Question: Are the claims and enthusiasm about using interactive technologies in an organizational justified? What methods will enhance the ways of training employees by incorporating such technologies?
The best use of on-line learning resources are those that offer best evidence. The choice of technology is driven by learner’s practical work needs and the context of the learning environment. Learner’s needs should not be driven by technology novelty.
Carl Rogers (1969) in explaining his views on teaching stated; “Teaching, in my estimation, is a vastly over-rated function.” He defines teaching as a means ‘to instruct’; however, Rogers states he is not interested in imparting knowledge or skills or to make to know. He defines the role of the teacher as that of a facilitator.
In supporting this position, Rogers writes, “But if there is one truth about modern man, it is that he lives an environment which is continually changing”, and therefore, the aim of education must be the facilitation of learning. (pp. 104-105). The critical role element required is the personal relationship formed between the learner and the facilitator. (In Knowles¸ The Adult Learner, pp 84-85)
If the aim of education must be the facilitation of learning, what is the role of integrating interactive technologies (i.e. Web 2.0) into a corporate learning environment? Why should this occur? Do interactive technologies support the principles of adult learning? How do interactive technologies embrace the attitudinal concept of facilitation that Rogers identifies?
Question: What is the role of integrating technologies and why should this occur?
The world is changing, and these changes are reflected in the workplace, jobs, and skills demands required. According to 21st Century Skills (2004), future required jobs skills include “using collaboration, and communication tools with educational methods that also promote these skills such as project based learning” Four categories skills, identified by North Central Regional Educational (NCRE) (2003) required for the 21st century include; digital age literacy, inventive thinking, effective communication and high productivity. (Solomon & Schrum 2007, p. 19)
I am sure there is no disagreement theses categories skills are required if the corporation is to remain viable and competitive. These skills support employee and corporate growth. An employee possessing these skills are valued by corporation because it assures the individual displays independence, maturity, self-direction, personal responsibility and motivation to contribute to the organization mission. These skills support collaboration.
Question: Do interactive technologies support the principles of adult learning?
According to Rogers, change is inevitable, if this is true, then assessing change is a crucial requirement. For change to occur, Gladwell (2001) identifies three factors that are necessary for change, “exceptional people who drive change by their own habits, stickiness or memorable qualities of the ideas to move others to act, and the power of contest, which includes the skillful use of groups and the power of communities. (Solomon & Schrum, 2007, p. 22)
The application for adult learning is based on the learning needs assessment. In a corporate setting assessment is crucial, because it leads to changes in practice, reducing resources losses, improves employee productivity, and strengthen market profitability. Effective and trained employees are the organizational greatest resources. According to Knowles, learners need to feel a necessity to learn. For constructive learning experience, the learner must identify ones own learning needs.
Adult Learning Assumptions:
There are five assumptions about how adults learn, their attitude towards and motivation for learning. These assumptions are:
- Adults are independent and self-directing.
- Adults have accumulated large life and cultural experiences that are rich resources for learning.
- Adult’s value learning that integrates with their everyday life.
- Adult’s value problem centered learning rather than subject centered learning.
- Adults are motivated to learn by internal drives rather than external ones.
Question: How do interactive technologies embrace the attitudinal concept of facilitation that Rogers identifies?
Web 2.0 resources has been describes as “An every growing array of tools that people sue to aggregate and interact with information, in which that are useful to them.” These interactions include multiple collaboration, using free, open source and shared content.
Web 2.O offers the adult learner a safe learning environment to construct learning. The advantages of integrative technologies are it creates new learning experiences and expands the learner’s vision. The features of interactive technologies are supports interconnectedness, immediacy, interactivity, communications and community. Interaction allows individuals to engage, collaborate, consult, and share data. This process fulfills the idea of community building. For the corporation it allows the employee (adult learner) to be motivated by both internal and external drives. (Solomon & Schrum 2007, p. 24)
Web 2.0 allows the learner to engage by building on their experiences, connect instantly to relevant content, share information, and reflect. ,
Question: How will corporations utilize interactive technologies?
Facilitating learning is a complex task because each learner varies in physical, social, emotional, cognitive and cultural characteristics. Staging the learning environment is as important as imparting knowledge or sharing expertise. Staging the environment reflects a facilitation process. The facilitator roles is to provide a safe learning environment where the learner my feel safe to experiment, voice concerns, identify their learning needs and reflect. The role of facilitator is to organize learning so it is within the learner’s control and help the learner accept personal responsibility.
Should corporations adopt integrative technologies? Personally, I believe the claims and enthusiasm about using interactive technologies in a workplace are justified. As an example, Facebook has more than 500 million users. Corporations and business are now promoting Facebook accounts. These accounts are useful marketing tools, but also provide data and information sharing between the user and the organization. The technology becomes the facilitator to improve learner between the user and the organizqation. Technolgoy facilitates learning, community building and collaboration through social networks. Most recently, changes in global economies has created workforce reduction, requiring individals to make career changes. At the same time, if offers corporations new opportunties. Many adults are using integrative technolgies to improve their employment marketabilty.
Web 2.0 tools offer feedback and create a democratic learning environment that emphasizes “proactive control over the sequence, the nature of experiences and the depth of exposure to learning materials.” (Schwier, in Anglin, 1995, p. 120) Integrative technologies support a constructivists learning environment. It embraces the assumptions of adult learning. Adult learning emphasis a facilitative approach. Integrative technologies support innovative, multiple learning and creative methods for the learner to identify their particular learning needs. Adult learners offer maturity have experience problem solving skills. Integrative technologies offers a learning environment where these experiences and skills can be shared. Four important category acquisition skills related to the 21st century are related to digital age literacy, inventive thinking, effective communication and high productivity. Theses are skills are essential to the 21st century organization and the adult learner.