EdTech is the hottest sector of the technology market. EdTech, the confluence of technology and education, is taking the world by storm and changing the way people learn. It has recently been the subject of major articles in publications such as the Economist (http://www.economist.com/news/briefing/21580136-new-technology-poised-disrupt-americas-schools-and-then-worlds-catching-last) and McKinsey Quarterly http://www.mckinsey.com/insights/social_sector/college_for_all. The opportunity to personalise learning, make it universally available and change the way classroom time is used, is starting to transform education in schools and higher education. Yet there is little talk of EdTech transforming the world of corporate learning. Yet!
For many companies, the choice is often between eLearning, which is neither engaging nor impactful, and face to face training, which is highly variable in effectiveness and rarely scalable. The barriers to change are large. For many companies the IT organisation is a major obstacle as, ironically, CIO’s resist the new technology wave like the apocryphal story of the medieval king, Canute, attempting to command the waves before he was overwhelmed by the incoming sea. Business leaders are still often seduced by a business school brand with scant attention to the quality of the learning experience. A highly fragmented supplier base is often reactive rather than proactive in seeking change.
But the barricades are being overcome. I come across more and more courageous learning professionals who are breaching the walls by experimenting with social media and technology. They are daring to question the status quo, emboldened by managers with little or no patience for traditional learning methods, and by an economic environment which has encouraged the search for a new, better and more cost effective way to develop talent.
At Ososim we are working with increasing numbers of clients to apply some of the innovations from other parts of the world of education, for example the flipped classroom concept. Simulations provide the perfect bridge between virtual learning and the classroom, embedding the virtual learning experience but providing a behavioural experience that can be debriefed face to face. Our simulations are also being used as a tool for improving collaboration and peer to peer learning, whilst we are also working with clients to empower people within the organisation to configure their own simulations, which they can then use with others.
The first few sorties are being made over the barricades – bring on the revolution!