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Blake Beus


Director of Learning Solutions

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How can L&D keep up with constantly changing tech?


Keeping tabs on new technology and media platforms can be a big challenge for Learning and Development departments. Will a training strategy designed for PC users in the office still be applicable to mobile device users in the field? How are the social and technological habits of employees shifting, and can these changes guide us to a better paradigm for corporate training?

Here are some ways to work with (and around) the technological tumult to create more resilient employee onboarding strategies for your organization.

Trust the Active User

One of the simplest ways to achieve a technologically-flexible training strategy is to put more trust in the users themselves. This means incorporating diverse media and external resources into your trainings and expecting learners to do some of the legwork. Adult learners prefer to address problems themselves, and providing an employee with learning options activates their sense of initiative.

By including, for example, links to videos, podcasts, webinars, and blogs, you’re giving learners a chance to pursue their own inquiries, and at the same time taking the burden off of any single program or platform. An external link remains external, no matter what else changes about the technology in use.   

Diversifying media content is part of a trend towards shorter, more flexible, more accessible training. An active learner can pursue content while commuting or during a break in their regular schedule. They can listen to a podcast episode or read a research abstract besides completing the core training. Such resources create more robust, adaptable learning experiences.    

Consider a Cloud-based LMS

Working with a learning management system based in the cloud rather than in software brings several advantages: it saves space; it provides security and automatic backups; and most importantly, it makes trainings available anywhere.

As workplaces are increasingly staffed by part-time and freelance employees, location independence becomes an attractive feature for training. You can read more about some of the advantages of a cloud-based LMS here.

If as an L&D department it seems daunting to keep up with rapidly evolving technologies, the cloud is one example of how tech can also create less work. Because a cloud-based LMS is not software-dependent, and because it’s managed remotely, maintenance is carried out on the provider’s end. You shouldn’t have to worry about bugs and updates.   

Stand on Social Platforms

When dealing with a range of devices and points of access for training, you can utilize the constancy and familiarity of social networks—while at the same time reaping the benefits of social learning.

Think of the impact of something like Google Docs, which provides a ready-made platform for exchanging, editing, and collaborating on documents. Or of live-stream video, which makes it possible for people to meet and talk from remote locations.

These media allow trainings to become less isolated and artificial, and more integral to the work that employees do every day.

Consider the role of social sharing in your training strategy, and how it might allow employees to work in teams and across different settings and devices. As new means of chatting, sharing, and collaborating are continually innovated, opportunities for socially-integral training will only increase.

Investigate Wearable Tech and Virtual Reality  

If you’re feeling good about L&D’s ability to keep pace with current technologies, then it’s time to get ahead of the curve. While they may seem like the science fiction fringe of corporate training, wearable tech such as VR headsets and smart watches are very much part of the current technology landscape.

An important implication of these devices is that they can break down the barrier between training and on-the-job experience by providing real time feedback and information.

As Christopher Pappas writes for eLearning Industry, sales people using tech like Google Glass could potentially access product specs while making a sale; or, in a pure training scenario, they could review a three-dimensional model of the product and its features.

For occupations which involve hazardous work, virtual reality training offers the obvious benefit of generating realistic scenarios with minimal risk. As an L&D department, be thinking about how wearable tech might come into play for your organization in the near—or immediate—future.


In a technological environment where change is the norm, creating a durable training strategy involves utilizing what’s new as well as developing instructional flexibility. Both require placing trust in learners—in their ability to take the initiative and adapt to new learning applications.

The cloud, social networks, and wearable tech are just a few examples of ways in which evolving technology can support a more diversified and user-oriented training strategy. The general trend in workplaces is towards mobile work and flexible schedules, which means that strategies that support rapid communication, on-demand information, and individual resourcefulness are most likely to succeed.

Author Profile Picture
Blake Beus

Director of Learning Solutions

Read more from Blake Beus

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