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3 Ways Technology is Reshaping Professional Development
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pexels-apple-iphone-books-deskTechnology has not made traditional avenues of professional development obsolete – but it has had an impact in expanding opportunities and changing ownership of learning. Last month, Chief Learning Officer published their LearningElite list recognizing the best learning practices in organizations big and small. On this list are some great examples of how technology has impacted learning.


When & How

Gone are the days when one needs to wait for a scheduled seminar, class, employer-provided training event, or the chance to passively participate in a webinar.

Today learning is at your fingertips. You don’t need to travel to the learning. Universities, professional organizations, conferences, and employers are providing online access to content and classes, opening the doors for anyone to learn.

House of Cards isn’t the only thing we can access on-demand when it’s most convenient for us. Most content is recorded and easily accessible, day or night, to watch in snippets or binge, from the office or while on the go…from any device. You have full control over the when and how you learn.

Companies such as Coursera have endless lists of classes, on hundreds of topics, available through both their website and mobile app.

Janssen Pharmaceuticals is just one organization that has created a platform allowing their employees to drive their own learning and deepen their product knowledge.

Support

Technology allows for active participation in virtual learning opportunities and the ability to deepen the understanding of a topic or product. In addition, it also permits (and can even encourage) more effective feedback. Management, colleagues, and/or mentors can provide more regular and immediate advice, versus sporadic feedback delivered days, months or weeks later.

With online forums and social media, we can break free of learning silos. They can connect us with individuals in other divisions, roles, and industries, providing us with a new perspective of a task or challenge presented.

Vanguard has plans to use social media with their online pre-leadership program, connecting their aspiring leaders from around the world virtually to encourage collaboration and skill development.

For those working in companies that don’t have a platform to connect internally…or for those looking to connect with others outside of their company, one can find groups and professional organizations with thriving conversations on sites such as LinkedIn and Twitter.

Ownership

In his TED Talk, Adam Grant shared research that your job performance can be predicted by what web browser you use. Chrome and Firefox users significantly outperformed and stayed in their jobs longer than those using Internet Explorer or Safari. The reason had nothing to do with the technology. Users of the former two did not accept the default provided to them but chose to seek a better option on their own (the latter two are often preinstalled on many devices).

Technology has put individuals in the driver's seat when it comes to their learning. Providing them great control in their growth personally and professionally, and in turn, making them more marketable in a competitive workforce. If Grant’s research applies, could it be that companies supporting employee driven learning may have a larger pool of higher performing employees?

At Corps Team, we support and encourage you to own your career through our Mom Corps YOU podcasts, webinars and small group coaching sessions. Find information about participating here.

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