In an era marked by rapid technological evolution, the world of learning is undergoing a profound metamorphosis. From traditional classroom settings to contemporary online experiences, the quest for knowledge has taken on a dynamic form. Amid this transformation, we explore the critical role of digital dexterity in today's digital landscape and the solutions poised to sustain it.
The evolution of learning: A multifaceted journey
Broadwing Recruitment, a local recruitment agency, believes that learning, once confined to observation and traditional classrooms, has evolved into a highly personalised, technology-driven endeavour. While the essence of multisensory learning remains intact, modern learners have diversified their approaches. A constant influx of technological advancements has solidified technology's symbiotic relationship with learning and development.
“Today, learners of all ages act as knowledge brokers, shaping their unique learning journeys through personal modalities.” The data presented underscores the profound implications for instructional design and delivery. Institutions and workplaces must adapt swiftly to accommodate the ever-shifting characteristics of learners.
Meet the modern learner…
As training transitions to digital formats, it confronts the new realities of employees' jobs, behaviours, and preferences. Modern workers are occupied, distracted, and crave flexibility in their learning experiences. Only one per cent of a typical workweek is allocated to training and development. 41 per cent of workers allocate their time to unfulfilling tasks that do not contribute to productivity. Knowledge workers find themselves perpetually distracted by a myriad of websites, applications, and video snippets. Most learners exhibit limited attention spans, typically disengaging from videos after a mere 4 minutes.
The recruitment company remarks that "it's astonishing" that individuals unlock their smartphones up to nine times per hour. Alarmingly, two-thirds of knowledge workers express frustration over the lack of time to complete their essential tasks. Online content creators face the daunting challenge of capturing someone's interest within a brief five to ten-second window, or risk losing their audience. Adding to this frenetic pace, workers endure interruptions as frequently as every five minutes, often at the hands of work-related applications and collaboration tools.
Employees increasingly work from multiple locations, blurring traditional boundaries. To cater to these dynamic individuals, companies face the challenge of consistent reach and efficient development. A significant portion of the global workforce has embraced mobile work arrangements, further complicating the learning landscape.
"As a result, only 38 per cent of workers say they have opportunities for learning and growth at their workplace, and 63 per cent of IT professionals who report having paid for training out of their own pockets. Workers increasingly seek learning opportunities independently, as they may not find sufficient support within their organizations. These dynamics call for a closer examination of the available growth prospects within workplaces."
Unlocking the potential of the 21st century workforce through tech-powered learning
Learning is becoming on-demand, with employees seeking answers outside conventional training channels. Smartphones and search engines have become essential tools for just-in-time learning. Learners are collaborative by developing and accessing personal and professional networks to obtain information about their industries and professions. They seek knowledge from peers and managers, assuming more control over their development.
Approximately 80 per cent of workforce learning occurs through on-the-job interactions with peers, teammates, and managers. At Google, over half of training courses are delivered by a vast ecosystem of peer learners.
Tech trends: The cornerstones of 21st century skills
“The tech trends of the past two decades have fundamentally reshaped our lives, work, communication, and, importantly, our approach to learning,” Broadwing says. The anticipated tech trends of 2022, including Automation, 5G, AI, Voice, Blockchain, and Business Intelligence, promise further disruption and transformation.
- Automation: Technologies like cloud computing, data analytics and conversation intelligence have already revolutionized work and learning. The future of automation offers boundless opportunities to enhance our lives.
- 5G: With its promise of higher broadband speeds and reliability, 5G will necessitate continuous learning to keep pace with technological advancements.
- AI: Artificial intelligence & machine learning is not only part of automation but also a trendsetter. Technologies like, Google Bard AI, ChatGPT, and MidJourney are capable to perform complex human tasks at lightning speeds.
- Voice: Voice technologies like Siri, Alexa, and Google are evolving, making voice interaction increasingly integral to daily life.
- Blockchain: Blockchain's secure framework will drive technological communication to new heights, raising the bar for digital dexterity.
- Big Data & analytics: Analytics will be the game changer in industry, helping predict market changes and demanding a workforce well-versed in data interpretation.
E-Learning platforms: A nexus of transformation
E-learning platforms, present since the early 1990s, “are set to play a pivotal role in shaping the future of learning.” These platforms provide a standardized foundation that can be customized by individual learners. As technology continues to accelerate, e-learning offers a blended learning approach that allows individuals to learn at their own pace, reducing training costs.
However, Broadwing Recruitment believes that e-learning can never fully replace face-to-face learning, as the human intellect thrives on emotions and not just logical algorithms. Its role as an enabler in the learning process is undeniable, especially in the face of digital transformation.
Notable statistics reveal the advantages of e-learning, including a 43 per cent productivity increase with mobile devices, an 18 per cent boost in employee engagement, 40-60 per cent less time required for completion compared to traditional classroom training, and the rise of Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) culture, with 70 per cent of professionals using personal devices for e-Learning.
Sustaining digital dexterity: Available solutions
According to Broadwing Recruitment, several solutions are poised to sustain and enhance digital dexterity, in navigating this era of digital transformation:
- Adaptive learning platforms: Personalized learning experiences that adapt to the individual's pace and style.
- Microlearning: bite-sized, focused content for quick and efficient learning.
- Virtual Reality (VR) and Augmented Reality (AR): Immersive technologies that enhance engagement and retention.
- Gamification: Applying game elements to learning to increase motivation and retention.
- Continuous learning culture: Fostering an environment where learning is embedded into the fabric of the organization.
- Data-driven insights: Leveraging analytics to understand learner behaviour and optimize content delivery.
Employee empowerment is at the forefront, driven by rapid business changes. “As we embark on this journey of digital transformation, the ability to adapt, learn, and evolve is the hallmark of success. Embracing the digital age and nurturing digital dexterity will empower individuals and organizations alike to thrive in an ever-evolving landscape.”
Engaging the youth community is a key focus for Broadwing, recognizing their significant role as digital technology enthusiasts. Encouraging their active involvement in shaping the digital economy's transformation is pivotal.
Broadwing’s strategy includes collaborating with educational institutions, public entities, and the private sector to position Malta as a vibrant destination for tech talent.
“By partnering with academic entities, we seek to enhance local STEM and ICT curricula to make them more appealing as the foundation for a tech career. We're also exploring emerging domains like digital and creative technology, by affiliating with outstanding national organizations and authorities,” says Alan Cini, Managing Director, Broadwing Ltd.
When working in the tech services sector in Malta, roles and responsibilities are contingent upon the specific industry and organisation. Explore further to gain insights into the diverse roles and responsibilities within Malta's dynamic Technology Sector.