• August 25, 2016 9:50 AM | Laura Chartier

    Written by Laura Chartier

    The Future - Next Exit

    Have you seen the 2002 movie Minority Report? If so, you probably marveled at the main character, John Anderton (played by Tom Cruise), using gestures like an orchestral conductor to navigate vast amounts of visual data on a virtual screen. Or perhaps you mused at Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.), manipulating holograms to rapidly prototype a new element in the 2008 movie, Iron Man. Maybe you thought to yourself, “Won’t it be cool when we eventually have technology like that at our fingertips?” Well, guess what…we do! That technology is here now, and seriously, it’s been here for years.

    As Talent Development Professionals, if we haven’t started preparing for the use of mixed realities in our workplaces, then we are already behind the virtual 8-ball.

    But there’s already too much on my plate!

    I know…it often seems like we can barely stay on top of what is already dumped in our laps, let alone keep track of the latest buzz-words and new best practices that constantly bombard us. With that said, I'm stepping out onto a precarious limb to suggest that we had better commit to making it a part of our regular routines to look up from (or dig out from under) the current stacks and piles that surround us, and explore the FUTURE of what we do.

    Virtual Reality (VR) and Augmented Reality (AR) are very real components of what training and eLearning are fast becoming, promoting a miraculous depth of knowledge and skill we previously never thought possible. In case you’re a little fuzzy about this whole VR/AR thing, let me help clarify: VR is a computer-generated representation of an environment that allows for user interaction through immersive simulation. AR differs from VR in that it superimposes a digital image, sound, data, or other sensory input over something real-world, in real time, blending the simulated and the tangible.

    The recent advances of mobile devices and wearable technology have made AR and VR available not just in games and laboratories, but also in your hands. Using a smartphone anyone can create augmented reality content (yep, there are apps for that…many that are low-cost or even FREE).

    Diminishing resources in today’s workplaces precipitate the need to evaluate and reevaluate methods to effectively train employees and customers. Accordingly, more and more Instructional Designers are showing interest in the opportunities that virtual and augmented realities have to offer.

    Possibilities and Benefits for the Workplace

    Augmented environments can be incredibly diverse, providing personalized learning content for each individual learner. Instead of memorizing information, the learner is involved in an adaptive learning experience based on an existing context. Having control over their environment, learners can manipulate virtual objects however they please.

    • Doctoral Interns can make surgical incisions to explore human anatomy or try new techniques without physical harm to a patient.
    • Mechanical Designers can navigate a 3D model of the machine they’re developing and manipulate components to conserve space and reduce costs.
    • Front-line Employees can do safety checks by viewing intuitive, step-by-step instructions in an animated layer that’s locked onto their equipment and viewable from any angle.
    • Midwife Trainees can practice showing empathy and compassion using digital images of a patient superimposed onto mannequins to create a realistic experience.
    • Customer Service Representatives can meet with subject matter experts in real-time for live guidance supported by an augmented reality toolset accessible from any device.

    Every employee, new or experienced, can learn the processes and procedures of the company they work for through augmented reality training.

    Gartner Inc., the world's leading information technology research and advisory company, has concluded that AR provides the highest benefit for efficiency. It has the potential to:

    • Improve productivity
    • Provide hands-on experience
    • Simplify current processes
    • Increase available information
    • Provide real-time access to data
    • Offer new ways to visualize problems and solutions
    • Enhance collaboration

    Furthermore, a 2015 study conducted by Boeing with Iowa State University on the impact of augmented reality on business training showed that AR was responsible for a 30% reduction in the amount of time for task completions and a 90% improvement in quality on first attempts.

    A video released last year from Caterpillar demonstrates how their company is revolutionizing the client experience, ultimately redefining what it means to be a relationship business in the digital age. Their Innovation Teams are bringing data to life, fusing physical and digital worlds with AR and VR. Using special glasses that reveal an overlay of digital information, models, and analytics on top of actual products, Cat is training operators and service technicians, improving productivity, and optimizing reality for their customers.


    Well, get on the bandwagon already!

    If you haven’t been sucked in by the Pokémon-Go phenomenon, you’ve undoubtedly at least heard about it…everywhere. That’s proof that one form of augmented reality is banging down our doors. If you wait much longer for VR and AR to be right in your face, it will likely be too late to anticipate the curve balls it will throw at your Learning and Development Program. Don’t get left behind in the virtual dust!

    In the new 2016 movie Nerve, the game’s creepy robotic voice asks the character Vee, “Are you a watcher or a player?” When it comes to the future of Learning and Development, I’d like to encourage you to decide the same, and choose the latter.

    What are your thoughts? Are you already using virtual or augmented reality, or other pioneering methods? Are you envisioning, researching, and planning for the future? How can we help each other stay ahead of the game and be successful? 

    For starters, be sure to scope out SEWI-ATD's 2016 Fall Special Event, “The Future...How Will You and Your Organization Remain Relevant? A Vision of Learning for 2020 and Beyond.”

    Hope to see you there (and in the future, right now!)

  • August 19, 2016 5:37 PM | Laura Chartier
    At SEWI-ATD’s August Event, Chief Learning Rebel, Shannon Tipton delighted the audience with fresh ideas for restocking our 21st Century Toolboxes with Social Learning. In her presentation, she clarified the differences between social learning and social tools for learning and then elaborated on innovative ways to support learning outcomes and drive participant connectivity with today’s technology. Click here to view Shannon’s SlideShare on Curating, Communicating, and Collaborating

    For a great extension piece, check out this repost from eLearning Industry on Why Your Workplace Needs Social And Collaborative Learning Technologies, by Kali Blunt.

    Additionally, to learn more from Shannon on a different but related topic, enjoy her blog post about The Art of Training: Building Motivation.

  • August 15, 2016 12:58 PM | Laura Chartier

    “Will you just include this process in your e-learning module?"

    “Oh, and one more thing, please add this section to the training you are working on.”

    “We don’t have anyone to bring the SMEs up to speed. Can you put a workshop together…?"

    Sound familiar? This is the subtle ways learning and development projects get off track. What is scope creep? What is good customer service? When you say “That’s not in the contract,” are your clients willing to talk about it? How do you discuss what add-on requests will do to the project timeline and resources?

    Whether you are a Talent Development professional working as within an organization or as an external consultant, you will face this dilemma. Projects often do not have enough contingency built in, and those who are looking inside the world of adult learning from the outside rarely appreciate the effort and time it takes to build effective learning programs. Once you start a project, more needs and possibilities to come the surface.

    This is the topic of our next Consultants’ Professional Development network get together on August 25, 2016 at 5:30 PM at Sprecher’s Restaurant and Pub in the Bayshore Mall. 

    Wendy Terwelp and Marilyn Zwissler will bring Scope of Work and Project Extension agreement examples. Please bring your contract examples and a tip or two to share on talking with clients about scope creep and what it will do to your project.

  • August 13, 2016 7:03 PM | Laura Chartier

    What’s the deal with personalized learning? Today, everything can be customized, from cars to shoes to iPhones...so why not training? Let's ditch the one-size-fits-all approach. Instead, engage your learners, promote success, and increase your ROI and profitability by providing a tailored experience.

  • August 10, 2016 4:35 PM | Laura Chartier
    From Millennials to Baby Boomers, social learning is fast becoming an indispensable part of professional growth and the collaborative process in today's organizations. How savvy are you regarding this eLearning methodology? Here's the truth behind 5 common social learning myths.
  • August 08, 2016 3:31 PM | Andy Marris, CPTD

    In this amazing article by Anders Gronstedt, discover how virtual and augmented reality are already transforming the classroom and how they will soon become a part of everyday life.  You can also meet Anders and try these technologies live at the SEWI-ATD 2016 Fall Event on September 22!

  • July 29, 2016 10:10 AM | Andy Marris, CPTD

    The Future...

    How Will You and Your Organization Remain Relevant?

    A Vision of Learning for 2020 and Beyond

    Virtual Reality | Augmented Reality | Gamification

    September 22, 2016

    8:00 am - 4:00 pm

    In an ever-changing world, staying at least one step ahead is imperative for the Talent Development Professional. As always, SEWI-ATD is here to help you confidently see the future with clarity.

    SEWI-ATD is proud to bring you its most cutting-edge learning event ever! We'll be demonstrating the latest in:
       • Augmented Reality
       • Gamification
       • Online Video Learning
       • Transmedia Storytelling
       • Virtual Reality

    ...all centered around making you and your organization prepared to make learning stickier and more applicable for your learners than ever before. This is not about merely hearing about these advances in technology... You will be able to try and personally experience each of them, first-hand. Register today!

    Virtual RealityAugmented RealityGamification

  • June 24, 2016 9:09 AM | Andy Marris, CPTD
    In April, esteemed SEWI-ATD members Marilyn Zwissler and Erin Brady shared their experiences - both struggles and successes - in earning their CPLP certifications. If you are still pondering whether or not to take this important credentialing step in your career, here is another realistic, yet inspiring look that may push you to take on the challenge and enhance your credibility in the marketplace.

  • June 20, 2016 11:18 AM | Andy Marris, CPTD
    Is the training you create and/or deliver indicative of your brand? Everything you do can create an impression--a perception--in the minds of those that receive the learning you deliver.  In this phenomenal article, Wendy Webb shares the importance of, and the need for a great brand perception of you and your work.

  • June 08, 2016 9:04 AM | Andy Marris, CPTD
    Socrates once railed against technology ruining actual learning (in his case, the written word replacing the oral tradition - a worry that almost ludicrous in hindsight). A few thousand years later, many people are still concerned that the ability to look things up instantly will subvert our ability to truly learn. This article we found from the BBC explores this issue, and shows how learning technology can quell these fears.

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