No Image Available

googletag.cmd.push(function() { googletag.display(‘div-gpt-ad-1705321608055-0’); });

Top 5 tech trends every trainer should know about


We’re all swimming in a sea of technology in our personal and professional lives, but what are the current training tech trends? Jon Wilcox takes a look.

The prevailing embrace of technology permeates throughout every aspect of our lives. In the professional world of trainers, gadgetry and tech is expanding capabilities and methods, becoming more and more mainstream in the process. So as 2009 rapidly approaches its twilight months, what current technology trends for trainers making our list?

Of course, some of the trends have been on the horizon for a number of years - on the fringe...where only the most courageous trainers dare venture. Some (and we’re looking at you specifically, Twitter) are only now finding their function in the training world, whilst others are beginning to emerge thanks to more affordable price points.

So take a deep breath and compose yourself, as takes to the ocean of technology we all find ourselves in and picks out some of the highlights.

Tablet PCs

Tablet PCs have been around for a few years now, but they’re all set to hit the mainstream proper in the next twelve months. Several manufacturers, including Taiwanese netbook pioneer Asus, are entering the sector, and then there are those constant rumours of a tablet product from Apple.

The fashionable technology of the moment, touch-screen, is playing a big part in helping the migration of tablet PCs into a mainstream user base. Apple’s already had massive success with the technology thanks to the iPhone and iPod Touch, and if the ‘Mac Tablet/iPad’ is confirmed, it’s likely such functionality will feature. Furthermore, Microsoft’s upcoming operating system, Windows 7, will be the first version of the iconic software to feature in-built touch-screen features.



Like tablet PCs, smartphones are now making a massive leap into the mainstream space, thanks to customer demand for expanded functionality. And like tablet PCs, the reason behind the increasing attractiveness of smartphones comes from the software they run, or more accurately the apps now on offer. Whilst more casual ‘fun’ apps make up a significant proportion of those available on the likes of the BlackBerry Apps World or Apple Apps Store, professional business applications are now beginning to take hold. 


Software capable of reading PDF files and even allowing access to YouTube videos on the move, offer trainers the chance to distribute lessons and tips to anyone with a compatible phone and mobile signal. So-called mLearning is becoming quite established as a complimentary way of knowledge transfer in the West, and expect it to continue to proliferate rapidly in the coming few years.


The gadget fans amongst the readership won’t fail to have noticed the noise eBooks are generating in the United States over recent months. Amazon’s Kindle eBook reader has been joined by Sony’s eReader, and Asus have spent 2009 touting a dual screen eBook, which would double up as a web browser and virtual keyboard!

As with all technology, price and functionality (or lack of) has determined the adoption rate of eBooks. Now in 2009, the concept of carrying whole libraries of information in an easily portable book form is becoming tenable.

Presentation Pointers

“What’s wrong with a simple pointing stick?” we hear you cry. Well if Logitech’s recently updated presentation laser pointer range is anything to go be, the answer is “Quite a lot!”

Not only does Logitech’s product range allow users to set the length of a presentation (and countdown to zero with timed vibrations), it also allows full control of PowerPoint slideshows, and features either a red or green laser light. Technology should be about creating efficiencies and increasing productivity, something that even a seemingly lowly presentation pointer can achieve. 

Microsoft Surface

Another piece of hardware taking advantage of touch-screen functionality is Microsoft Surface, essentially a large table with a flat screen as its top. Using multi-touch technology and tagged objected, manipulation of Surface’s interface can prove dynamic and immersive to say the least. Technology editor recently went hands on with one unit at the IFA event in Berlin, and took a couple of photos to remember the experience by.

Price and portability are two major obstacles for Surface (each unit costs more than £10k), though it won’t fail to show keep an audience’s attention going! The Surface has already been used by one major US news agency to illustrate the dynamic flow of polling data in 2008’s presidential election, so the renowned creativity of trainers should have no problem in devising engaging sessions.

What technology do you think will help with your role as trainer in the coming months? Do you think tablet PCs are finally maturing into a practical solution in your everyday sessions? Let us know your thoughts!

Jon Wilcox is technology correspondent for the Sift Media portfolio, which includes You can follow Jon and Sift Media’s technology editor, John Stokdyk, on Twitter.

No Image Available

Get the latest from TrainingZone.

Elevate your L&D expertise by subscribing to TrainingZone’s newsletter! Get curated insights, premium reports, and event updates from industry leaders.


Thank you!