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Technology: Molding Training to Our Requirements

 

Technology: Molding Training to Our Requirements

Feature Story – By Vijayshree Rautela

We’ve come a long way, and technology continues to evolve.

It was curiosity that led man to learn in the beginning, and it is curiosity that makes us learn continuously even today. Technology is a result of the curiosity to discover and innovate the “new.”

Every day our lives are evolving as we pursue our professional and personal dreams and goals. The amount of time we have in a day is the same, but the amount we want to achieve in a day has increased. Our expectation from training and education has also increased. We expect it to mold itself to our schedules and lives. And it has stood up to our expectations, thanks to the ever-evolving technology.

Technology-Empowered World

We have come a long way from having literally no technology in our lives, to being completely guided by technology. It has been an evolving journey in which everything manual has gradually transformed into everything nearly automated. And technology continues to evolve, making our lives easier, simpler and fast-paced.

“The only difference between ‘I’m techie’ and ‘I’m not techie’ is the willingness to click on stuff and see what happens.” – Alice Keeler

Technology continues to empower both trainers and learners. Classroom in-person training was the norm several years back. Using the chalk and board was the way for instructors to provide instructions. If the instructors had bad handwriting, you could only feel for the learners trying to understand what was written. Traveling to a classroom location was a task. Carrying notes added to the load of a trainer’s and a learner’s bag.

However, today we talk of mobile learning. The mouse has replaced the pen. Furthermore, our fingers have replaced the mouse as we swipe phone and tablet screens to access information.

Evolving Learning

Classroom instructor-led training is now evolving to virtual instructor-led training. Collaborating in a class has evolved into digital collaboration where learners can break out into virtual rooms as groups for discussions and digital interaction.

“The advance of technology is based on making it fit in so that you don’t really even notice it, so it’s part of everyday life.” – Bill Gates

Professionals can juggle a career and learning with self-paced online training. Videos that were once a form of entertainment are now used as a tool for training. We are always in “learn” mode, on the go, every second, through news feeds and updates on social media and digital platforms. The processing power of the brain has increased as it is continuously fed with new information every minute.

“The thing is ‘mobile sets learning free’ and we can now learn virtually anything, anywhere and anytime, and that’s amazing” – RJ Jacquez

If we asked ourselves, how much more do I know today than yesterday, we would be really surprised on how much new information has been stored in our brains within the past 24 hours.

Simplified Training & Learning

Technology has simplified the job of instructors and trainers. Manual reviewing has evolved to digital reviewing of uploaded documents and assignments.

Instructors can now have a paperless world with all their instructions and assignments stored digitally. Tracking and evaluating performance has never been easier with so many digital tools and systems to make this possible at a quicker and efficient pace.

Greater Impact of Trainers

The impact trainers and instructors can have on their learners is now much greater than ever before. Trainers can reach a wider audience through virtual training tools, stretching beyond the same location to several locations across a country, and even internationally. The in-person personal connection between trainers and learners may not be as much.

But, as learners seek to enhance their skill-set, they are looking for learning solutions within a short frame of time. Making a connection with a trainer may not be that important.

A field trainer can now take several training sessions within a day from one location, without stepping out into the field. This also enables them to earn more as they reach more learners.

Exhaustion of the brain is connected to physical exhaustion. If field trainers are not exerting themselves by going into the field to train, but train in a virtual field, there is less physical exertion, less exhaustion and more capacity for the mind to train a larger audience.

Technology Is Inexpensive

The interesting part is technology is not expensive to impart or receive learning. If it’s virtual, all you would need would be a wi-fi connection and a laptop or mobile device like a tablet or a cell phone.

Most virtual tools that enable audio and video connection with multiple people are available as free versions with the basic, required features. There are also several open-source learning platforms and tools that are free online (for example, learning management systems such as Moodle). Many free online surveys such as Survey Monkey are also available for immediate use.

Learning is now being molded with different requirements and availability of learners, such as self-paced online training, instructor-facilitated virtual training and recorded sessions of virtual training for learners who could have missed those sessions or learners who need a refresher.

Technology-Empowered Evaluations and Assessments

Evaluations and assessments have been refined by technology to engage the learners. Online multiple-choice tests and surveys have been popular for some time now. Game-based quizzes, online polls, dialogue and scenario simulations, online forums, etc., are also becoming popular.

There is so much more variety in evaluation platforms and tools that has yet to come as technology continues to evolve. Learning is certainly not stagnant.

“If it keeps up, man will atrophy all his limbs but the push-button finger.”- Frank Lloyd Wright, Architect


Vijayshree Rautela is an instructional design & training specialist. Email her at
rautelashree@hotmail.com

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