History of le@rning

by Fleming. Team

Increased demand for education and the development of technology led to the boom of e-learning worldwide. It has come a long way.

In 1960, the first computer-based learning environment was developed. After that, systems like Usenet and Habitat emerged, but Plato stands as the first social computing system for the classroom. All of us are familiar with and use forums, message boards, online testing, email, chat or instant messaging daily. All of them were developed on Plato. Even the FreeCell game.

The invention of ARPAnet, the predecessor of the Internet, helped the progress, but in 1960, only four computers were connected to it. Within the next 20 years, it skyrocketed to around 80,000 and with this, the perception of learning also changed. In the words of Elliott Masie, people understood that we needed to: "Bring learning to people instead of people to learning."

In the 1980s, companies started with their own software training programs and tools, IBM started the production of the first home computers and floppy disks and CDs gained popularity. The first billion internet users was reached in 2005. The second billion in 2010. The third billion in 2014. According to Internet Live Stats, there are currently around 3.2 billion internet users in the world in 2016. The country with the most users is China, and it also happens to be a country with a massive EdTech boom.

With the rise of the World Wide Web in the 1990s, people embarked on a journey of learning and using emerging technologies. The amount of course websites, tutorials and online exams increased in schools and universities. Moreover, you did not need to be a “classical” student anymore. Handheld, portable and networking devices got popular among teachers and students. Today, open and free online education is available for everyone. If you are new to eLearning and need to know what eLearning is all about, ask our eLearning Guru.

Web 2.0, mobile technology and synchronization has increased communication and connectivity. Digital storytelling, gamification and e-books are current buzzwords. And who knows what the future will bring.

According to Jay Cross, software and training pro, intellectual capital has become more valuable than hard assets.

Networks are replacing hierarchy.

Time has sped up.

Cooperation edges out competition.

Innovation trumps efficiency.

Flexibility beats might.

Everything’s global.

We needed fresh thinking.

That is why e-learning got so popular.

If you want to keep in touch with other trending HR topics, follow


Interested in this topic?

More articles


To be, or not to be, local-plus

A successful compensation strategy involves keeping expatriates motivated while maintaining a competitive advantage by achieving a company’s corporate goals and budgets. While in theory this seems achievable, in practice there are many challenges with expatriate compensation that cause problems for companies. Many are in a battle to win external talent, and to retain internal talent. At the same time, cost pressures to reduce the expense of international assignments is increasing. The balance-sheet approach is expensive relative to the fact that a very small proportion of a company’s overall total employee workforce (e.g., perhaps 5 percent of employees in total) may be incurring 60 or 70 percent of total salary costs. Not surprisingly, for many years this was a major reason why expatriates agreed to go. There is also the tax equalization expense when assignees relocate from low tax to high tax countries.


Global mobility – a competitive advantage for international business

Despite the stop/start nature of the global economic recovery, one thing that is perennially on the agenda of CEOs and HR leaders is the war for talent. McKinsey in their latest Quarterly Review (1) suggest that ‘progress towards globalisation’s new era will be uneven for economies and companies alike’. Knowledge in the new intangible assets world will certainly mean power. In the digital global age there will inevitably be a demand for new breeds of talent – emanating from both emerged and emerging countries.


All change? Global mobility’s role towards 2020

In this White Paper Santa Fe assess the on-going debate about the role of global mobility within organisations; should they aim to be more strategic, and if so how should they go about doing so? We draw from both the RES Forum Annual Report 2015 and Santa Fe Global Mobility Survey 2014 and 2015 and in addition, other industry research and sources as well as academic research.