Corporate Training & e-Learning Blog

Sunday

Professional Development in the Palm of Your Hand

From PDAs to cell phones to tablets, there's no denying the ever-increasing presence of technology in our world. It’s so pervasive that it's pretty much standard practice for employees to receive company-issued computers and phones on their first day.  But what about the growing tablet market?

Compared to smart phones, tablets have infiltrated the population at a much quicker rate. A recent study found that in just under two years, more than 40 million Americans became owners of some form of tablet—be it an iPad, Kindle, etc. With more and more people acquiring the new gadgets, it's only natural that companies jump on board as well—and many have. From law firms to elementary schools, more employers are recognizing the device's pull and are therefore changing policies and procedures to incorporate increased use of the technology. So what does this mean for the workplace?

Remote Training: A New Frontier
With more than 34% of respondents from a recent survey saying that their companies plan to make 2012 the "Year of the Tablet" it’s only natural to wonder how they'll put them to use. Some business leaders recognizing their benefit have even begun to encourage and promote the use of these tablets for professional development and training.
Naturally, this is taking some time to catch on across the board, but a growing number of companies are giving it a shot. When it comes to things such as orientations, certification courses and more, opting to use the device rather than traditional methods such as in-person meetings or seminars offers a world of benefits. For one, it is cheaper. Companies no longer have to worry about the expense of reserving a room, buying the group lunch or renting projection/other interactive equipment. I mean, sure, you're out the initial investment in the tablets themselves, but in the long run it will be money saved.
Additionally, this new method is more efficient. Employees can use it around their schedules and figure out how best to work it in by the deadline, rather than hijacking a chunk of time to gather everyone together. Plus, this puts the responsibility in the employee's hands—literally—making them more accountable. This will, in turn, make it easier to spot incompetent team members, who might not have the inner drive to get it done themselves. One proponent of the technology also brings up the added perk of version control. Opting for virtual training and development will ensure that all parties have access to the same, most recent information.
A Workplace Divided
Despite all the positive buzz around this digital revolution, there are some people who don't think it's such a great idea. Since graduating from college and officially immersing myself in the professional working force just a year ago, I have noticed an obvious divide between the members of my generation and those many years our senior. Both sides seem to have their defenses up, unsure of the other's motives and there is a misunderstanding about the other’s worth. Regardless, there exists an obvious disconnect, that all too often leads to an argument about each group’s views on the increased use of various forms of technology, such as the tablet.
Much of the older generation seems content continuing with the status quo only to keep from learning new processes, because they are new, unchartered territory. However, members of my generation are not without fault either. They need to be more patient and understanding about the fact that getting full organizations that have been around for decades to transition to these more tech savvy ways will undoubtedly take time. Both parties just need time and an open mind to learn from each other. They need to remind themselves regularly that they are on the same team and not competing.

Guest Blog Contributor By-line:


This post was contributed by Barbara Jolie, a full time writer and blogger in the Houston area. She is passionate about all things education and wishes to share her knowledge on online classes with her blogging community. For questions or comments email her at barbara.jolie876@gmail.com.

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