Technology is revolutionising training and career development, even turning some of the more progressive organisations into virtual corporate universities. But which are likely to be the key technologies in the future? We offer some predictions
Visions of the future are notoriously off the mark. Twenty-five years ago we thought robots would be performing all our household chores. At about the same time BT executives claimed that mobiles phones were not a practical reality.
In some areas where new technology is emerging, however, we can make some fairly safe predictions. In the workplace we are on the brink of a revolution in training and career development, thanks to technological advances.
Progressive organisations, such as BAe Systems and BT, are creating virtual corporate universities that will eventually give employees access to a huge range of training materials through their PCs. With the Government placing such a strong emphasis on lifelong learning and competitive advantage, we are likely to see many more businesses follow suit. But this is just one way organisations are harnessing technology to train staff.
Making the most of new developments will not only entail a change in the attitude of staff and managers towards training, it will also require some physical changes to the work environment. Here we take a look at what the learning organisation of the future might look like.
Although classroom-based teaching will not disappear, the traditional elements of the classroom will. Blackboards and flipcharts will be replaced by electronic white boards, operated by a remote mouse or touchscreen technology. Course delegates in one of these "digi-theatres" will be able to plug their laptops into portals and download "handouts" direct from the trainer's PC while viewing the white board.
Some schools are already using these multimedia white boards which allow the teacher to download animation from a PC or laptop and project videos, as well as present normal text and pictures. Not all companies will need or want digi-theatres, but as the Government continues to push the concept of community learning and encourage greater interaction between industry and education, companies will be able to use digi-theatres at local schools and colleges.
The new generation of mobile phones are linked to the Int