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Jun 06, 2017 Bobby Carlton

What Is Tech? Past, Present and Future? And How Will It Matter In the Workforce?

Past and Future of EdTech

The future has arrived! Instructional designers and facilitators now have access to Jetsons-like immersive technology as part of their training toolkits. How do we engage learners with these new tools? This blog post provides a helpful introduction to EdTech from BYTE session guest Bobby Carlton.

Humans, and even animals for that matter, have been using the concept of technology to resolve issues from the very beginning of time.  We are presented with a problem, we hypothesize/explore/test/attempt/fail/repeat - until we come up with an idea for a solution, and then we assess the data from our trial and error process to improve that solution. Over time we then continue to build on the successes and failures of the process, to continually improve the solution. 

In today's modern world, the definition of technology brings thoughts of computers, mobile devices, and robotics.  It’s true that technology can be that, but it’s much more.  The term has a wide definition that will vary from person to person, because it can be a physical product, but it can also be a process, and it always starts from an idea or a problem that needs a solution. Technology is an idea, an approach, and a strategy to resolve a problem.

Consider the task of content curation. Many of you have curated content at some point, but each scenario may require a different strategy.  Yes, curation can come naturally, but you need an idea (or plan) to build off; to know where your starting point is.  From here, what you know must interact with this idea. Think about the elements you might need to bring into your learning environment.

Think about defining a purpose and exploring channels.  Be sure to understand the topics you intend to curate before beginning the curating process. Are you an expert?  Or will you need to rely on your personal learning network?  This is the point where you start to develop a solution or an approach to find the right pathway to your goal of content curation.  In most cases the pathway will naturally evolve and grow into newer approaches until you reach your goal.  From here you can then assess how you were able to be successful.  You can look at the original request, look at what resources you used, and then see if there is a better way.  

The future of technology is interesting because - like technology itself the idea and use of technology has evolved and changed. At one point, our need to find a solution to a problem was what steered technology.

For instance, we needed a way to transport water, so we invented the cup.  We needed a better and faster way to send information to other people, we invented email.  But in today’s world, it seems that technology is now steering our questions and even solutions. We look at technology and ask ourselves, "How can we use this in other problem areas?"  

For instance, the learning environment has been venturing away from the traditional classroom, and has turned into virtual classrooms, while learning has turned into blended learning.  

Look at the world of virtual reality and augmented reality. Many corporate environments and industries are looking at immersive technology and asking themselves, "How can we leverage this technology to train/develop/engage our employees, and make our learning environment more efficient?" 

Many organizations see virtual reality and augmented reality as a way to bring an entirely new layer of learning to the learners; by fully engaging them, hacking their brains and allowing them to fail forward to success in ways that aren’t normally possible in a traditional learning environment. 

Is this type of technology the next step in corporate learning?  Honestly, it’s hard to say, but it is something that many organizations are exploring, and I feel that even if they're not embracing this style of learning, they should be at least exploring it. 

Published by Bobby Carlton June 6, 2017
Bobby Carlton