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Friday, April 6, 2012

Technology's Impact on Training

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Technology’s Impact on Training

Technology has impacted our society in ways we have anticipated and in ways we never anticipated.  Sexting is now an issued that can devastate children’s and teen’s lives.  The United States Postal Services is reducing services and personal.  UPS and other mobile delivery services are not utilized as often, some have gone out of business.  People don’t leave home without their cell phones.  Many homes no longer have LAN line phones.  IBM has 25,000 employees with smartphones with 1,000 new users each month (Ahmad & Orton, 2010). The impact technology has and will have on training may be predictable in some areas, but may be unpredictable in others.

Schools are installing computers in every classroom or providing their students with iPads, software developers are creating programs for the youngest learners, and students are taking their cellphones to school.  Research shows 10 percent of training is delivered in a virtual classroom and 18 percent is delivered online.  71 percent of companies use structured collaboration such as communities of practice. Communities of practice are the most frequently used collaborative learning tool (22 percent), followed by podcasts and mobile learning (14 percent), blogs (8 percent), and wikis (7 percent).  32.1 percent of learning hours involve technology-based training methods.  21 percent of large companies use e-learning to deliver training. 38 percent of companies use learning management systems (Noe, 2011).

Schools are developing learning management systems called parent training management systems to try to increase the involvement of the parents of at-risk youth.  Recruitment, retention and effectiveness are problem areas.  Logistics, babysitting, poor communication between parents and school representatives are other major hindrances to parent participation. This short 3.5 minute video shares some insights into this technolgy.  Schools have used notes, telephones, e-mail, open houses, and conferences to communicate and involve parents.  The goal of schools in a 2008 article was to provide all parents with a computer, the means to connect in their homes with the hope that they would spend at least an hour on the LMS. As a parent who used a school LMS I must say I did not find it effective.  Often when I left messages for the teachers I did not feel as if they took me seriously.  They could not feel the importance in my words.  I felt as if they were being short with me.  As for the other features on the system, I was too busy to search the system.  If there was a particular topic I needed that was fine, but with 3 children I did not have an hour to spend on the system.  Something more collaborative for families to interact with each other to establish tutoring circles and step up according to things important to them might encourage them to access and utilize it more since the most prevalent practice has been centered on youth-focused or school focused interventions, as opposed to parent-or family-focused interventions (Wilkerson & Ouellette, 2008).

The economic situation in America and Europe has not only affected their corporate training budgets, but those in Asia, as well, experiencing high economic growth and the country’s outsourcing expanse.  They are facing an increased need to build the skills of their employees.  These multinational companies are using multimedia like audio, broadband, videoconferencing, online learning modules, collaborative Webcasting, Education Management Systems and remote infrastructure management.  Corporate training is growing 25 percent to 100 percent per annum.  Offsite trainings are expensive and time-consuming because of logistics and heavy expenditures according to Swati Prasad “http://www.businessweek.com/globalbiz/content/sep2008/gb20080926_038143.htm”.

Technology has influenced training in numerous ways:
  • Employees can gain control over when and where they receive training.
  • Employees can access knowledge and expert systems on as-needed basis.
  • Through the use of avatars, virtual reality, and simulations, the learning environment can look, feel, and sound just like the work environment.
  • Employees can choose they type of media (print, sound, video) they want to use in a training program.
  • Course enrollment, testing, and training records can be handled electronically, reducing the paperwork and time needed for administrative activities.
  • Employees’ accomplishments during training can be monitored.
  • Traditional training methods such as classroom instructions and behavior modeling can be delivered to trainees eliminating the need for them to travel to a central training location (Noe, 2011).
Five Technological Advances

Learning Management Systems - A technology platform used to automate the administration, development, and delivery of all of a company’s training programs providing employees, managers, and trainers with the ability to manage, deliver, and track learning activities (Noe, 2011).

Web 2.0 – Refers to user-created social networking features on the Internet, including blogs, wikis, and Twitter. These also include tools similar to those found on Facebook and YouTube to build relationships between trainees and between trainees and training content (Noe, 2011).

Multimedia – Combines audiovisual training methods with computer-based training including computer-based training, CD-ROM, e-interactive video, the Internet, video, virtual reality, and simulations (Noe, 2011).

Computer-Based Training (CBT) - An interactive training experience in which the computer provides the learning stimulus, the trainee must respond, and the computer analyzes the responses and provides feedback to the trainee including interactive video, CD-ROM, and other systems when they are computer-driven. CBT was one of first technologies used in training which has become more sophisticated (Noe, 2011).

Mobile Technology – Allows learning to occur anywhere, anytime consisting of:
  • Wireless transmission systems – Wi-Fi and Bluetooth that allow transmission of data without the need for physical connections between devices or between a device and an Internet connection.
  • Mobile devices – Personal Digital Assistants (PDA’s), MP3 Players, Portable Computers, iPods, Global Positioning System (GPS) Devices, and Radio Frequency Identification Chips (RFID). 
  • Software application related to processing audio files, word processing, spreadsheets, Internet, e-mail, and instant messaging (Noe, 2011).   
Perhaps in the future more Apps will be created to facilitate learning by universities and corporations. Perhaps creators will find more innovative creative games to make learning and transfer of training more effective. Maybe trainees will have the same control of training as viewers of television have with TEVO. I’ve never used it, but I understand you can save it; stop it where you want; and rewind to replay what you missed.  I can see it being used during live trainings. I await the future of technological innovations in training with anticipation.

References:

Ahmad, N., & Orton, P. (2010). Smartphones make IBM smarter, but not as expected. Training and Development, 64(1), 46–50.
Retrieved from the Academic Search Complete database.

Noe, R. A. (2010). Employee training and development (5th ed.). New York, NY: McGraw Hill.

Ouellette, P. & Wilkerson, D. (2008). “They Won’t Come”: Increasing Parent Involvement in Parent management Training Programs for At-Risk Youths in Schools. http://www.familyworksinc.com/research_articles/Internet_Parenting.pdf Accessed School Social Work Journal, Vol. 32, No. 2. 4/2/2012.

Swati, Prasad. (2012). Corporate Training in India Goes High Tech. http://www.businessweek.com/globalbiz/content/sep2008/gb20080926_038143.htm

Engaging Parents in Secondary Schools http://youtu.be/54hA_qZg__8