Use new technologies to enhance your education and information delivery strategy! I think we all agree that education and learning is critical – for students, educational institutions, corporations, and governments. An educated workforce delivers competitive advantage of nations, and our educational institutions and information resources must deliver the best possible learning experience. Corporations and governments need to address the full spectrum from concept education to on-demand learning, information delivery, and electronic performance support. These organizations need to educate their audience with new concepts, processes, policies, procedures and products on a continuous basis and deliver insights and help at the point of delivery and execution.

The traditional classroom education paradigm is no longer adequate to ensure students receive the education and learning insights they need. We know there is significant value in the face-to-face, instructor led educational experience, but the traditional model needs to be enhanced with new information delivery models that take advantage of the new second circle technologies available today. What are some of the challenges we experience with the traditional model?

  • It is difficult for educational institutions to deliver a compelling and accredited educational experience to students while under increasing cost pressure
  • Students learn at different paces and preferring different learning styles and media and need to balance group learning with individual study to avoid distraction
  • The classroom schedules are not always convenient or accessible when restricted to specific times and locations – especially with the competing classes, sports and extracurricular activities
  • Not all instructors are created equal (see Bill Gate’s talk at TED) and with Virtual Learning, we can scale our very best instructional talent
  • Companies need to continuously educate their rapidly changing employee base and inform customers and partners on new products, procedures, policies and processes – these programs must satisfy the full spectrum from learning broad concepts to gaining tactical content at the point of customer interaction.
  • Employees move rapidly between companies, positions and roles while procedures change; companies need on-demand learning and support solutions especially for high turnover positions
  • The costs of traditional in-person classroom education is high and with increased pressure to manage the cost/value equation for students and meet difficult budget constraints, new models must be considered

I worked with a large insurance company with a non-captive agent workforce spread broadly across geographies. They needed a solution that delivered critical insights at the point of client delivery and communication, but they also needed to deliver a broader educational foundation for these agents. Delivering formal educational programs to an audience this diverse was prohibitively expensive and couldn’t support the day-to-day support needs. They needed both a performance support solution AND an online teaching solution. Increasingly, educational institutions need new sources of income while providing the services that are being demanded by students. Major online education providers are signing up well over 20,000 new online students a month – I think we can confirm the demand is here. Prestigious educational institutions should naturally preserve the integrity of their educational brand and foster the complete on-campus educational experience that includes personal relationships, but they can also begin to more effectively compliment their delivery model with enhanced delivery methods and media.  Tufts is working on programs that will deliver the Tufts-brand of education through distance learning to places like Dubai. In another business example, a leading retail bank needs to better leverage their expert knowledge about innovative products and services across the branch store network. Why lose a valuable product cross-sell or adoption because branch platform personnel were not yet up to speed on key product features and advantages?  Use experts to deliver content on-demand at the point of sale. They need both a broader educational content foundation and live video services that deliver   real-time branch to branch and web-based video conferencing and delivery services. Education and learning delivery should blend traditional classroom learning with new on-demand virtual teaching and information delivery models. New virtual education and information delivery technologies provide the mechanisms to deliver education at the pace students need and provide critical knowledge content on-demand to a company’s customers, employees, partners and students. One example is Panviva’s Supportpoint solution which is being used by companies that need a performance management solution delivered at the point of delivery. The technology integrates with existing applications to provide context-sensitve help and educational performance support. Another compelling solution is being delivered by Retrieve Technology in Henniker, NH.  Retrieve’s vBook technology delivers rich educational content in video /multi-media on-demand to governments, corporations and educational institutions. Teachers and publishers can record their content/classroom using green screen technology and  blend text book, assessments and evaluation structures. The teacher can collaborate with students both on-line and in person using collaborative web 2.0 services to deliver a rich educational experience.  These technologies can be applied in a wide range of contexts – including traditional education, corporate and government training and individual eBook authorship. Some of the features to look for in a winning new media education solution include:

  • Deployment flexibility using either cloud-based or installed platform
  • Human factors oriented design (e.g. using familiar and proven metaphors: books, chapters, sections, book shelves, index, FAQ, etc)
  • Efficient online course creation and delivery with user/ content owner controls
  • Powerful Boolean Search and browse access methods to gain access to the full range of content and zero in quickly on what you need to see
  • Full multi-media – text, graphics, images, audio and video – to enhance the learning and engage audience
  • Tools that facilitate grading and evaluation and certification
  • Branding flexibility to allow institutions to control the learning information and content assets and distribution
  • A balanced approach that facilitates a blend of virtual and live instruction
  • The ability to manage individual content segments and manage version control
  • Notification for students and users for changes to subscribed content
  • Asset and content manageability for individual accounts and groups with full accounting and tracking
  • The ability to track detailed usage and apply custom commercial models with maximum flexibility

Take a look at the new second circle solutions that are out there – the industry is changing quickly, and solutions – like Retrieve Technology – are transforming how we educate and learn. Please comment at Revenue Architects or contact me if you want to learn more about these exciting technologies and the economic value they create!

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