Using games to train people sounds kind of suspicious, like an unseemly corporate bait-and-switch tactic, or something of equal malignance -- but studies have shown that incorporating game mechanics into online training can be more effective than traditional tools and methods. In fact, an October 2010 ScienceDaily article cites a University of Colorado study that noted "those trained on video games do their jobs better, have higher skills and retain information longer than workers learning in less interactive, more passive environments."
Being a PowerPoint geek can be a blessing and a curse.
What training hot-line takes 100,000 calls each November and December, employs 55 trainers, and answers half a million emails?
Each fall, retailers hire tens of thousands of workers as they staff up to handle Black Friday and the holiday shopping rush. Economists watch those hiring numbers closely as a leading indicator of holiday sales expectations and as a barometer of economic health in general. Here's a look at the overall hiring picture this holiday season. While it's clear that both hiring and sales forecasts have rebounded strongly from the recession dips of 2008 and 2009, it will likely be another year, or two, before they reach the pre-recession peak of 2006.
So you've decided you need to introduce social media into your learning strategy. You do the research, find technology solutions, and present a plan to your boss. You're engaged, enthusiastic, and energized about this project, and you know it will transform how you enable learning in your organization. After your pitch, you get a blank stare or a response that tells you that your boss doesn't get it. Want to know why you bombed? You started with strategy.
Times are tough. Many of us are personally and professionally disillusioned and disengaged. Making all of this harder for training and development people is the fact that our own professional development needs often take a back seat in our efforts to serve the needs of our audience.
If you've ever wondered whether or not the Army is just like World of Warcraft, the answer is: kinda. It turns out that all branches of the military are experimenting with some special form of virtual technology -- most of it still in the developmental stage -- with ever-increasing complexity and capabilities. Here are just a few examples:
As training budgets continue to get slashed, training directors are scrambling to keep up with the pace of change while still serving their constituents. Like a lot of folks in business today, they're being asked to do more with less -- but with a cruel twist. The organizational model for training is no longer sustainable. The pace of change is here to stay and will only continue to accelerate, so learning leaders need to figure out a vastly different way to design their organizations.
The manner and means by which we learn have changed drastically over the past few years -- in the classrom and on the job. More and more, students and educators, and employees and managers are turning to online environments to experience a new kind of knowledge exchange. This graphic details the growth of that phenomenon, and the online channels it's tapping into the most.
The more I experiment with PowerPoint 2010's new features, the more I'm impressed. Here's a quick video that nicely highlights some of the coolest new features.