Phil Bradley Improve Training by Tapping into New Technology
Jinfo Blog

Monday, 22nd June 2015

By Phil Bradley


Phil Bradley considers the changing world of training and why it's essential to keep up with the latest technology developments - whether running a training course or keeping your own skills up to date.


FreePint Topic Series: Best Practices in Information Skills DevelopmentTraining is a subject that should be close to all of our hearts. Unfortunately it's increasingly slipping down the agenda.

Ironically, while there may well be money in the budget to update IT equipment or replace outdated software, the training budget disappears, and staff have to make a case by case request for training.

FreePint's Topic Series "Best Practices in Information Skills Development" has highlighted some of these issues - and looked at some new solutions. In my Subscription article "How to Create a Training Video in No Time At All", I've looked at a number of different ways in which training courses or sessions can be created using very simple software and cheap or free hardware.

Can You Take Control of Your Own Training?

Slashed training budgets don't help the organisation in the long run, and don't help the person who wants training either. I think we need to begin to move towards a new paradigm where people by default take control of their own careers and training.

However, there are still many issues to overcome. Training isn't cheap; the trainer has to make a living, the room needs to be paid for, and travel expenses are incurred. A day out of the office is usually required as well, and that's time that a company already stretched to the limit can ill afford.

On the other hand, the world of IT and the internet is moving ahead at a phenomenal rate. New tools and resources are being produced every day, to say nothing of the new kit such as the latest smartphones, 3D printers, and changing attitudes.

If people don't keep up with what is happening they are going to quickly fall behind, not only to the detriment of their organisation, but also themselves... becoming out of touch with what other professionals are doing.

Taking Advantage of Technology to Improve Training

So now we reach a difficult impasse - we appreciate the theoretical importance of training, we know that we need training, but we don't have the time or the money available to send staff on day long trips across the country to learn the latest developments.

The current system is well beyond breaking point, so we need to use technology to provide alternative solutions.

There are increasingly cheap and even free ways to run training sessions:

  • Trainers can work remotely, with delegates logging on and chatting, sharing screens and asking questions
  • Alternatively it's very easy to record screen presentations and make them available online for people to use in a webinar format whenever they need.

Training doesn't need to be an artificial activity taking place in a training room - it can be far more spontaneous and organic than that, and it doesn't need to cost the earth.

Combine Simple Software & Low-Cost Hardware 

In my Subscription article "How to Create a Training Video in No Time At All", I've highlighted some tools which are my personal favourites for screen recording, recording videos, editing and broadcasting. Also included are tips for the type of hardware and preparation needed, based on my own experiences of using video for training.

There are options available and with a bit of give and take, and a willingness to look differently at the problem, there's no reason why training cannot continued to be offered - and both cheaply and effectively!

This Blog Item is part of the FreePint Topic Series "Best Practices in Information Skills Development".

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