As the world changes, so does business. Those who do not adapt, fall behind.
In recent years, technology is one of the top drivers of change. Technology impacts organizations as a whole, as well as their various departments. HR, Finance, Customer Relations, and Learning & Development have all had to adapt to how technology has changed the way business works.
As companies try to increase retention and engagement, learning is one of the strongest ways technology can make a positive impact.
New Ways of Learning
Technology has made learning something that can happen anywhere, at any time. People can pick up their phones or tablets and access a learning platform wherever they are. If they are commuting to work or have a few minute while they are waiting for something, they can access micro-learning activities that teach them something in a matter of minutes.
2. Personalized Learning
As technology can give everyone a unique online identity, employees now want to learn in individualized ways. They want to learn only what is relevant and useful to them.
Many companies are harnessing the power of data and analytics to create a learning experience based on an individual employee’s learning style, preferences, abilities, and goals.
3. Social Learning
Social media has related an online world of social interactions. These apply to learning systems as well.
Employees want a way to share knowledge with others and to be able to collaborate and trade ideas.
4. Virtual Reality/Augmented Reality
VR/AR has not been quickly adopted by corporations or the learning and development world. But with its growing popularity, there are many reasons why companies are giving it a second look:
Mobile - The technology is available on mobile devices, making AR/VR learning available anywhere.
Attractive - Younger generations are usually attracted to this type of technology, making the learning platform attractive as well.
Responsive - This technology responds to users in real time and with multiple commands. It allows learners to interact with the world in new ways and immerse themselves into learning in ways not possible with other technologies.
Competitive - AR/VR games have the potential for competition. Healthy competition can be a powerful tool in motivating users to learn as much as they can and to master content as fast as they can.
Easy to learn - The technology is not that difficult for new users to learn.
While some leaders may not see games or systems using AR/VR as viable options for their learning and development programs, they can teach companies how to incorporate gaming principles, design thinking, and current technology into their programs.
Also read: 11 Technology Trends in LMS
5. Content Curation
Technology has made an almost endless amount of content available everywhere. Just a simple search in Google can result in millions of pages of content within seconds. This can make it somewhat overwhelming for learners to find reliable and relevant content for certain skills and topics they are trying to learn about. Learning and development can take advantage of all the available content.
Learning and development officers have a new role as content curators. There are millions of articles, blogs, and posts out there.
Companies can filter out all the extraneous information to deliver to employees content that will help them move forward in their professional development. Articles, courses, podcasts, webinars, videos, and infographics are all great resources to curate and update.
Content relevance is often times based on how easy it is to put to use. Employees want resources that help them learn a new skill and put into use quickly.
The longer the content, the more difficult it will be to keep employees engaged unless there are clear reasons why the information is relevant to their future actions.
Oftentimes, employees do not feel they have the time to sit down and take an entire course or read a lengthy article or book.
They want content that is right there when they need it. Content in the form of checklists, how-to guides, and a series of steps are most useful in the technological word of speed and efficiency.
6. Flipped Learning
Technology has also “flipped” the role of the instructor in the learning process. Many teachers are using technology to deliver content before the learner enters the classroom. Class time is then used for discussions, activities, and assignments related to the content learned before class.
This style of teaching can also be applied to employee learning and development programs and employee onboarding. In a flipped system, onboarding would start even before an employee is hired. Managers across various departments would decide what skills and training a new employee would need. They would then assess what materials they have available and what they need to find or create. After planning, they would give all these materials to the new hire even before they start the new job.
The new employee will start work on their first day feeling more confident, having some knowledge about the company and job skills needed for the job and they’ll be ready to get involved, learn, and ask questions.
With so many changes in such a short time, it can be stressful to try to keep up with technology. But learning and technology can be the forward momentum an organization needs to create employees who can adapt and utilize technology in other areas of the organization.
Technology is here to stay and will only get more advanced. Learning & Development programs have a lot to gain by staying up-to-date on the newest ways of learning.