Perspectives on Learning Technologies

by | Dec 18, 2012 | Articles

Towards Maturity’s latest – its sixth – annual learning technology Benchmark Study reveals that the top companies, in terms of corporate learning, are achieving substantial additional benefits through deploying technology in learning.

This includes using learning technology to share good practice; improve talent, staff engagement and performance; respond faster to business change, and speed up the application of learning at work.

The study shows that the proportion of training budget allocated to technology increased from 18% in 2011 to 20% in 2012. The biggest technological changes over the past year were in the use of rapid application development tools (up from 44% to 59%), enterprise wide information services (up from 54% to 64%), user generated content (up from 31% to 41%), mobile devices (up from 39% to 47%) and virtual meetings (up from 65% to 74%).

A quarter of the organisations surveyed are now developing mobile apps for learning – an increase from 20% in 2010 – with 30% of organisations encouraging individuals to use their own devices to access learning opportunities and 31% providing learners with mobile devices.

If the learning and development professionals who’re responsible for determining and delivering improved corporate performance through learning also have access to these mobile devices, they could benefit from an e-book called ‘Perspectives on Learning Technologies’. Published by The Endless Bookcase and available on its website as well as Amazon, this e-book contains over 200 pages of wisdom and wit gathered from some 20 years of discussion and discovery in the learning-technologies industry, particularly as it relates to the corporate learning world. Its contents can be used to help readers in the planning, practice, and politics of learning and development (L&D) in their organisations. They can also spark readers’ thoughts and theories to help them achieve more with less in a shorter time – and all the other things that L&D professionals are supposed to do.

Praised as a ‘valuable reference’ by Donald H Taylor, Chairman, Learning and Skills Group, the key premise underpinning the e-book is that times change, technologies change, and learning technologies change – but people remain human. L&D professionals trying to meet their organization’s objectives face the same challenges that L&D professionals have always faced. These days, there are many more options and (technology-based) tools; so these challenges can seem harder and the dangers of making a mistake appear to be greater than they used to be.

For example, 95% of the study’s respondents want to use technology to share good practice, only 25% are currently achieving this. In addition, 92% of organisations want to use learning technologies to respond faster to business change but, again, only 25% achieve this; 94% of organisations seek to speed up the application of learning into the workplace but only 23% achieve this – and 91% seek to improve talent or performance management, but only 20% achieve this. Laura Overton, Towards Maturity’s Managing Director, commented: “There’s still a huge disparity between what companies hope to achieve and what they’re actually achieving.”

Maybe studying ‘Perspectives on Learning Technologies’ might help?

Brief Summary of Perspectives on Learning Technologies by Bob Little

After a remarkably brief ‘short history of mass communication’, Perspectives on Learning Technologies offers insights and advice on the challenges that L&D professionals face.

It contains chapters on best practice in learning; coaching and mentoring; delivering learning; developing learning; evaluation; learning design; learning technologies; learning; managing learning; mobile learning; online learning; systems; tablet learning; technology for tomorrow; uncertainty, learning and change management, and using games and simulations in learning.

There’s also an appendix chronicling some key moments on learning technologies history since 1992. Since the book contains some 248 pages, there should be something in it – somewhere – that is relevant to any L&D issue.

‘Perspectives on Learning Technologies’ is available on Amazon (price £6.48 + VAT).

It’s also available on the Endless Bookcase site (price £6.28 + VAT).

The Towards Maturity Benchmark Study report entitled ‘Bridging the gap – integrating learning and work’, can be downloaded  free of charge here.

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This article was supplied by Bob Little. Bob has pursued a number of parallel careers. He’s probably best known as a writer, commentator and business-to-business public relations practitioner. In particular, he’s spent the last 20 years or so writing and commentating on learning technologies – especially corporate e-learning.

His work in this area is published around the world, including the UK, Continental Europe, the USA and Australia. Since 2010, he has published annual lists of the ‘top ten movers and shakers’ in the corporate e-learning world, covering ‘the World’, ‘Europe’, ‘the UK’ and ‘Australia-Pacific’. Bob is a regular tweeter (@BobLittlePR) and blogger – both as a guest, for example, on the APM Group blog and on his own blog.

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