Why Staying Ahead Of Technology Before Your Audience Adopts Is Important
This was originally posted on eLearning industry.com on January 21, 2019.
This was originally posted on eLearning industry.com on January 21, 2019Technology is advancing at a faster rate than ever before. Keeping up with this never-ending wave of innovation may seem daunting, but as an eLearning professional, it’s essential. Harvard Business Review made it pretty clear: “Ignoring trends can give rivals the opportunity to transform the industry”. Forbes echoed this sentiment by saying that “if you don’t keep up with technology – and stay one step ahead of the game” you risk falling behind, becoming irrelevant, and missing opportunities. Thankfully, keeping up with the latest tech stories is easier than you might think, and will benefit you greatly in the short- and long-run. By reading leading online tech publications, watching content on YouTube, listening to podcasts, attending conferences, and becoming an early adopter, you’ll be up-to-date and in-the-know in no time.
Enjoy Some Light Reading
Stay current with the best online technology journals. Wired, The Verge, Gizmodo, CNET, and Tech Crunch are great places to start. A daily read on these journals is a simple way to stay up-to-date on the latest trends. Industry-specific journals like eLearning Industry, eLearning Learning, the Association for Talent Development, and The eLearning Guild can be a great way to stay up-to-date on how these trends are impacting eLearning. All of these websites are very well written and include content that paints a detailed, yet holistic picture about how technology is affecting your world and profession.
Subscribe On YouTube
If you’re not feeling keen on all that reading, YouTube channels are also a great place to learn. Many YouTube channels feature high-quality reviews, short videos, and quick updates about the latest technological innovations to hit the market. A staple in the YouTube tech genre is MKBHD, aka Marques Brownlee. Brownlee’s channel features beautiful videos about hardware and software with smart insights into how people are using these pieces of technology. Digital Trends, another popular YouTube channel, does extremely well at highlighting important moments in tech and explaining concepts that otherwise could be hard to grasp. For a channel that never disappoints, follow Unbox Therapy. Here, host, Lewis Hilsenteger, unboxes new tech while supplying sometimes hilarious, but always important, commentary about how technology affects our everyday lives. By subscribing to these channels, you’ll get free access to hours of educational and entertaining content on the benefits of new technology.
Pop In A Podcast
A foray into the world of podcasts is another way to monitor the pulse of the tech industry. Podcasts come in all shapes and sizes, but a good place to start is The Verge’s podcast Why’d You Push That Button? Described as “a podcast about the choices technology forces us to make,” WDPTB features conversations about important ways technology impacts our world. Episode titles include “The way we text says a lot about our personality”, “Teens use Messenger chats very differently than adults”, “Why do you share your location?”, and “You can keep recording people in public, but don’t capture their faces”. A couple of other great, tech-focused podcasts you may want to tune in to are Decrypted (Bloomberg’s weekly look into the global technology industry) and Clockwise (quick, punchy discussions about current tech issues).
Attend A Conference
Conferences are a fun, comprehensive, hands-on way to stay up-to-date with industry trends while also allowing you to network with other eLearning professionals. The Learning Solutions Conference and Expo, which takes place in Orlando, focuses on “everything learning and technology”. Learning Solutions is a conference developed “for learning professionals, by learning professionals”, meaning it’s created by people who know the struggles you deal with on a day-to-day basis. This conference, like many others, offers breakout sessions that focus on specific aspects of eLearning. This includes sessions on emerging tech, games and gamification, virtual classrooms, and more. Other conferences you may want to look into are Training Magazine’s Online Learning Conference, NY Ed Tech Week, and DevLearn in Las Vegas.
Become An Early Adopter
It’s also important to try out new technology trends on your own. By becoming an “early adopter”, you’ll have an inside look at the behaviors and thought-patterns involved in upcoming technological innovations. Trying out new technology doesn’t have to be expensive either, many apps or software platforms offer free versions and trials. By trying out a new app, you can experiment with new ways to communicate, take notes, or perform tasks you have to do every day. You may even find new workflows that work better than what you’re doing right now! This habit is beneficial not only because you’re getting small tastes of new technology that may become a larger part of your work in the future, but also (and maybe more importantly)because you’re developing the ability to better learn how to use and navigate new programs and platforms. As a result, when you are inevitably asked to use a new system in your work, you won’t have to waste as much time learning the ins and outs of a new program. If you’re having trouble knowing exactly where to start, AllenComm offers an extensive needs analysis. During this process, a team of experts take a deep dive into your learning strategy and help you find the right solution for your organization’s goals.
Find Your Own Mix
Whether you like to learn by reading, watching, listening, or experiencing, keeping up with the fast-paced technology industry is fun, insightful, and important. Use a combination of any or all of these suggestions to create a habit that both keeps you informed and fits naturally into your life. You’ll see the benefits almost immediately, and your clients will too.