5 Disruptive Technologies to Tackle L&D Challenges in 2016 Heera Edwin











It’s the 2nd week of January, 2016. The year is crisp and shiny new. It’s a great time to start off a new endeavour that didn’t go quite as planned in the past from a personal or business standpoint. Change is happening at lightning speed. It seems like only yesterday when learning on the go was a figment of one’s imagination – like something straight out of a sci-fi movie; but today a lot of that imagination, is reality. The 21st century is an exciting place to be in the workplace. Employers are open to change; employees are younger, more enthusiastic, demanding and know what they want; and exciting developments are giving learning a new dimension.

With more organizations taking the leap away from the traditional, to more modern and sophisticated training methodologies, 2016 promises to be an action-packed year for the industry. From wearable devices to condensed snippets of learning, more employers will assume a new stance in their learning policy.

With more baby boomers exiting the workforce this year, and with over half of the workforce comprising of millennials, 2016 will also find employers facing challenges that the L&D industry has been trying to tackle at a steadily increasing pace. Two of the big challenges that employers will have to overcome in 2016 are (a) retaining the Millennial employee and (b) tackling the problem of skill shortage.

Organizations must now use modern methodologies to fight these modern problems. Smart organizations already use new disruptive learning technologies extensively to combat these problems. Small and Mid-sized organizations must be quick to catch up on these trends to keep pace with their larger counterparts. Disruptive learning technologies take the new-age learner’s learning methodologies into consideration, making learning more meaningful and therefore more ‘successful’ in every sense of the word – making learners willing participants in the learning process and productive at the workplace – both of which influence to a substantial level, an employee’s desire to stay on with an organization.

5 disruptive learning technologies that will be used extensively this year are:

#1 Mobilelearning – A new disconnected workforce begs for a type of learning that allows a learner to remain physically disconnected from a classroom but makes sure he is well connected to his learning environment and to other learners – no matter where he is. Mobile learning makes this possible. Mobile devices such as tablets, smartphones, notepads, etc. are now available at an affordable price to the common man and will make mobile learning easy, affordable and successful.

#2 Wearable Devices – Wearable devices include clothing and accessories that incorporate computer and advanced electronic technologies within their workings. Wearable devices fall into various categories including surveillance, security and payment gateways, eTextiles, personal assistance and gaming.

In learning, the two types of wearable devices that will create waves are:

(1) Personal Assistance Devices (2) Virtual & Gaming Devices

Personal assistance devices are devices that help and engage humans with computer interaction. Virtual and gaming devices are devices that encourage immersive learning through play in a very rich and sophisticated virtual world. Both these types of wearable devices will provide learners with a deeper learning experience through deeper semantic sense, better performance support that requires very little or no human intervention.

#3 Gamifications in Learning – We now know that gamification enhances motivation to learn, can be used to personalize a learning experience, and helps give learners a feedback on learning. Because we – as a race – love games, games successfully grab our attention, improve knowledge retention, make the learning experience real for us, and improve the overall learning experience and success of a learning program.

 #4 Cloud-based LMSs –  Cloud-based learning management systems are learning platforms that allow an organization to store as much training-related information on cloud – with greater security, and gives learners easy accessibility to their learning programs from anywhere and at any time.

#5 Micro Learning – Knowledge changes at lightning speed, making it unnecessary to mug up realms of information – that is anyway going to become redundant in the near future. Learners have no time to absorb unnecessary information but require the latest information at their fingertips at the time of need. Training will involve condensing lengthy monologues of information into short, brief, informative snippets that are easy to grasp and retain – for longer periods of time.

Yes, 2016 promises to be an action-packed year for the L&D industry and we are excited to witness the big move that organizations will make from traditional learning to learning that makes use of disruptive technologies. If you have made the change or are thinking of making a change in your learning methodologies, we would be interested to know more

About the author

Heera Edwin



Heera Edwin is a writer and educator who is actively involved in the design and development of content, marketing strategies and communications at 24×7 Learning

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