Who has time to keep up with all the latest learning technologies and trends? In this article, I’ll share 9 tips that can help even the busiest eLearning pros stay on the cutting edge of modern tech.
How Busy eLearning Pros Can Keep Up With Modern Technology
One of the perks of the job is being able to work with the latest and greatest learning technology. But keeping up can be a real challenge, especially when you’re trying to balance personal and professional obligations. Fortunately, there are quick ways for busy eLearning pros to stay in the know without having to rearrange their agenda. These 9 tips can help you stay current with modern technology, even if you already have a packed schedule.
1. Join Niche Social Media Groups
There’s a social media group for just about everything these days, including learning technologies and eLearning trends that can help you stay up to date. The trick is to know which topics you’re interested in and find the ideal niche group. For example, one that focuses on learning technologies for corporate eLearning or compliance. Check LinkedIn, Facebook, and other social networking sites to look for eLearning pros with similar interests.
2. Subscribe To Tech Blogs
Bloggers who specialize in learning technologies and related eLearning topics are a great source of information. Best of all, they do all the homework on your behalf and then summarize the key points. For example, post a general overview of the specs and features of an innovative Learning Management System that just came onto the market. Subscribe to their blogs, or opt for an RSS feed that lets you keep track of your favorite sites in one location. Thus, covering even more virtual ground in less time.
3. Attend EdTech Webinars And Online Events
Sign up for online events that showcase modern eLearning techs such as webinars, online workshops, and live Q&A social media events. If you’re unable to attend, set aside time to watch the recorded presentation so that you get all the takeaways. This is a great alternative to seminars or conferences that involve travel expenses and long trips. Many hosts will post upcoming events on social media, which is yet another reason why you should join social networking groups.
4. Run A Weekly Search Engine Tech Check
This is a great way to cast the net wide and look for tech news that’s more obscure or caters to your specialty. Conduct a weekly search engine check using targeted keywords and peruse the top results. For instance, search for “LMS reporting” under the Google news tab to keep up with emerging analytics and reporting trends. Just make certain that the sources are viable before you share the breaking tech news with your eLearning team.
5. Sign Up For Keyword Alerts
Busy eLearning pros may not have time to conduct a manual search every week. In which case, you might consider keyword alerts that automate the process. Simply select keywords or phrases and receive email notifications when someone posts relevant content. Try to focus on a handful of queries so that your inbox isn’t inundated with alerts every day. For example, broad keywords that are more popular may yield hundreds of notifications on a weekly basis. Then you’ll have to spend even more time manually filtering the results, which defeats the purpose entirely.
6. Sign Up For Free Demos And Trials
One of the best ways to learn about modern tech is to try it firsthand. Many eLearning tool vendors offer free trials and demos without any commitments. You can simply test drive the software for 2 to 4 weeks and explore the features on your own. This gives you a better indication of what modern technology has to offer and whether an upgrade is worth the investment. For example, if your organization will benefit from a new eLearning authoring tool or LMS with more robust features. After the fact, you can always schedule a meeting with the eLearning vendor to ask questions and learn more about their support services, etc.
7. Follow Tech Gurus Online
Numerous tech gurus are ready and willing to share valuable information with their readers. You just have to know where to find them online. Follow their social media pages, subscribe to their blogs, and watch their YouTube channels. In most cases, eLearning experts will mention their credentials. As such, you can rest assured that you’re getting accurate information that’s backed by experience.
8. Pick The Brains Of eLearning Collaborators
There may already be people on your eLearning team who keep tech trends on their radar, which saves you the time and trouble of conducting your own online research. Ask for their input before you invest in learning technologies. You can even schedule weekly or monthly meetings with your resident tech gurus. This allows you to pick their brains and get the inside scoop. Use a video conferencing tool to stay in touch. In addition, encourage them to reach out if they discover any eLearning trends or tools you should know about.
9. Listen To Tech-Related Podcasts
Subscribe to podcasts that pertain to modern tech in the eLearning sector. Most podcasts also have archives you can peruse while you wait for the newest episode. This is a time-saving way to stay up to speed, as you can listen during your downtime. For example, while waiting for a client to show up for a meeting.
A final thought I’d like to leave you with is to make time for tech research. Allocate an hour a week to read up on the latest tech trends. Though these 9 tips are quick and convenient, you still need to take the initiative. Jot it down on your schedule, and don’t let distractions stop you from becoming an eLearning tech guru in your own right.
Are blogs a good fit for your eLearning course? Or should you stick with online forums, social media groups, and other collaborative online platforms? Read the article When To Integrate eLearning Blogs In Your eLearning Program to learn about 7 tell-tale signs that it’s time to integrate eLearning blogs into your eLearning program.