by Inci Toral
The importance of learning technology (LT) is acknowledged by everyone, specifically during the pandemic. In fact, the lock downs during the global pandemic underlined this importance and perhaps challenged most educators with their ability to use technology. We all know that learning technology not only enhances the learning process but also fosters student engagement, transforming passive learners into active participants. However, there is another impact of learning technology that is often undermined. Learning technology develops students’ technological skills and job-readiness. I am an educator at a management school, and I also spent many years in the banking industry. With this in mind, I argue that a positive “side benefit” of learning technology is the ability to develop transferable skills, skills that are sought after by the job market. The immediate examples of this are simulation tools, educational AR/VR applications and virtual apprenticeships. However, I will give a more trivial and perhaps a more vital example: being able to present at a virtual meeting using a presentation deck is a crucial skill that students develop as a side benefit of the educational tools we use while we teach our subjects.
Perhaps, my example is trivial, but a correct one. In a recent article in the Guardian, this issue has been addressed as the “generation Z’s Tech Shame”. Therefore, it is important for educators to consider transferable skills when choosing and using LTs. Use of LTs not only enhances critical thinking and problem-solving abilities but also prepares students for future careers. By gaining exposure to industry-relevant tools and experiences, students become better equipped to navigate the professional world, boosting their employability and career prospects. The use of LTs showcases innovative techniques to provide immersive and interactive learning experiences whilst facilitating creative thinking. LTs also embrace a more inclusive learning experience by reducing language barriers, personalised learning experiences, and lowering the boundaries of place and time.
Educators can also demonstrate creative use of LTs, for instance converting the less popular discussion forums into visual, and interactive “crowdsourcing for learning” is an example of collective learning where students help each other in finding solutions to their questions. In experiencing such practices, students learn to create their own opportunities for collaboration and networking. Such collaborative learning environments not only enhance understanding but also develop essential interpersonal skills, teamwork, and communication abilities that are highly valued by employers.In an increasingly competitive job market, the power of learning technology in developing job-ready skills cannot be overstated.
To learn more about job-readiness through providing accessible learning opportunities and personalised experiences to fostering continuous learning and collaboration, ALT 2023 Conference is a great opportunity. Remember to book your place.