Wednesday, February 04, 2004

It's not over until... (old-school technologies and traditional training)

This article from MIT's Technology Review, "Ten Technologies That Refuse to Die," proves an important point. The article illustrates how new and old technologies can co-exist peacefully; they don't require an either-or choice.

Analog watches, broadcast radio, fax machines, and other technologies that have more modern equivalents still exist--not just in the homes or offices of Luddites, but as thriving alternatives for the very technologies that were supposed to replace them.

See a parallel in the world of learning?

Yes, the death of good old classroom training has been greatly exaggerated. When e-learning started to proliferate, many people believed it would completely replace face-to-face training. Well, just a few years later we look around and realize that classroom training is alive and well. Blended learning is the new buzzword--the key for successful learning projects is in finding the right mix of technology and tradition for learners' needs.

(We predict a similar process with the next wave--workflow tools. As more companies begin to explore those technologies, face-to-face training and e-learning will continue to be part of a trainer's toolbox.)

As the Ten Technologies article states, "All have survived, and some have thrived, in their supposed obsolescence, not as cult artifacts...but because they fill real needs that their more sophisticated successors don't."

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