I recently read an updated edition of a marketing book with the subtitle, Everything has changed and nothing is different, and it struck me how true that phase is for our industry. The pace of technological change and onslaught of new products in the training world can make your head spin if you get too caught up in it. Terminology comes along with it—ten years ago, no one was googling gamification, social learning, m-learning, or even custom learning portal.
Here's the thing about technology though: it's the easy part. Yeah it can be confusing and feel overwhelming and I don't actually know how to code anything either, but I have a lot of smart Noggin colleagues who have it all figured out. Technology is merely a tool; it's what you do with it that matters.
What if everything goes the way of Uber and training becomes a bunch of on-demand YouTube videos and publicly available stuff that people can google? Guess what: you will still have to find ways to engage learners, change behaviors, and get results. Compliance issues will never go away, sales people will still need to sell, customer service will always be critical to any business' success, and your employees will need to learn the ins and outs of new products and service offerings. The way you train on those things might change, but you will still need to accomplish those goals.
Thinking back on some of the courses we were demoing when I first started working for NogginLabs, they looked pretty different from what we create today. Visual design is constantly changing, and we are always striving to build courseware that visually rivals the top consumer software products. Some of those old courses look dated now. However, the fundamentals are exactly the same as what we're doing today: challenge learners, give them the chance to try and fail in a safe environment, serve different scenarios based on how they're performing, integrate knowledge checks throughout, and apply game principles to make boring content more engaging.
It's actually a lot like music. Recorded music has gone through countless technology iterations of getting from the orchestra, band, or artist into your home and your ears. Whether you collected vinyl, tapes, CDs, or mp3s, you always had the same end goal: listen to music. And regardless of how we end up delivering training, we will always have the same end goal: get people to do something differently.