Remember when workplace training or professional development meant jumping on a plane bound for another city and spending an entire day seated in an auditorium alongside fellow industry veterans? A catered lunch, paid-for-by-work hotel room and a few days’ lost
In the past decade, companies and the workplace training functions have undergone significant pressures for change, with financial downturns, increased business competition and consistent technological advancements calling for a shift in the way conventional training programs are delivered to staff. Coughing up unnecessary expenses to send staff interstate or overseas for training has become somewhat taboo for companies focused on the bottom line, as they look to invest in smarter and more efficient training initiatives.
In recent years, the best practise models and processes for delivering workplace training have come to revolve around education technologies – otherwise known as EdTech, a sector that comprises the technological tools, media and learning management systems for student and curriculum management. A brilliant example of EdTech at its best are massive open online courses or MOOCs, which assist in the communication of knowledge, development and education exchange and have on more than one occasion been hailed the “leapfrog” solution capable of helping provide developing nations with the infrastructure required to move the next generation of undereducated youth into the middle classes.
In the workplace, EdTech is transforming traditional learning and development methods through the introduction of web-based learning, with industry experts predicting that technology-enabled learning will ultimately replace traditional classroom-based learning in the not-too-distant-future – if it hasn’t already, that is. Training courses can now be conducted virtually with the help of augmented reality, virtual role plays, video links and downloadable course content.
But beyond this, workplace training can now also take place at a time that best suits individual staff, as opposed to being forced upon multiple teams with conflicting deadlines and priorities. Training can now also become a daily routine, with interactive e-learning embedded into the regular working habits of staff thanks to constant electronic pop-up reminders that invite staff to ‘pick up where they left off’ at various intervals throughout the day. Social media also provides a forum for learners to interact with one another, ask questions and share rich learning content with others, making the e-learning experience more interactive and well-rounded than ever.
There is no denying that technology is upending every aspect of society. In the field of education, students are able to tap into hundreds of thousands of online courses, from data science masters programs to post-grad certificates in AI and blockchain, from wherever they are located in the world with the click of a mouse. In the workplace, we have seen the rise of new collaboration technologies that allow global business relationships to develop virtually. And in the home, we have seen the invention of thousands of modern devices that change the way we manage our household budgets, secure our properties, and even make love in the bedroom.
With the importance of staff receiving up-to-date training on all functions that might relate to their role – from customer service training to courses in communication and workplace leadership – only growing increasingly vital in the competitive business landscape of today, the EdTech sector will no doubt continue to develop its ability to provide the very best training solutions to discerning
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