Fusion Day 2: Learning Momentum

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Here are a few things we've been hearing and learning from our attendees

This morning, at 6 am, about 20 of us went for a run as part of D2L’s commitment to wellness here at Fusion 2018.

We got up – some of us a little groggy from the night before – and we met Duane, a Houston-based personal trainer. Duane has tons of positive energy — and before long we were running with smiles on our faces through the hot Houston streets.

As we were running, I found myself thinking that running is a great metaphor not only for our time here at Fusion – but for learning and education as a whole.

John Baker at Fusion 2018Like learning, running can be a solo activity. But it’s way more fun and inspiring when you do it with other people. There’s something about seeing other people enjoying themselves that makes the run easier for you. And I find it really inspiring to see people dig deep and really put effort into a run – because, like learning, the rewards at the end make all that effort so very worthwhile.

I have been hearing from customers at Fusion that they love D2L because we treat learning like a team sport. When they call us for support, we’re right there beside them helping them troubleshoot problems. And we take their advice and input to make our products better. It’s awesome to get that feedback because that’s exactly how we feel, too. We see learning as a team activity.

Also, like learning, running is all about being focused on the big picture. Run too fast, too soon, and you burn out quickly. You have to think of the entire run, and pace yourself accordingly. That way, instead of getting exhausted halfway through a race, you actually get more energy as you go. If you’re very good you can run a “negative split”— which means you run the back half of a race faster than the front half.

We see D2L’s place in the market like that, too. We’re focused on building momentum over the long haul — looking at a finish line farther out in the future. We know the best way to get there is to move forward together with our partners and customers. That’s what gives D2L its momentum as a company.

But that’s also how we need to think of learning itself. These days, you don’t just learn for the first 20 years of your life and stop. You can’t. You have to be focused on the big picture. You have to think of your entire life as a learning exercise. You have to have the time and energy for continuous, lifelong learning. And if you’re very good, you can find yourself learning a lot more late in life than you did in the beginning!

As we come to the end of Fusion this year, I want to thank all my running partners – both our customers and our amazing D2L team. I’ve been in this race for 19 years now — and every step of the way I find myself gaining more energy, more purpose and more focus. And that’s all thanks to you.

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