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The Hot Frog

The Hot Frog

The boiling frog is a fable about how humans react to slow or fast change. The premise is that if a frog was dumped into boiling water it would jump out immediately. If the frog was put into tepid water that is slowly brought to boiling point; the frog would stay until it died.

We are often unwilling or unable to react to change that builds gradually rather than suddenly. The changes in technology in our lifetime have been huge and impacted every part of our lives; including water, food, education, business, office, electricity, marketing, data storage, communication, cars, parking, travelling, foods, shopping, and banks etc. Technology is almost everywhere and in everything that is involved in our daily lives. Technology has changed our thinking, communication, habits, work life and social activities.

Let's take a few minutes to review how education and training has been impacted by technology and the new ways of thinking. This knowledge will help you plan and get maximum benefit from your training initiatives at work, with your employees and in your own life.

Back in the day, classroom training was the primary method for educating employees on their jobs and their employers' policies and procedures. In the traditional model of workforce training, new employees spend their first few days on the job sitting through orientations, completing courses, and processing a vast amount of new information. They had to learn a great deal in a short amount of time.

Classroom training means that employees are pulled off the job, cutting into work time and reducing productivity. Often the safe classroom environment was different to the production environment and skills weren't effectively transferred to the workplace. In the old classroom, the lecturer was the focus of attention. A one-way flow of information from the lecturer to the learner was evident.

Today classroom learning has moved dramatically away from boring lectures. Nowadays learner-centric training is the focus. Training is very interactive, the learners contribute and learn with and from each other. The facilitator is just a part of the equation and guides learners instead of instructing them.

Learners are no longer passive, they are involved in hands-on activities and have an opportunity to direct the learning so that it is personalised for them. Use of multi-media, like audio and video as well as simulations make the sessions exciting and engaging.

Learning continues long after the learners have left the classroom as they stay in contact using social media, wikis, blogs and discussion forums.

Degrees are no longer a central part of many large companies' employment requirements. Modern companies have expanded their pool of suitable applicants by also considering candidates with hand-on industry experience.

Google, IBM, Apple and Amazon are leading the way with this new trend. A college degree is no longer a guarantee to find a job. Consequently, fewer millenniums are seeing the return on their substantial investments of time, effort and money to obtain a degree. Graduates are often drowning under a mountain of debt before they even start.

Technology has changed learning opportunities completely. Training is no longer limited to work hours. With mobile devices and apps, employees can access educational materials anywhere, at any time. Employees are deciding how, when and what they need to learn for their own career paths and jobs skills.

As technology continues to evolve and take over the workplace, the need for "On Demand Training" has also grown. We're used to having information at our fingertips and finding the answers we need within minutes. This immediacy has dramatically changed people's expectations of workplace learning.

Consequently, more and more employees are taking control of their own learning, challenging traditional classroom structures that take too long to respond.

In addition, information changes so rapidly these days that people struggle to keep up with the latest versions and applications. Luckily for us resources are freely available and newer technology supports micro-learning, which is defined as small and informal self-directed learning experiences. Microlearning arises from one's personal learning environment, such as watching a Ted Talk, googling a problem, or taking a lesson from an academy. This learning has a narrow focus on just one idea, topic or skill and enables an individual to quickly close a knowledge or skill gap. In our fast-paced culture, busy workers appreciate being able to spend an hour or two with e-learning or even watching a four minute YouTube video. Their productive day isn't disrupted, and they get the skills they need when they need them.

Your skills development strategy should be focusing on empowering your employees to take control of their training needs. You should find that your employees respond positively to this change.

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Article orignally published here.