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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
      

8 comments:

  1. Hi Celia –

    This is an interesting post. I think your analysis described both the advantages of new technologies for trainings as well as some of the barriers. I think we are working at a time when technology is advancing faster than our ability to keep up with it. We have these tools to enhance collaboration in the school setting, but as you described, parents may not have access or the time to take full advantage of the systems, and teachers may not be using them to their full advantage. We also have to deal with issues of limited bandwidth and poor IT infrastructure in some places (Noe, 2010). It seems the technologies are only as good as out capacity to effectively use them.

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

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  2. Alexis:

    Thank you. I agree with you. I think one of the important things I've learned from this class it to both design my programs and utilize technology with my student's performance improvement in mind (always). The purpose of any instruction should be the empowering, improving, elevation of my student's knowledge and skill, not my putting something to them on a topic. It they don't gain knowledge and/or skill improvement I have not done my job. For that learning and transfer of training I am truly grateful.

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  3. Hi Celia,

    Thank you so much for sharing such great information and video about the different technologies and the use of innovative tools to enlarge the school reporting system. these are real examples of how the technology could be used to strengthen the ties between the parents and the school and to create a flow of students - school news, progress and follow-up information through various ways of communications. I think the Learning Management System was not effective and overwhelming , only, because the way of how it was introduced without any support or training, and it was not a family or parent focused as you mentioned. However I believe that Learning Management Systems are great for centralizing the management of learning activities as well as tracking it (Neo, 2010). Great post, thanks again.

    References

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

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    Replies
    1. Adel,

      Thank you. I agree that the LMS/PMS can be a wonderful tool to both centralize managing learning activities and to involve parents in the educational process of their children. Definitely, parental training and the implementation of the system along with ensuring the PMS is family focused are three of most important aspects school districts or educationl systems need to address. You are absolutely correct. In my case we were given the address, told to access it and that is it.
      I appreciate your insight and input. Thanks again.

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  4. Hi Celia,

    I appreciate the informative and well laid out post. It is amazing to see how technology has changed learning, particularly in schools. The ease of access to information has greatly impacted how students learn. Instead of spending hours researching in the library, students can simply search the web and access information in minutes. Do you think in some ways that technology has negatively impacted how students learn?

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

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    Replies
    1. Natasha Hi,

      Thank you. I think technology has had and will have both negative impacts on how students learn and on the educational processes and environment. I've seen instances where a school was distributing lab top computers to children and they ended up being assaulted as a result of having them. I heard of students being consumed with using the phone that they didn't learn. I've seen phones being used to catch instructors behaving badly and committing crimes in the classroom. Kids text, use shortened coded words so now schools don't require kids to learn cursive writing. They don't use the long spelling for words, do they know it? Students without access to a home pc can now access the Internet if they have Smartphones, which is great because it sort of levels the field to access. Some families or students spend exorbatant amounts of money on the cell phone bill at the expense of other more important needs. Not needing to purchase large volumes of encyclopedias is a plus. Being able to access large amounts of information is a plus. Technology I think allows students to be more creative. Those are just some of the impacts that come to mind. I'm sure there are more. I appreciate your question.

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  5. Celia,
    Thank you for sharing your experience and the limitation of using a school’s LMS system for your children. Adel makes some good points above. Do you think that LMS systems will have a positive impact on corporate training in the future? I really appreciated the link to the video clip on the use of technology to better communicate with parents and engage the parents in the education of their children. The district I worked in had a similar system; the parents loved it and so did the teachers once they got comfortable with the technology.

    You made a very good point regarding the potential use of mobile technology applications giving the learners greater control over their learning experiences. Do you think that this potential use of mobile technology will result in more companies following IBM's lead? You also mentioned virtual reality and computerized simulations; what impact do you see these technologies having on the future of training?
    Mike

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  6. Hi Dr. Mike,

    I think LMS can enhance corporate trainig in a major way especially if they become more interactive. If they combine the technologies of Wikis,simulations and YOU Tube. Wow!!! I can see employees exchanging and updating the Wiki part with their thoughts and experiences and learning from each other. Then using the simulations to actually see and in some instances feel what it is like to experience the situation or task. Then watch the tasks or situations negatives and positives. That type of LMS in the workplace would be awesome. From what I read employees want to access the information quickly in some bits and want the material to be directly focused on their need/s or task/s.

    Virtual reality and computerized simulations used for training astronaunts is usually all we hear about. However, policemen, race car drivers, pilots, underwater professions, the military, medicine, and sales and customer service are other areas where these technologies can have major impacts. I can even see them being used to train ministers, babysitters and in my field parents. Employees can experience situations without being in them. They can feel the physical sensations associated with their job and feel the emotions associated with the task or situation. Also, employeestheir physical responses can be monitored to ensure they are healthy enough to handle certain situations. I think they can be employed as pre-employment assessment for telecommunication workers for instance who have to climb poles or go down into the ground. Watching the development of all these specialized training is going to be exciting. The fact that these technologies can be specialized to certain environments and tasks and jobs is what makes them so effective. Great question.

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