Staying ahead of the learning technology curve
Matt Johnson provides his top five tips to future-proof your learning technology offering
A decade is a long time in the world of tech! Ten years ago, Kineo was founded with the aim of changing how learning technologies were used in the workplace. Since then, the Kineo team has been discovering what makes great corporate learning and development, whilst understanding how technology can help deliver tangible business results.
When Kineo first embarked upon its journey, the iPhone didn’t exist and no-one could have predicted just how important apps would become. Technology is constantly evolving and it is imperative that we take time to step back and reflect upon learning with the future front of mind. How can the last ten years help us prepare and adapt for the next big trends? It’s time to future-proof ourselves, so here are my five tips for staying ahead of the learning technology curve.
- Be guided by the learner
You might have a clear picture in mind about what needs to be learned, but it is equally as important to consider how people want to learn. Don’t be afraid to ask employees how they enjoy learning and what can be done to make it more adaptable to their lifestyle. The internet brings a world of digital abundance for learning content. Nowadays, people don’t hesitate to learn online or via apps outside of work, wherever they are – it’s empowering and has the potential to change people’s lives. We need to fit in around the learner’s lifestyle. If they want to learn at their desk, they can. But they can also learn on a bus, in the kitchen or even on the train – and we should enable that.
- Learning objectives rule
Course content objectives should always be clearly identified at the beginning of any learning. What you want the learner to achieve is far more important than the kind of technology you’re using to deliver learning. Your content must do everything possible to help the learner reach those aims, creating a strong journey that aids progression. Modules should be stimulating in content and in aesthetics.
Bitesize learning is key, too – two-hour long modules must be broken down into manageable chunks that can be digested, understood and absorbed by the learner.
- Look outside
It can become all too easy to have a blinkered view of learning, operating as we do, strictly in our own sectors and forgetting to look up and around. Ask yourself: Where is innovation coming from? How can I stay ahead of the curve? We must actively embrace new boundaries, keep investigating and asking ourselves how we can improve. Why not alter your daily morning routine slightly to allow time to actively hunt for new tech trends and think about how these might lend themselves to your industry?
Take wearable technology for example. It’s already useful in our everyday lives and although still a novelty, could it be used to improve learning? Is this the next step for on-the-go platform adoption? 3D virtual reality is already being used for training course simulation exercises – could this enhance your existing offering?
- Share and share alike
The demand for Open Badges has coincided with the explosion of social media. These sharable, portable symbols of recognition are incredibly important to individuals. They can be clearly displayed via LinkedIn to add value to an individual’s profile but also work well in enhancing the image of an organisation. To cite a recent case study we produced in conjunction with Barclays around its Digital Driving License initiative, badges were clearly important to learners. Rachel Williamson, one of the Barclays Digital Eagles explains: “You get that lovely certificate internally and you also get the Open Badges that you can flood social media with so I can show off to all my friends!”
- Stay connected to the business
It is undeniable that learning can have a huge impact upon a business so it is important to identify the best ways of measuring your return on investment. Keep referring back to the business objectives and make sure they are at the heart of your ROI setting. The learning should be focused enough to deliver upon key measureable criteria and immediately connected to wider business goals around growth and success.
Decide whether you are measuring for short-term wins, long-term gains or both. ROI on learning allows managers to make strategic decisions and set operational goals. Demonstrating how learning has influenced business outcomes should be of paramount importance.
At City & Guilds Kineo we deliver high-quality, engaging bite-size learning across most mobile and desktop platform – complete with badges to reward achievement.
About the author
Matt Johnson is Global Managing Director at City & Guilds Kineo.