I remember a time when I thought social networking was a fad and smartphones would never get better than the Palm Pilot Treo. How great was that phone?
As things do, technology evolved since then. Technology has and will continue to impact the way people learn – and ultimately, the way we teach them.
Out of the primordial ooze of web-based and Flash-based training has emerged a new, more advanced learner, something we’re calling (insert booming voice a la James Earl Jones) the modern learner.
There are many new evolutionary differences you’ll see in today’s modern learner, but here are the top 4 reasons they hate your current training:
- They are Social. Social in terms of communicating and collaborating with each other – online, more than in-person. Social networks such as LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat, and Periscope have changed the game when it comes to the way people learn, consume content, and share ideas. Learners are accessing these networks not only be connect with others, but also to improve job performance. At Google, 55% of training courses are delivered by an ecosystem of 200+ peer learners.
- They are Extremely Visual. My world was rocked by Tesia Marsik in her recent TedX talk titled “Learning Styles and the Important of Self Reflection” Tesia makes a strong case for the fact that learning styles don’t even exist and we have been fooled for years. While I am mostly convinced, the boom of video and that fact that only 10% of Heard Information is retained after 3 days, and as much as 65% is retained when visuals are added makes for a powerful case that visuals improve knowledge retention regardless if you believe in learning styles or not.
- They are Impatient. Today’s learners are accustomed to getting the knowledge they need in an instant with a quick search on Google or Wikipedia. A recent study shows that in 1985 an employee needed as much as 75% of knowledge in their brain in order to do their job. Today it’s below 8%. Today’s learner doesn’t necessarily have to master a skill (as they would in the past) but they just need to be able to pull applicable information right at the time they need it.
- They are Mobile. For the first time in world history, the #1 device people used to access the Internet was mobile. 51% of Internet access was made from a mobile device and this stat is only going to increase! People want to and MUST to be able to learn from the devices they carry with them. Since 37% of the global workforce is going to be mobile by the end of this year, delivering training content to mobile is no longer optional, it’s a requirement.
If your organization wants to align with today’s modern learner, you too must evolve the way you think about and deliver training. Change is difficult, but the impact of not evolving could have catastrophic results. The most important thing to remember is the learner. If you can transfer knowledge to them the way they want to learn, everyone wins!