For several millennia, the methods use in education and training created a one-way street, a model whereby groups of people would sit still and listen to a lecture, essentially. With the advent of modern audio video technology, the “lecturer” could be a movie or a slideshow, but it was still a lecture. With the Internet, you could also just sit in front of an iMac rental, unengaged and passive – but thankfully, the one-way street model is fading fast, as a slew of interactive teaching technologies make learning a cooperative venture.
Of course, for some purposes and subjects, watching videos is great, but the more someone is engaged with the learning process, the better the results. Good teaching is still much more than technology, but when you use tools, use them effectively. Here are a few ideas for the best training session upgrades.
Even with the old-fashioned lecture model, adding touch technology is a quick way to expand and extend the lessons. Whether it’s a breakout session at a conference or training time at corporate HQ, a room with an all-in-one multitouch display PC at each seat would work ideally. With the right app, of course, audience members could also use their own touch-enabled smart phones or tablets.
Speaking of “old-fashioned” models of learning, the Internet education boom proves that “meeting rooms” can be as big as the entire world. CRE can outfit your various geographic locations to create a single, virtual training room over the Web, using our specially prepared tablet PC rentals, iPads or other devices. Distributed learning models can also include archived materials that can be accessed and reviewed by students at any time, similar to a company “knowledge base.” (In fact, training materials can be a great foundation for knowledge uses and operations manuals, too.)
ARS for training and teaching
Today’s Audience Response System (ARS) technology is no one-size-fits-all solution, but a completely customizable one. Web-based “polling” applications offer wireless response/voting systems that let presenters ask participants interactive questions. Software from one firm, C3 Softworks, features customizable game templates for presenting learning materials. Presenters can create media-rich training games with their own audio, video and still images included.
A different approach
We can’t wrap up a blog on training and teaching without mentioning the latest attempts to upgrade… you! Specifically your brain: Firms like Lumosity have created exercises and games that claim to “improve your brain health” and result in “significant improvements in working memory and attention.” While a healthy skepticism is always helpful, the firm does provide links to its research findings, and the study of “enhanced learning” continues in many labs around the world.