Commentary: Delivering a 21st Century Learning Services Environment Published Oct. 26, 2020 By Floyd McKinney, HQ AETC Chief, Learning Service Division Air Education and Training Command JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO-RANDOLPH, Texas -- Something big is happening and it affects us all – the journey to modernize the delivery of Air Force learning services. To successfully develop our Airmen and maintain our competitive advantage, we must close the digital gap between Air Force Learning Professionals and Airmen. We do this by providing learning professionals the tools and the environment to create and deliver quality education and training that meets learners’ expectations. We can no longer rely on legacy, stove-piped information technology systems, that constrain our ability to provide instant access to training. Many of these systems and applications are quickly approaching their end-of-life and steadily increasing in the cost of ownership. These realities create the imperative for change. We must transform our technologies and CLOSE THE GAP! Today’s Airmen need a Learning Services operating environment that is flexible and adaptive to innovative teaching methods, and emerging technologies. Employing the best trade tools will ensure we meet our Airmen where they digitally reside each day. The Digital Transformation Improving information technology starts with the Advanced Distributed Learning Service and Enterprise Blended Learning Service platforms. ADLS and EBLS will undergo major re-platforming in the near future that will enhance delivery capabilities to educate and train our Airmen anywhere, anytime, and on any device. A modern learning management system will change the way we deliver distance learning. Albert Einstein is quoted as saying, “We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them.” We must think differently, act differently, or we will become irrelevant. Your help is critical to getting this digital journey right! We need our mission partners and course owners to begin preparing course content for the move to the new LMS. We also need your active participation on communication teams and in discovery sessions, which will frame our system configuration efforts. Finally, we need to know when we appear off-course or if we are not effectively communicating. Our journey will not have a defined destination. The pace of technological change is occurring more rapidly than ever before, preventing us from having the chance to assimilate to new conditions and consolidate our efforts. Therefore, we must embrace a ContinuousNEXT approach, adopting new, innovative solutions along the way. We will create a dynamic culture and elastic operating environment that thrives on delivering the next improvement. Our drive towards distance learning digital transformation is just the beginning. The collective journey starts today!