PebblePad and Modern Workplace Learning

Yesterday, in a free seminar at the Learning Technologies 2018 Expo hall in London, I gave a short presentation with Shane Sutherland, the CEO of PebblePad, about how their personal learning platform underpins Modern Professional Learning, as well as how it provides a new employee-centred “learning technology” to support learning in the modern workplace. Here are the slides I used and underneath them a brief explanation of each slide.

[slideshare id=87035337&doc=pebblepadandmwl2018-v2-180201102807]

Slide 3: These are the Top 200 Tools for Learning 2017, which show how the tools for personal and professional learning have continued to dominate the list for the 11 years that the survey has taken place.

Slide 4:  It is also quite clear to see that modern professionals use these tools to learn in MANY different ways – not just in training, but as they do their daily jobs at work, as well as outside work – particularly on the Web.

Slide 5: An individual’s Professional Learning Ecoystem (PLES) therefore consists of  a set of organisational and personal, interconnecting and interacting elements – content, people, events and experiences – (often) underpinned by technology – devices, tools, apps, networks and other online services that help an individual

  • learn to do their job
  • solve their own learning and performance problems
  • self-improve (for their existing work) and self-develop (for their future career), as well as
  • keep up to date with what is happening in their industry or profession so that they remain relevant and marketable.

Everyone’s PLES will be different, but at its heart is a personal tool,  like PebblePad, rather than a enterprise system like a LMS.

PebblePad lets the users aggregate resources, reflect on experiences, make sense of it all, and then evidence their new achievements – as the following slides explain.

Slide 6: This is the online dashboard, where the individual organises and manages his/her resources, reflections, actions, etc in a private, secure space.

Slide 7: This is an example of a structured template that can guide the individual to reflect on any experience that they have at any time.  These templates can be accessed and completed on the desktop or through the mobile app, PebblePocket.

Slide 8: Using PebblePocket an individual can quickly create reflections, add photos or videos on the fly and upload them to their dashboard for later re-use  ..

Slide 9: This might be in form of a blog post, or to build a collection of tagged resources, or to create a portfolio.  As with all PebblePad assets, these are private by default, but can be shared with others, if the owner wishes.

Slide 10: A portfolio allows the individual to build an ongoing body of evidence or achievements – perhaps for their current employer or to show a future employer.

Slide 11:  Why is all this important? The world of work is changing due to a number of forces …

Slides 12: A lot has been made of the fact that more and more jobs – if not completely automated – will be effected in some way. New skills will be needed in this modern world.

Slide 13: But what is more significant as the population lives longer, this will mean that there is no job for life but rather a continuous stream of part-time, full-time or freelance work, as the MIT Sloan Management Review, article The corporate implications of longer life shows us. This means, that whereas the 3-stage model has for some time now be centred around an enterprise LMS, at the heart of the multi-stage model is an individual’s own personal learning system – like PebblePad.

Slide 14:  It also means that “learnability” is the key skill for the future.  It is just not possible for organisations to provide individuals with everything they need  to do their job or help them in their career, they will need to be continuous learners making the most of every learning experience they have, wherever they have it.

Slide 15: When it comes to the organisational technology framework, PebblePad can plug in nicely to the LMS (if/where it exists) and/or team workspaces can be set up in ATLAS to push content to individuals or for managers and others to receive content back.  But the key thing is that PebblePad can be decoupled and the individual can continue to use it to organise and manager their future development after they leave a company, since they own their private space. Many universities and professional associations are using it already, so the trend has begun.

Slide 16: Using PebblePad brings a number of advantages for the organisation as outlined on the slide.  For sure, this does mean less control for L&D, but in return, by supporting such a personal tool and self-driven learning activities, they will have far more influence in the workplace  (as Deloitte explains) by helping people to self-improve and self-develop in the ways that suit them rather than providing them with a one-size-fits-solution (that rarely suits anybody)!

Slide 17: If you want to find out more about Modern Workplace Learning and how Modern Professional Learning fits in, then take a look at the resources, including a free e-book at

Slide 18: And for more information about PebblePad, including a free personal trial, visit

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Jane Hart

Jane Hart helps organisations and learning professionals modernise their approaches to workplace learning - through public workshops and bespoke consultancy. She is the Editor of the Modern Workplace Learning Magazine, and is the author of a number of books including Modern Workplace Learning 2018 as well as the resource for individuals How to become a Modern Professional Learner. Jane was the 2018 recipient of the ATD Distinguished Contribution to Talent Development award. You can contact Jane at