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How to approach learning technology in the workplace

The COVID-19 pandemic has forced many organizations to modernize their operations, whether by deploying AI to automate processes or replacing legacy tools with cloud-based services. These workplace changes also meant that employees needed to learn new skills. It is becoming increasingly important for organizations to offer on-the-job learning and professional development to teach new skills and retain employees.

in the book innovative digital technologies for effective workplace learning, Author Ria O’Donnell says the pandemic, The rise of the gig economy and emerging technology. She also provides insight into how organizations are using digital technologies to teach employees new skills and measure the effectiveness of learning in the workplace.

In this interview, O’Donnell discussed how organizations are integrating digital learning technologies into the workplace and how they are addressing the challenges they face in implementing new learning technologies.

Editor’s Note: This interview has been edited for length and clarity.

The COVID-19 pandemic has sped up many industries by five to ten years. Have you seen its impact on how people learn and how organizations foster professional development?

Ria O’Donnell: 100% because people need to learn new roles and new ways of working. Because it will be decentralized and you will have to take on responsibilities that you didn’t have to take on before. Some people will be thrown in front of a computer that they may not necessarily have used before and have to learn new things.

At the same time, they have to learn it in ways they may not be familiar with using technology. Maybe, but now everyone has hit rock bottom and needs to learn how to use and learn with technology on top of new techniques. skill.

Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR), AI and Experience APIhow do you recommend ways to determine the best option for your employees?

Leah O'donnellLeah O’donnell

O’Donnell: I think it’s worthwhile for many companies to outsource expertise or hire in-house expertise. In their role, they are able to assess the entire landscape. These are the tools that help them, these are the resources that we have.

They can do it like an audit of everything the organization has and the skill gaps it needs to fill. Or we can make recommendations as to whether you should invest in AI. They can also consider the types of learning analytics that are in place and next steps to personalize learning and give opportunities to those who may be a little above or below the mainstream.

One of the challenges discussed in your book is the lack of standards for measuring the implementation and effectiveness of new technologies such as AR and VR. How can organizations leverage new technologies for workplace learning initiatives?

O’Donnell: If you look at it from a smaller point of view and you’re looking at a single organization, if they develop what they think is their own framework and their own standards, what are they going to be able to do? Do you need a benchmark for where people are? They can plan what they need and how they want to meet people. They can come up with their own little standards and benchmark against them while waiting for the rest of the technology to catch up.

Some employees may resist using technology such as VR headsets in learning scenarios. How can an organization incorporate new technology in a way that encourages its employees to use it?

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O’Donnell: It’s a two-pronged problem because you’re not only teaching people new skills, but you’re also teaching them how to master those skills. How do you use a VR headset and interact with that type of technology when you’re teaching someone? It’s a steep learning curve. Trying to involve people is a cultural shift that becomes part of what people do on a daily basis.

It’s more like a once-a-year opportunity than going somewhere to take classes. It becomes what people do every day, sharing new knowledge with others, all integrated into key performance indicators or team goals. Having the expectation of continuous learning and development becomes part of everyday life.

What other advancements do you see in workplace learning technology?

O’Donnell: There are opportunities for startups and businesses in the education technology space. Because this literally sweeps the whole world that everyone needs to learn. It used to be limited to schooling, but now everyone needs continuous learning.

These education tech start-ups have a huge opportunity in terms of reduced barriers to entry due to a lot of sharing. Everything is in the cloud. People can test things, and there are many organizations willing to be tested. There is a lot of investment in that space as well. It’s a huge market that really needs some technology to fill the gap.

What are the important points for readers of your book?

O’Donnell: I think the key takeaway from the book is that technology is advancing at such an accelerated pace that things never slow down or go backwards. We all need to make an effort to try new digital technologies and immerse ourselves in them instead of going back to our old comfort ways. As we have seen, the workplace has changed with what has happened with the pandemic and people working from home, so it will never return to the same normal as before.