Days spent in a dreary air conditioned room watching people using Powerpoint have long become obsolete. The development of mobile technology and availability of various business mobile phone plans have made corporate training sessions flexible, fun and exciting.
No need to buy expensive equipment or book a venue. With just a mobile device and Internet connectivity, it is now possible to teach and train employees whenever and wherever they are at any given moment.
Get ideas for your next learning session from some of these technologies:
1. Video conferencing
The lack of interaction often makes online learning cold and boring. Most people may not like classrooms but they also crave contact with another human being. Video conferencing provides a solution by allowing people to collaborate and share ideas without the need to be physically in the same room.
An entire tutorial class, seminar or workshop can be conducted with a laptop, a camera, microphone and an Internet connection. Armed with just a smartphone and an international roaming plan, video conferencing has made it possible to teach people how to do tasks even while hopping from one place to another.
2. Collaborative tools
One of the greatest perks to using digital technology is the ability to communicate and interact with any individual online. Cloud technology online access to tools such as Google Docs has made it possible for employees to create, share and work on files with their co-workers.
Employees can create editable manuals that can be used to train new recruits or develop the skills of their co-workers. These tools also allow individuals to create complementary training materials and even quizzes that can be recorded online.
3. Online content
People learn in different ways. Digital technology has broadened the range of materials that can be used for training employees.
Before, training materials were created without the need for input from the audience. With books, magazines, journals and TV shows, information flow was unidirectional, from the publisher to the audience. Online technology has helped create a more interactive experience.
Video conferencing and collaborative tools allow the audience to participate in the discussion. Other forms such as blog posts, podcasts, videos and online games also emerged, allowing individuals to have a richer learning experience, and give their own input or comments. With these content forms, the individuals themselves can determine what they want to learn, when and at what speed.
By using social media tools, these forms can be shared with a single link. Employees can choose to learn with their peers or alone, rate the material, make comments, take down and share notes, among others.
One of the key aspects to make effective training materials is how to get learners motivated and encourage them to invest time and effort in learning. Gamification turns mundane or technical knowledge into more a form that is more compelling for the reader. It taps into the individual’s natural instinct to compete or help and share while still making the learning process fun.
By turning the learning process into a game, employees are more willing to learn from their peers and come up with ways of completing the same task quicker, better. It is important to note that certain training methods may not work for every situation. Trainers will need to consider the existing training strategy and objectives, and see if gamification can work towards reaching the needs and goals of the group, company or organization.
5. Augmented and virtual reality
With AR and VR technology, the individual learner can be transported into an environment that is more conducive for learning the material in life-like scenarios. For instance, learners can explore and learn about different machines inside a food processing plant or the Renaissance without the need to physically be there.
Employees can even gain knowledge about riskier aspects of their career without putting them in danger. Pilots can learn how to maneuver an assortment of plane models without risking their lives or the lives of passengers.
The days of staring at a whiteboard listening to a monotonous speaker are now over. With the help of technology, there are more ways of learning new skills and building on existing knowledge.