March 31, 2014

Moving training from computer access to tablet and smart phone access is the next big migration in training technology.

A couple of years ago, this migration was anticipated and in a blog that appeared in “Tablet Training” a few of the many advantages of this expansion-in-learning were clearly spelled out:

Immersion – the way in which a user interacts with a computer based system.

Simplicity – the need to provide simple access to training to maximize learners’ time and experience with the training.

Portability – the ability for learners to take real training from any location – something that was never offered by mobile learning.

Cost – the cost of non iPad tablets is dropping and the adoption of non iOS platforms is rising, this will make for low cost delivery of training to more people.

And, that’s not all that’s evolving. In an issue of “Training Industry Quarterly” an article entitled, “Top Training Technology Trends” by David Mallon, the next decade of the e-Learning evolution is predicted.

“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.”

I agree! In recent SALT Conferences (the best place to take a peek at learning’s future), more and more emphasis is being placed on content developed for tablets and smart phones.

Taking training directly to the plant floor has so many financial benefits that it can blow your mind. 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 reading —- or return to a desktop —- in order to remind herself of the steps-to-be-performed.

Simulations and Gaming are also gaining momentum in the learning world. Again, you can see it coming through recent SALT Conference tracks.

But, there’s one sour note. Full motion video (accompanied by optional word-for-word audio) must gain greater and greater prominence in technology learning —- in order to accommodate the needs of our workforce. Too many of our current e-Learning designs are left wanting because they still rely on words as their primary communication tool. Instructional designers need to catch up with the visual and audio advances already underway in gaming and simulation training.

Regardless, technology learning will continue to spearhead the progress being made in education and training effectiveness. What exciting times are coming!

More on Wednesday – – – – –

— Bill Walton, Founder of ITC Learning