4 ways technology makes training fun and games

When we think about all of the new technologies that could support training, it can feel overwhelming. It’s helpful to keep in mind that technology simply provides a mechanism to tap into our natural curiosity to meet the training goals. The principles of how people learn, engage with their environment, define success, keep score and try again are universal.

Here are four categories of tech in training (and some simple-to-implement resources to consider) to get your staff hyped about learning:

1. User-generated content

Participants WANT to share information and help create the learning experience. A great tool that is a repository for co-creation is Padlet. Padlet gives learners a web-based space to hop in and group-source ideas and information. Another example is to have learners become involved by creating videos of their tips and tricks pertaining to a certain topic, such as how gamers post content to YouTube.

2. Gamification

Applying experience points, puzzle solving or leaderboards to traditional learning are examples of gamification. What’s fun about this approach is that you take content that already exists and integrate game mechanics into it for engagement and enjoyment with your teams. One of my favorite participation quiz tools is Kahoot, where you get points not only for being correct, but being quick.

3. Microlearning

Delivering content in short, single-topic bursts is microlearning. This is most effective for single-skill, repetitive tasks when people don’t have a lot of time. A tangible benefit is that learners are in control of what they are learning. Check out Yummly as an example of quick-burst videos where learners can absorb the information far more rapidly than if they were reading the information.  

4. Augmented reality

Even something so simple as taking your printed pieces and creating a language translation overlay can be an instantly customizable way to create accessible interaction. Similar to Pokemon Go, there is also technology that pulls up repair manuals or instructional videos based on where you are and what you are looking at on the screen in front of you. To further blow your mind, check out Quivervision for immersive coloring experiences. Learners can color a sheet, scan it and watch it come to life through animation right in front of their eyes!

The modern learner is overwhelmed, distracted and impatient. They’ve also grown up with high expectations about interactivity. Embracing technology can help shift the way we are delivering training to engage the modern learner, customize their experience, increase retention of information and solidify learning outcomes.

Donna Herbel is vice president, training and culture development for Perkins Restaurant & Bakery. She is an active member and a past president of the Council of Hotel and Restaurant Trainers (CHART). She can be reached at [email protected].