If necessity is the mother of invention, then opportunity is the mother of innovation. Well-executed new ideas make the world go around.
Being attuned to the new even helped you get where you are today. For those who do not recognize the value of new thinking, kindly step aside. You are about to be overtaken. The march of the new has turned into a stampede.
Mobile learning has quickly evolved from trying to cram existing courses onto a smaller screen to a more appropriate purpose: just-in-time training and just-a-bit-more training. Bryan Chapman, chief learning strategist of Chapman Alliance, is a leading adviser regarding which software to use and why. He cites several tools that take advantage of mobile’s benefits — the right-now delivery of learning chunks wherever you are and consistent post-course follow-up. For years learning leaders have known training that is spaced out and includes follow-up produces better learning and aids retention.
Might your company benefit by supplementing or delivering certain training in the following manner? Sign-up is available by texting or on a website. Small chunks of learning are sent to learners’ devices three times a week. If it is new-hire training support, content is tailored based on that employee’s start date. If learners need to take some action suggested in the latest mini-lesson, such as accessing a knowledge base, they will be prompted in a follow-up. They check each item off when completed.
A new tool to create training reinforcement provides a number of these features. Cameo from Yukon Learning allows an author to create time-based follow-up that is delivered by email to a device or desktop. Scenarios reinforce and assess learning and are followed by immediate and tailored feedback. Results are tracked and compiled for management.
Authoring tools to create learning apps are emerging, including Pastiche from LCMS provider Xyleme. Included are frameworks titled Read Me, Show Me, Quiz Me and Help Me, which are structured for the obvious content types. Apps created with Pastiche are pre-approved within the Apple App Store, saving time and effort and contributing to the vendor’s estimate of a 60- to 90-day deployment. The real power, however, comes from the XML-based content management system behind it that allows for delivery of almost any content type in almost any format.
Further, Ktango is a mobile app for providing knowledge and learning for whomever you like. It is waiting for you, right now, in the App Store. All you have to do is get the authoring system, format your content and enroll the users. It has a pleasing interface and the best-looking logo around — makes me want to grab my hat and dance, dance, dance while I learn, learn, learn.
“The important driver is that business is changing and becoming social business. Training departments better darn well keep up with those changes or they won’t survive,” said Jay Cross, CEO of Internet Time Group. Cross said social networking is made for learning. Tools like Google+, Jive, Chatter and Socialcast are amazing learning platforms in use all over corporate America.
One example Cross cites is industrial supply company Grainger Inc. “What I heard was that the CEO was watching TV and Ashton Kutcher comes on and says he’s going to be the first guy to get a million followers on Twitter.” Back at work, the Grainger CEO asks what the heck Twitter is. He starts using an enterprise alternative and in two weeks has 4,000 followers in the company. Reportedly, the CEO is sitting in a management meeting discussing a decision and he decides to tweet. Before meeting’s end, he has feedback from employees to consider. Apocryphal or not, we all know examples like this.
Simulations also shine as a method to produce high-impact training. “The innovations now are not technology but application,” said Clark Aldrich, author of Simulations and the Future of Learning. He said simulations build commitment often missing in boring topics like safety, regulations or business ethics. There are some worthy examples at Aldrich’s directory of simulations and serious games website.
Brandon Hall is chairman of Brandon Hall Group. He can be reached at editor@CLOmedia.com.