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Future Trends in Learning and Technologies

It has been a long time, since I have attended a conference where I have been absolutely amazed by the ideas being presented and excited to implement what I learned. Last week a few colleagues and I attended DevLearn in Vegas and the amount of new ideas and technologies which could impact the learning and training community, was impressive.

For those of you who couldn’t be there, here are the 3 key learning trends we noted, and new technologies that will be impacting how we develop learning in Canada, in the coming years:

  1. 360 Videos for Training – 360 videos are a great way for learners to be “virtually there”. The experience of being able to scroll around in a video makes you feel like you are in the exact location of the video.

See some examples of 360 videos by going to the following sites:

Training application – Although there are many uses for these types of videos in training, the consensus was that 360 videos would probably be best for:

  • On-boarding - To do a virtual tour for on-boarding (e.g. show the facilities to a new hire – or to show different locations in different geographical locations) or to experience a role (e.g. the day in the life of a customer service representative).

  • Safety Training – Identify safety issues in a location.

Drawbacks - While learning professionals are still grappling with how to make the videos interactive (with hot spots etc.), there are also several cost limitations that will make it difficult for some organizations to adopt this new training medium quickly as well. Although the cost to buy a 360 camera is not high, the cost to edit the video becomes costly as most regular computers will not be sufficient, given the size of the files. Consequently, moving over to 360 video, often require an investment in new computers for your development team. Also, stitching the video together, requires expertise that some organizations may not have.

  • - At Pathways we are going to start experimenting with adding 360 videos to eLearning for our clients. If you would like to see a demo of our work, we expect to have our first demo ready by December, 2016.

  1. Scribe Job Aids and Summaries – At the conference a scribe was used to document the key learning points in a session. See some examples below:

Training Application - My colleague and I thought these types of examples would be a great way to summarize key learning points in a different way other then a job aid or an info-graphic, and then they could be embedded in an eLearning module as a quick summary guide, at the end of a module.

  1. Virtual Reality (VR) – Going into this conference, my colleagues and I thought virtual reality was going to be the next big thing for learning. Although, everyone at the conference agreed, this will be a trend in the future, the technology is still not there as VR still requires headsets (check wording) – which is costly for adoption as it would require each learner to have a pair for training. Even though headsets like Google cardboard – can be used for VR and purchased for a rate of $20, which is relatively inexpensive (in comparison to other options), if everyone across the organization has to have a pair for training – this can be a very costly investment. All industry experts agree, that VR is the future of training but until costs come down, it will be some time before the training industry rapidly adopts this new learning technique.

This conference had people from around the world and I believe these trends will shape the future of learning, as we know it. For my colleagues in Canada, if you can go to DevLearn next year, it is well worth your time. For those of you who can’t attend - maybe I’ll take a 360 video of it – so that you can almost be there as well!

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