In the Winter 2010 issue of “Training Industry Quarterly,” an article entitled, “2010’s Top Training Technology Trends” by David Mallon discussed the next decade of the E-Learning evolution. His ideas remain as prescient today as they did eighteen months ago.

“The lengthy page-turner is out. In its place is a next generation of e-learning, including: short video vignettes or audio podcasts followed by interactive assessments; pre-recorded virtual classroom sessions; scenario-based learning, 3-D simulations and serious games; e-books, articles and abstracts; and content delivered to mobile devices.”

With one exception, his predictions are already taking place! We can see in recent SALT (Society for Applied Learning Technology) Conferences — the best place to take a peek at learning’s future — more and more emphasis is being placed on content developed for PDAs and exciting new gaming simulations. If only the demise of the lengthy page-turner would accelerate. (There are still far too many adapted PowerPoint and converted written procedures masquerading as E-Learning.)

Taking training technology to the plant floor has so many financial benefits that it has proven to be a windfall for those organizations wise enough to participate. The “just-in-time” crowd could not ask for a better application. The worker doesn’t have to leave the floor to either research by computer or PDA in order to remind herself of the steps-to-be-performed.

No! As long as we can get full audio and full-motion video to our workforce, “just-in-time” will mean more than an academic phrase. It will become reality for everyone — including the 40% of our workforce who cannot read above a 4th Grade level.

Simulations and Gaming are also gaining momentum in the learning world. Again, you can see it coming through recent SALT Conference tracks. And full-motion video (combined with optional word-for-word audio) in E-Learning will continue to gain greater and greater prominence.

Technology learning will continue to lead the advances being made in education and training. The future for better learning is very bright indeed!

More on Thursday – – –

— Bill Walton, Founder, ITC Learning
www.itclearning.com/blog/ (Tuesdays & Thursdays)
e-Mail: bwalton@itclearning.com