly the river is running through a dam on paper, like there’s no situation where you would actually be in a situation where you wouldn’t have access to these tools anymore because the tools are ever-present and omnipresent. And on the off chance that you don’t have access to them, there’s a book you can reference. No one’s going to like calculate the landing trajectory of a spaceship using paper anymore unless they are forced to.

So building the entire training regimen around that just doesn’t make any sense, especially for high school. that is something that I think applies more and more to coding this idea that everyone must learn how to code makes less and less sense because we are now at a point where the tools that we have available to us are advanced enough that people can get the job done without necessarily knowing how to write the baseline code. And more importantly, the code that we’re shipping in through the web is already compiled by computers, to such an extent that it’s effectively not human readable code anyway. So we’re already using the tools and the only difference is either you write the original code yourself, or you have a tool, writhe the original code for you. And the skills necessary to write the original code yourself are not required for most of the things that we wanted to build on the web.

It used to be that if you didn’t know how to write pure, like standards-based HTML, if you didn’t know how to write error-free JavaScript if it didn’t know what the right lean and optimal CSS you would produce, output code that was not working properly was not compiling properly. It was, was, not very performing. The reality is, first of all, you can now write terrible code and it gets compiled out to something that’s functional. And you have lending tools that will clean it for you. So you don’t even have to clean it. You’re going to like literally write incorrect code and the tool will fix it for you. 

More importantly, there are components and frameworks, and extensions that are built to do the majority of that work for you. So instead of saying, I wanted to build like a card, you say, I’m going to grab this card component and just configure it, right. And the distance between I’m going to grab a card component in code and configure it. And I’m going to grab this thing in the view and drag it over here and drop it and pick the color is just a matter of interface. 

in the near future, and I think like within two to five years, the role of the front-end developer, the regular front-end developer will shift from being I write HTML and JavaScript and CSS to, I configure some form of low-code or no-code environment, where I do some coding, but very minimal. In 5 to 10 years from there or two to five years from there, the people who write front-end code will be laggards like me and people who write the tools that we use in these low code environments. And no one else will write that code. It’ll just be that. And the necessity of learning how to write code will face itself out and become more than the necessity of learning, how to properly understand how the computer systems work to create these environments of being able to troubleshoot when something goes wrong. But more importantly, being able to use them to build things that are functional and meaningful to the end-user. That’s a very dramatic shift in how our industry operates. 
Jonathan Denwood:
 We need to go for our break and listen to a couple of our great sponsors. We’ll be back in a few months, folks.

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Jonathan Denwood: We are coming back had a bit of a dive. I thought that would happen. We’d be able to get together, but it’s been fascinating. So, you’ve produced a ton of courses, lessons. I dunno how many bloody courses and lessons you actually have produced.

Morten Rand Hendriksen: I don’t know either. 

Jonathan Denwood: No you probably don’t want to know if you could go back to the beginning. What would be some of the advice you would give? Because we got an audience I’ve got that we help e-learning entrepreneurs build and set up membership education on WordPress. What would be some of the things, some of the tips or insights you would give that early version, from where you are now

Morten Rand Hendriksen: Talk to people?  Actually, do in-depth qualitative research on what you’re doing. By that I mean, go out and talk to the people that you’re going to be training and figure out what they need. And when I say talk to them, I don’t mean sit down, like talk to them over the phone or whatever. I mean, watch them do their work and see where they get stuck. And when you see them get stuck, find out why they’re getting stuck. Is this a problem of, I don’t understand the interface, or is this a problem if I don’t understand this entire concept, and also observe when they’re doing things that to you make no sense. that could be like, if you’re talking in the WordPress world, it could be something like, they’re using a page instead of a post when they should be using a post or it could be they’re using tags or categories in an odd way, or, they keep like adding new blocks into the block editor when it seems like all these blocks are doing the same thing? And they’re like using different blogs.

And look at whether your reaction to it, your reaction to this is odd or wrong or whatever is based on your personal opinion about this, or whether it’s actually wrong from the platform standpoint. And whether that wrongness or oddness is caused by an inconsistency in the platform or poor communication from the platform, or if it’s a lack of understanding of the intent that the user’s trying to meet, or if it’s the user doesn’t know what they’re trying to do. And they’re just doing whatever feels comfortable or natural. Most of the information about how to do the basic things exists already and there’s little value in trying to reproduce existing information. So if you’re a new WordPress developer or a new WordPress user, and you’re just like building a WordPress site, there are training materials out there that will teach you how to do that properly.

And as a training person, I could go into that space and try to out-compete other people, but you’d be competing against LinkedIn learning. You’d be competing against the WordPress documentation team, the chance of you having great success in that space is small because you’re competing against behemoths. With millions of dollars of marketing or the actual platform training itself. So then you have to say, what is it that I can do that they don’t do that I can build on top of? Or what is my specialty? Why would people come to me instead of these other platforms? So it’s usually by having these training, either in that, you’re providing training to a custom platform. So someone who has some sort of unusual setup for WordPress that needs specialty functionality.

Or it could be that you’re saying, okay, so all those people give a generic training for like, you’re one to build a website. I give training on how to build a website for e-learning specifically. And we focus only on those features. And that also gives you the ability to say, I’m not going to do all the boring stuff. I’m not going to do all the, like how to set up a WordPress site and set the site title. I’m going to let my users go watch that somewhere else. And then I’ll focus only on the big things. And then you can charge more for it. Cause you will be like, you can get that all this stuff anywhere, but you can only get this stuff here. And this is my specialty. This is what I Excel at.

Steven Sauder:
 I think something that’s super interesting when people are thinking about like training and learning is like what platform or what to use, especially now that we have, I mean, Facebook for your branding, like Meta, the idea of the metaverse and the idea of VR. Like, is that going to completely eclipse me making videos? Like, should I even start making e-learning videos now and just like get onto this new VR thing or like where does that fit into all this.

Morten Rand Hendriksen: So the VR thing I think is there was an article that came out right after the Meta announcement that was saying, I forget the title of it, but it was saying something like Meta is the promise that has not been met for the past 20 years. And you’re old enough, both of you to remember there was like in the early nineties, you could go to theme parks and they would have VR rigs. Like the ring that you stood inside of you were playing some sort of shooting game where you had a gun and you had the glasses on. And it was a really s**tty experience. And the only real difference between that and now is the high resolution and that you don’t have like lag in the system, but you’re still standing in that stupid ring. You still have the big ass headset on everything is the same.

Anything that goes to like the fear of the lawnmower man, remember that movie, . That, that people would be in like this gyroscope. You haven’t seen the lawnmower? Oh my god.

Steven Sauder: The lawnmower man?

Morten Rand Hendriksen:  The lawnmower man you have to go watch, you will be appalled by the graphics, but it’s like, this is the story about how the scientist makes a VR rig and this, intellectually challenged person, who pushes a lawnmower is put into this rig. And then he becomes, hyper-intelligent right. And they’re in like a gyroscope with haptic suits on. So all the concepts that they’re talking about, right. And then 80s crap. Really awful. 

Morten Rand Hendriksen: Absolutely worthwhile, actually. I’m sure you can find it for free somewhere online. But, that was in like the late eighties, early nineties, and the only difference now, but 30 years later is that the graphics are better. They’re still in the same space. It’s still just as s**tty. So there’s no, I wouldn’t say there’s an immediate risk, of, you making training videos today. They’re just going to be phased out by some Facebook thing. However, there is a very real risk that classroom teaching will be impacted by this in a very short period of time. And the simple reason for that is classroom instruction is very expensive. You have to build a building and you have to put people inside that building and you have to have teachers at the building and you have to have maintenance of the building and they have to have books and all that stuff.

Enterprising companies will very quickly realize, hey, if we can like sell the school board on this idea that all the kids just put on glasses in the virtual classroom and they have virtual books and we have a virtual teacher, then the teacher can teach hundreds of kids at the same time. And then just whoever pops up, they talk to, and for each of the students, it’ll still feel like they’re in a small room. It’s just, they don’t realize the volume that’s actually there because you can program that in. And the like end game, there will be lower-income students or students in areas that have less money will be shunted over to a VR school. Whereas the rich kids get to go to an actual school. And there will be this massive class divide. And that will be fueled by companies giving the schools, the headsets for free. And if you go read ready player one, that’s basically what that book is about. How the poor kids go to virtual school. This isn’t like this isn’t me going like, oh, this is a terrible thing that might happen. This is the thing that will absolutely happen. 100% guarantee. This will be offered within a year.

Morten Rand Hendriksen: Offered, Get these headsets for free, put them on all your poor kids they’ll get a better experience. And then all of a sudden the school boards will be like, or the like conservative politicians will be like, oh, why are we spending all this money on school? We can do this cheaper this way. And then you’ll have a class divide between the kids who have the privilege of actually meeting other human beings and the kids who don’t. And it’ll be very clear, which kids get one in which kids get the other. So that is a real thing that will happen. But when you move into more advanced things like higher education the interaction between professor and student becomes very important, right? And for a lot of things, it becomes even more important because like you have all the professional studies like the medical profession, dental, and lawyer, all these things will be very hard to move over.

But if you’re looking at something like sociology, you still have this significant human component that you need. Like part of sociology is going out into the real world and talking to real people. So there’s a bunch of these pieces that just can’t translate well into these platforms when it comes to the technical aspect of it. What I’ve observed is when you’re doing video training, you’re training a certain segment of your audience because the advanced technical audience doesn’t want video training. They want to text that they can just scan quickly, find what they’re looking for, copy out the piece, and put it in.

Unless there’s a specific thing they’re dealing with, like an interface change that they need to visually see, which is why you get these hybrid articles that will have like texts and then some video demo and then a code demo and then more texts. And those things are very difficult to do. Like adding VR on top of that would not improve the experience. It would just be way more complicated.  And you’re putting an added barrier in front of the learner. So I think they, for that type of thing, that hybrid model would text videos and code examples is the right way to go. It’s also much easier to produce.

Jonathan Denwood: So I’m interested in what you are saying about hybrid because there’s the, there’s the concept of either online education or face to face there’s one or the other. Where I see the real benefit is a hybrid model, which the Open University in the UK, since the sixties has been excellent in where you do so much of the training at home through television, well originally food, television, and radio, but now through the internet. Then you have weekend camps or you have summer schools and they try and build real community amongst the students. And then they have these face-to-face meetings, between professors. And I’m amazed at how that hasn’t been moved on. And I really think that’s a great concept. What was your feeling about that?

Morten Rand Hendriksen: so there’s this, a pedagogical concept called flipping the classroom, which is that effectively. the idea of flipping the classroom is traditionally classroom teaching is you go into a classroom and then the teacher will impact on your knowledge, and then you go home and you do homework. Flipping the classroom the teacher will record the lecture. And then the students watch the lecture at home and they come to school and then there’s a discussion of a lecture or actual work around the lecture. And then the teacher becomes a resource for fielding the discussion or helping drive the discussion or helping them actually figure out the problems. That educational model works way better. It’s like flipping the classroom works way better. Why don’t teachers do it because it’s much more work?

If you’ve ever been to a higher education institution, you will know that there are some teachers that are absolutely awful. And the reason why they’re awful is usually that they’re just running a script. So they’ve done the same lecture a thousand times. They’re not willing to update it. I remember when I was in university, I had a professor that would come in with a set of, overhead slides. Transparencies. And then the lecture would be him sitting there putting the slides on the overhead projector. And then he would fill in where the letters had been worn out from use and just read what was on the slide. And we would sit there and be like, can you just Xerox copies these? And then we will not show up to class. Cause this is an awful experience. We’re just sitting here transcribing s**t that you have used so many times that this literal ink has come off your overheads. This isn’t education. This is, I don’t know what this is, but it’s definitely not education.


Getting him to be like, oh no, I’m going to record my lecture. And then actually interact with other human beings in class that would never happen. So this requires a culture shift in the teachers. And what you’re seeing is younger instructors that are coming into education are more willing to do this because they are, taught on this model. But even they then get baked into this culture of it’s easier to do it the other way. So, there’s a lot of cultural shifts that need to happen, if you go [inaudibl41:40 ] Like he wrote about this in the 18 hundreds, how like the Latin school model was terrible. It took almost a hundred years to get rid of that model. And like his books literally describe in detail how this is not an educational model that works, but it took a hundred years.


It’s the same. Now it will take a long time for schools to shift out of that model. But online education alone, like you said, is not necessarily a solution because you’re missing this interactive component. So what I’ve seen students have really good success with is to make, learning cohort. So we call them learning groups or reading groups or whatever you want, but literally, they go on the internet and say, hey, so I want to learn JavaScript, who else wants to learn JavaScript? And then you find a bunch of people who are at the same level as you, and because of the internet, they can be anywhere in the world. You just have to figure out time zones. And then you say, okay, this week we’re going to work on, object orientation. And then each person in the group can go watch a different course or read a different book or a chapter in a book.

And then they all come together on a day, Friday at the end of the week. And they say, okay, what have we all learned? And then they can all share their insights with each other.  I tried this and I found that really hard. Oh, but I read his other book and that had a good explanation of this, but right. And then you’d share knowledge and you don’t all have to read every book. You can then and you get to talk to other people about your challenges and their opportunities. And it becomes what you would get from a university setting. The challenge there is you need to find those people. I mean, you have to actively cultivate a learning group so that it moves forward, but that is a way of working around the problem. 

Jonathan Denwood:
We’re going to go end the podcast. We’re going to have a quick bonus section, in which you’ll be able to listen to the whole interview on the WP, Tonic YouTube channel. You can also watch it and please join the WP tonic Facebook group, which is about e-learning entrepreneur building, a membership getting going, basically, it’s a great resource. So Morten if people want to find out more about you and what you’re up to. What’s the best way online to find that.

Steven Sauder:
 You can find me on LinkedIn. My name is Morten Rand Hendriksen, should be relatively easy to find. I’m also on Twitter yelling at Jonathan, @Mor10. Cause that’s my name. And I’m on Tik TOK, trashing things and being cynical, at Mortonweb. 

Steven Sauder: Any dance moves?

Morten Rand Hendriksen:. And then, I’m a ballroom dancer. Ballroom dance does not translate well.

Jonathan Denwood: Stephen, what’s the best way for people to find out more about you

Steven Sauder: Head over to Check out what we’re working on.

Jonathan Denwood: That’s great. There won’t be an interview next week, folks cause it’s Thanksgiving. And I can’t be bothered to try and find a guest, which is practically impossible and I’m sure Steven’s traveling. But we’ll be back the following week or another great guy. It’s like a say, I’m going to have a quick bonus section. I’m going to be asking, Morten about IQ. That should be interesting. We’ll be back next week see you soon folks bye.

Outro: Thanks for listening to the WP tank podcast. The podcast that gives you a dose of WordPress medicine twice a week.

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