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5 Technological trends that influence training

Let's take a look at the 5 most important technological trends that could influence the way we design learning.

What are the technological trends that influence learning and development?

1. Virtual reality (VR)

Virtual reality is one of the predominant emerging technological trends in L & D. What makes it a unique learning tool for work environment is its nature giving immersion and presence. The researchers, Chris Wilson and Alessandro Soranzo, define these concepts: "Immersion describes the level of detail with which a virtual environment can be rendered, while the presence describes the user's psychological response to that environment."

The combination of immersion and presence allows students to experience the sensation of being in a digitally simulated environment and experiencing it. VR allows users to experience what it means to do something themselves, directly, something that no other medium can do.

2. Augmented reality (AR)

AR overlays a digital image with a real environment; the result is a composite view. AR can improve traditional learning by offering a 3D view of objects, which allows a better understanding.

AR does not just mean making the learning process more interesting and fun; it is basically about increasing understanding by visualizing objects that would be difficult to replicate in real life.

3. Artificial intelligence (AI)

Although the concept of Artificial Intelligence may scare us, the truth is that it is already around us.

With Artificial Intelligence, we can learn from users, we can understand what they are good at, where they have some difficulties. This allows us to customize the information, showing only relevant areas.

4. Big Data

Big data is a concept used to describe large volumes of data that can be analysed in order to extract information that lead to better decisions.

Their main attraction comes from what this information can be used for. Custom tracking systems using the Experience API (xAPI) can help gather data on learning experiences and create more flexible solutions.

5. Podcast

Podcasts are not a really emerging technology, but rather an emerging use of technology that has been around for some time.

Traditionally, podcasts are not considered useful for learning: listening to someone who speaks for an hour is a bit like attending a lesson and is usually not the most engaging way to learn.
However, what is changing the fate of podcasts is that, as Gannon (Learning Strategist at SweetRush) says, "they are generally becoming more and more widespread in the world, and at the same time the art and the ability to create immersive podcasts are growing."

With the popularity of growing podcasts, Gannon believes they will reach the L&D field. Podcasts should not be particularly long; if properly done they can be an engaging experience.

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