With the Information Age clearly ensconced in our social consciousness, now is the time for the Age of Education. Although the dissemination of general information has advanced by leaps and bounds, how we best integrate technology with education and training has fallen behind. With the reality of an ever-expanding global marketplace, tightening financial resources, and the increased development of virtual workplaces, both the private and public sectors are trying to define best practices that can comfortably merge traditional perceptions with modern necessities. The Global Workplace Analytics Report projects that the growth of virtual employees will increase to 21% by 2016, and IDC Worldwide is projecting an 18% increase in consumer use of smartphones and tablets in 2014. Embracing the virtual world is no longer a vision of the future or a luxury, but a necessity. It just makes sense.
Where people work and how they conduct their day-to-day business is evolving. What has not changed is how people learn. Blended solutions are not just about merging traditional techniques with eLearning solutions, but rather assessing and customizing specific needs that can accommodate an expanding global workforce. There is a growing need for corporations to invest in instructional solutions by thinking outside of their comfort zone. Varying cultures are affecting communications, the decision-making process, and those negotiations that require skilled managers who have the ability to mediate and energize a global virtual team, as well as clearly define and direct the corporate vision.
Today’s ubiquitous technologies are more than just devices for the workplace. They connect every segment of day-to-day society from banking, correspondence, commerce, education, and social connectivity, to news and entertainment. The way we complete basic tasks is becoming increasingly dependent on immediate accessibility. Every segment of the population is or will be touched by the need or desire to be connected. Education is an ongoing process. Whether it is for a child heading off to their first day of school, or for a grandparent reaching out to their family, having the best knowledge of how to operate in today’s technological world is the power that can improve people’s lives.
Keeping up with today’s technologies and changing environments has put an emphasis on the continuing need to supply educational solutions across the board. A one-size-fits-all answer will not achieve a universally positive result. The educational solutions have to be as fluid and tractable as the changes in the technology itself.