Investing in Learning Technology

Posted on: July 05, 2015

Why invest in learning technology?

Organisations invest in Learning Technologies because they can, when used well:

  • Reduce the total costs of learning to the business – particularly by reducing travel and print costs, and increasing administrative efficiency
  • Increase flexibility – in terms of when and where learning materials and expertise can be accessed
  • Provide useful data upon which decisions can be made
  • Help to engage and motivate

However, when used inappropriately or poorly, learning technologies can have the opposite effect:

  • Increasing costs through expensive equipment that is under-used
  • Reducing flexibility by relying on proprietary technologies
  • Collecting large quantities of meaningless data
  • Demotivating employees who are used, in their lives outside work, to on-demand support at the point of need

Where should we spend our money?

Organisations that are using learning technology well will tend to invest in more than just the technology itself. They will spend money on:

  • Infrastructure – primarily wireless network connectivity
  • Platforms – the software through which employees will access learning materials, administrative processes and people
  • Content – a mix of lots of rapidly-developed, focussed content (not necessarily “elearning”) with a short lifespan and low production values, along with small numbers of bespoke content items with a long lifespan and high production values
  • Equipment – a mix of lots of low cost devices to produce, consume and communicate in the field, along with small numbers of higher cost devices for specialist, location-centred use
  • People – training and support for those who will be producing, leading and administrating, plus investment in online and face-to-face coaching, mentoring and curating

It’s important to get the balance right, as failure to invest in one of these elements appropriately will often lead to a failed initiative.

If you would like help to select, procure and implement learning technologies, please get in touch