This June marks my 29th year at Omnipress. These anniversaries always serve as fresh reminders of how much training technology has changed over the years. Back when I started, we weren’t delivering content in Megabytes and Gigabytes, we were delivering content in printed volumes. As in large stacks of books that would wreck your back if you didn’t lift them right. Then of course, there was a technological breakthrough that changed everything: the floppy disk. (I told you this was a long time ago.) But, like my 8-track player, this technology was quickly replaced by the next big thing, and the next.
Technology has disrupted almost every aspect of how we deliver training and education. Remember, at one point, instructors considered an overhead projector to be a huge leap forward. Now with online content and other tools that enable learning to take place anywhere, an overhead projector seems quaint.
Today’s Training Technology
The technology that we take for granted today would have seemed like science fiction when I started at Omnipress. As the pace of development continues to increase, how will we be delivering course materials 29 years from now?
With the introduction of new technology on what seems like a daily basis, evaluating the effectiveness of training technology is a more important skill than ever. It’s a natural tendency for humans to be optimistic about what new these tools can deliver. But, as events like the recent worldwide cyber attacks have shown us, new technology does not come without its share of risk.
As new generations become the focus of our training efforts, it’s important to move forward on a cautious path. Investing time into every new advancement that promises great results is a losing battle. Rather than being on the cutting edge of technology adoption, focus on finding solutions that create great outcomes.
An Old-Fashioned Focus
So as you evaluate each “next big thing” that comes along, keep these two old-fashioned ideas front and center: How does this new training technology enhance learning and increase retention? Because as fast as technology changes, the human brain still relies on these two fundamental concepts to turn information into knowledge.