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Wednesday, June 15, 2016

4 Tech Trends That Can Help You Design More Effective E-Learning | ATD

The world is home to 7.2 billion gadgets, and they’re multiplying five times faster than we are  | The Independent

Photo: Joel Duncan
"In the early 1990s, less than 1 percent of the world was connected to the Internet. Today, it is estimated that as much as 45 percent of the world’s population has Internet access, according to data from Internet Live Stats." according to Joel Duncan, freelance writer with several years of experience working in online education and marketing.

This dramatic increase in connectivity, coupled with the availability of affordable mobile devices, is having a significant impact on the e-learning industry. Technology is changing the way the entire world is learning. People can learn anywhere, anytime they want. 

Photo: ATD

Corporations, schools, governments, hospitals, and a host of other institutions are now developing custom e-learning courses. They are substituting physical classrooms for connected virtual environments, which require learners to have only a mobile device and an Internet connection.

Although they still exist, fixed schedules, intimidating textbooks, and mind-numbing lectures are gradually being replaced or complemented by technology-driven e-learning courses. When technology is used correctly in e-learning course design, the result is more learner engagement, accelerated learning, significant time and cost savings, and higher levels of knowledge retention.

However, although there is an abundance of technology at their disposal, some course developers still can’t seem to create the engaging learning experiences that students desire.

Imagine going to a state-of-the-art gym for the first time but not having a clue how to use any of the fancy machines. Your workout won’t be very productive and you’ll waste the money you’ve invested in a premium gym membership. However, with a qualified personal trainer’s guidance, you could learn how to use the machines to sculpt a great body and even have fun in the process.

This is the case with e-learning course development and technology. Technology can be used to support teaching and learning. The technology is there, ready to be used, but course developers first need to be aware of the technology and then understand how they can use it.

Although there are numerous learning technology trends, let’s look at four innovative technologies that developers can use to create richer learning experiences and realize significant improvements in productivity.

Learning by Making With 3-D Printing 
Three-dimensional (3-D) printing is the process of making a physical object from a 3-D digital model. This technology can be applied to many subjects, such as science, history, math, and architecture. It has the power to not only change the scope of students’ work, but also how they relate to the information they are learning. It bridges the gap between the digital and physical learning environments. Students can see, touch, and interact with their digital creations in real life. By doing so, they have the opportunity to improve their designs, making them as accurate as possible.

Although 3-D printers can be expensive to buy and maintain, they can lead to significant cost and time savings in the long run. Without a 3-D printer, students would have to build their models by hand, which could be time and resource intensive, depending on the complexity of their designs. Instead of spending entire classes, weeks, or semesters in a workshop building models, students can spend more time designing and refining their designs in a virtual environment. In turn students can push their creativity and build confidence designing on the computer rather than in a workshop. 

Additional resources
Four Volume Collection: Train the Trainer
Four Volume Collection: Train the Trainer (Print)
Are you a new trainer interested in putting learning theory to work or learning how to deal with difficult participants? Are you an established trainer who wants to incorporate social media, video, and mobile learning into your training solutions? Or perhaps you are a trainer seeking to gain a seat at the table by helping influence organizational culture and proving the true value of good training. Maybe as head of a training team, you need the right resource at the right time for team members. 

The collection includes:
Source: ATD