If you believe the hype you read on the Internet and in professional journals, most organizations have successfully embedded technology into their training offerings. Employees re easily making their way through branching scenarios in 3-D virtual worlds, participating in MOOCs, and clicking open custom apps to quickly access information is completely commonplace, right? Maybe not so much.
Of course, early adopters exist. But in my experience, the vast majority of my clients are still teeing up page-turner e-learning courses. And with the exception of PowerPoint slides replacing flip charts, instructor-led training that hasn’t changed much since the dawn of time.
The problem is that most L&D departments are so short staffed that they simply don’t have the time to research, experiment with, and incorporate sophisticated technology into their training offerings. That said, there are fairly painless ways to incorporate technology into training that require minimal time and are worth the effort.
Kahoot is probably my favorite technology hack. It is a quiz software that is easy to implement and fun to use. Oh, and did I mention it is free?! Simply go to https://getkahoot.com, sign up for a free account, and enter your multiple-choice quiz questions and answers. You’ll need four possible answers for each question.
When it comes time to play, learners access http://kahoot.it on their mobile device, log in with a pin specifically generated for your quiz, and answer the questions you project from your laptop. They do not need to download the app beforehand.
They can play individually or you can set up the quiz to pit teams against each other. Kahoot provides immediate feedback on whether they answer each question correctly. Kahoot works well for both instructor-led training and webinars.
Mind mapping is an excellent tool for learning. It helps learners see how ideas are connected. For example, having learners mind map product features and benefits or types of objections and responses helps them clarify ideas, memorize information, and make important connections visible.
Popplet is an ipad app built for mind mapping. Learners can download the free app, Popplet Lite, and learn how to use it in a couple of minutes. As they complete each mind map, they can save it as jpeg file to their images on icloud. This makes it easy to access for quick reference after the training or for screen sharing during a webinar.
Sketch noting is purposeful doodling while listening. When learners doodle in this way, they synthesize the information, make choices about what’s important and encode the memory in a new way, all of which foster learning. In fact, according to neuroscientists, sketch noting may be more effective than traditional note taking. Since it can be hard to keep up with the pace of most lectures, sketch noting can be an excellent way to recap key points at the end. It works with any type of content.
Explain Everything is a free iPad app that provides a digital canvas for sketch noting. Once learners download the app, they can use a finger to quickly sketch note their ideas, and then download them to the icloud for future reference and screen sharing during webinars.
Padlet can be used to create a virtual bulletin board to share resources and assignments. As the instructor, you can be the sole bulletin board poster, or you can set Padlet up so that all learners can contribute. The bulletin board is private so you don’t have to worry about privacy.
Here is a super simple bulletin board I created: Technology in Training. I prefer to access Padlet from my computer. The interface seemed a lot easier to use than from my iPad.
So, there you have it: four super simple ways to spice up your instructor-led training and webinars with technology. Do let me know what additional cool technology hacks you’ve discovered and experimented with. I am always looking for new ideas.