Professional development efforts are what separate the skilled wheat from the workforce chaff. Constantly bettering yourself will see you become the best professional you can be, adding the maximum possible value to both your organisation and your personal brand. On the business side, providing learning opportunities such as professional communication skills training to your team is the only way to ensure that both they and your business stay agile and relevant in today’s fast-paced world. Education is an investment, and its returns are spectacular.
Thanks to modern technologies and strategies the development of you or your team’s skill set has never been easier or more effective. Whether you’re interested in communication skills development, the enhancement of industry knowledge or a comprehensive university degree, technology is playing an ever-bigger part in upskilling today’s professionals.
But what are these technologies and innovations specifically? How have they already transformed the career classroom, and how might they continue to?
Everyone learns differently. Some excel with the theoretical, others the practical. Some work quickly, others slowly. Artificial intelligence promises to understand these differences, and replace our current ‘one size fits all’ education models with entirely bespoke offerings that are crafted around an individual’s learning style. As AI technology develops, it will even be capable of teaching the most human of subjects, like interpersonal skills and emotional intelligence (EQ.)
Virtual and augmented reality (VR/AR)
VR and AR promise to play a far larger role in our lives over the coming years, particularly in the field of learning and development. After all, what better way is there to prepare for a new job or task than to experience it in a real, yet risk-free way? Imagine developing your communication skill set by simulating the exact situations that you’re likely to be faced with, such as a high-pressure board meeting or a presentation in front of a large crowd. The ability of the technology to simulate reality means that the potential uses of VR and AR are limited only by our imaginations.
Learning what you want, when you want, where you want. There is already a noticeable trend towards the flexible delivery of education, particularly in the professional development field where students must fit it in and around full-time employment. Why go to a night class on communication skills development when there’s an online course that offers the exact same learning outcomes?
Education providers can choose from any number of remote and flexible learning platforms, and as AI and VR technologies evolve along with these platforms, the perceived gap between online and in-class learning will continue to diminish.
There are even greater shifts in the mindset around delivery than turning the classroom digital. The concept of microlearning has been developed in response to that most modern method of information consumption – in bite-sized parcels while scrolling through feeds. It is a method that uses small moments of learning to help an individual understand a concept, as short, repetitive learning has been shown to increase long-term comprehension. Microlearning lessons are easily searchable, usually reference a very specific topic or problem, and get to the point quickly.
Naysayers might suggest that the likes of eLearning and microlearning create a disconnect between teacher and student, and that no type of learning will ever match that offered by an educator standing in front of you. But as anyone who has undertaken communication skills development can tell you, it doesn’t take a physically present human being to get a point across.
Technology and innovation are granting us access to better ways of learning. And as is always the case in such a competitive marketplace, it will be the early adopters of these new methods that will reap the greatest rewards.
Should you still do it just because it’s what you’ve always done? The same question applies to the use of PowerPoint as it does to learning techniques. It’s time to upgrade your presentation game, and our Present Without PowerPoint eBook will help you to do just that. Click here to get your free copy.
The Colin James Method® Facilitators train corporate executives to improve their professional communication skills with a proven methodology. Our highly trained Facilitators and Coaches are recognised for their experience in their fields and have worked with many individuals and organisations around the world to master the art of communication.