Training & Technology – The Future.
Where does training fit in an age where people can’t leave home without being connected to the Internet?
Technology has advanced a huge amount over the past 20 or so years, as has the need and want for training courses. The choice seems clear, combine the two. This will create high quality training programmes for the learners and reduce the cost of the whole training process.
Here at Train4 we have started doing just that and will continue to adapt our training strategies to incorporate more technology as we aim to become a completely paper-free company by the end of this year.
We already make use of multi-media in our courses, most notably our SIA Door Supervision course which includes several PowerPoint Presentations. The next step for us to go in is to use more video and audio materials, as around 90% of information that goes to the brain is visual and statistics show that roughly just over 40% of the population are visual learners. We have already started this process, and recently our apprentices made a short how-to video and presentation about how to correctly search somebody upon entering a venue/event, which will be shown during our SIA Door Supervision and NVQ Level 2 Spectator Safety courses.
The next logical stage in the process is to use the Internet more for both providing resources and training. Some training providers (and also schools, colleges and universities) already use a form of online ‘blackboard’ where all learning resources and information is put for all learners to be able to access. This also provides easy contact with the tutor should anybody have any questions outside of lesson time. The benefits of this are huge, as learners and tutors have access to all resources and materials used to be able to view whenever they want and need to. It is an excellent revision source and links can be provided to other helpful websites and materials and, in the future, experts can be linked to it so they can give their help and opinions as well.
Another way we could go is towards mobile learning, as currently almost 60% of the UK population own smart phones and this is rising rapidly. Mobile learning provides incredible potential for increased engagement between the learner and the materials and gives a truly blended learning experience, which should hopefully give the learner a much higher quality experience. It gives the opportunity for learners to have access to any materials they need literally in the palm of their hands.
Of course, not all UK residents have access to the Internet on a 24/7 basis, and as our training is currently aimed at people on benefits, our aim is to provide the necessary technology to our learners. This will mainly consist of tablets and access to the Internet in training centre. Our office has a remote server installed which means all information a learner provides will be safe and secure.
This would all greatly reduce the cost of training for us as it will greatly decrease the amount of printing that is needed. Enrolment forms, workbooks, exams and other resources could all be provided via the Internet either through smart phones, tablets or computers.
We are hoping, in the future, to start providing e-learning so that anybody, anywhere can take part in one of our courses and not have to worry about travel costs etc.. These courses will take place entirely online and consist of webinars, online communities and virtual classrooms. Online courses are cheap to run, quick to update and it is easy to keep track of your learners and how they are getting on. The tutor will run online lessons, either through video or text sessions, and will be easily reachable via mobile, email or the online community.
The only problem we can find with technology? How we are going to keep our learner’s minds on the course at hand!