Why K-12 Digital Trends Impact Your Future in Corporate Training

future of corporate training

If you want to know what the future workplace employee looks like, just take a look at what K-12 educators are doing. I used to think there was very little connection between k-12 education and corporate training. And while I still see significant differences, I look to our education system often to see what type of skills our future employees are likely to have. Knowing this also gives us a glimpse into their expectations of workplace learning.

Today I found this blog post via twitter: “3 Ways of Assessing Students Understanding Through Mobile Phones.”

The 3 ways are:

  1. Reflecting on learning,
  2. Documenting a process,
  3. Capturing real world examples.

The 3 examples involve using phones to snap pictures or record audio/video. All of which have been discussed in corporate training circles as well. And while it is sometimes difficult to convince adults to take on these habits, I am certain these activities will soon be common in the workplace.  Today’s kids are quite familiar with recorded videos of individuals talking straight into the camera’s lens. It’s called vlogging, and quickly becoming as common as blogging. Not all kids are recording themselves this way, but by watching others they are becoming familiar and comfortable with the format. Many of the most popular vlogs are simply creative reflections on the day’s activities or events. These shared reflections become learning opportunities to large audiences via YouTube.

Do You Even Vlog, Bro?

A similar trend in vlogging is d0-it-yourself, or DIY, instructional videos. A craft or activity is shown and then a step-by-step process is creatively edited and published as a short video. These are mostly kids, and young adults, with NO “proper” instructional design knowledge or training. They watch and learn from each other, and then they just do it. Can you imagine these kids entering the workplace today, and having to endure your training? I challenge you to search youtube and discover some vloggers. And then look at your current training courses. Do you see what I mean?

Some of these vloggers produce DAILY videos. That’s 260 videos in one year if they only publish Monday through Friday. How many training courses, or videos, did you produce this year?

Today’s mobile phones are extremely powerful content creation devices and yet they are still mostly used to consume content. I recently experimented with vlogging and discovered my iPhone6s to be more efficient at recording, editing, and publishing video than my 2010 Macbook Pro. And from what I’ve heard the phone’s new processor even out-performs newer laptop models as well. Imagine what these devices will be capable of when today’s pre-teens enter tomorrow’s workforce.

What will this massive influx of content creators mean for your training programs? Will you be the training professional acting as a gatekeeper with a command and control approach? Or will you be open to giving everyone the tools and resources to teach others through the practice of reflection, process recording, and example capturing?

The LMS Isn’t Dead. It’s Changing!

It’s this type of future causing many to think the LMS is dead.  I would agree if you are talking about the older, more complex, and complicated systems, attempting to include all sorts of HR functions as well. If these legacy systems are all you’ve come to know, then I can understand your concern. But today’s 21st century SaaS based LMS is more than capable of adapting quickly to this change coming to the corporate learning ecosystem.  Even if your current employer is unable, or unwilling, to investigate this new breed of LMS, you owe it to yourself and your career to prepare for what’s coming. And the good news is that you can take Litmos for a 14 day test run.

You own your employability. Educate yourself. And as always you can ask me anything @Litmos via twitter.