Welcome to today’s blog post.
Over the last 15 years, several revolutionary developments have taken place in the field of information and communications (ICT) technology. Today, most devices are simple to use and this goes a long way in their effective usage.The best example to recognize the power of simplicity is Apple. Thirty-nine years in the industry and the company has not compromised on its simplistic product design and minimalistic user interface design. For Apple, the ease of use is more important than the product itself. In the book The Innovation Secrets of Steve Jobs, the author Carmine Gallo defined Apple’s secret of success to be focused on simplicity. He also adds, “It is a $30 billion company with less than 30 products. That’s never been done before.” One more company has driven the path of success using the simplicity mantra – it is the retail giant Amazon. Amazon has recently launched a device that can help you place orders to refill your household goods, which they call dash buttons. Let’s dig deeper to understand more about these devices and see if this technology can be of any help in the learning scenario.
All With a Push
The dash buttons are small Wi-Fi devices synced to your Amazon account, which you can hang or stick anywhere. Whenever you need to replenish your household goods, all you need to do is push the device’s button.Instantly, you order is placed and your order summary appears on your smartphone. Simple, isn’t it?
The Tech Behind
The buttons are simple in design, which carry nothing but a Wi-Fi radio and a battery. The device remains in an inactive state until you press the button and then they connect to your Wi-Fi network. Sending an order to restock your goods is the signal programmed to the device. A similar device can be reprogrammed to work as per your requirement in different contexts such as recording the duration of your events (by pressing the button before and after the events, the duration can be stored on a spreadsheet) or as a reminder tool (you can press the button to remind you after pre-programmed duration about the task you have to resume).
Push 2 Learn
Just like any other process, the process of learning needs simplification. The simpler your learning methodology is, more are the chances for the learner to absorb the information you teach. The current and next generations of learners are no more interested in mere page-turners or even in your screens filled with tons of interactive elements. This is a minimalistic era and all that the people crave for is simplicity and ease of use. These push buttons could serve as good support devices for workplace learning.
Let’slook at this in the context of a scenario. Imagine a large automobile service station with many technicians performing various services procedures to vehicles every day. The most recommended form of learning to train such target audiences is videos. We can use a video-based e-learning course to train them on the service procedures but at a later stage, if they need to revisit the learning, it may be difficult for them to take the course by themselves due to technology barriers. Let’s add the dash buttons into this scenario. In your training room or even the service area, you can set up a projector screen or a computer connected to your Wi-Fi network. You can arrange the dash buttons on your wall below the screen, each programmed to display videos related to different service procedures. The technicians can reach out to this area and select the service procedure they need to learn about using a single push of the button.
Let’s take the corporate training scenario. The automobile training concept can be applied here as well, but this time, let us look at a different learning need that can be served by these buttons. As a training manager, you need to be aware of the training needs of your resources. You can use these buttons here as voting devices to record their training needs. You can have the buttons setup in your training room for different subjects. The resources can use these buttons to select the subject of their interest and need. You can program the device to record the instances of clicks for each button and then map this on to a spreadsheet that’ll clearly list out the training needs of your resources.
There are several other possibilities where these buttons can be used to serve various learning needs. We can expect to see a wide range of push-to-learn technologies in the future. In contrast to other advanced learning technologies (virtual reality, augmented reality), this futuristic technology is much more affordable and practical (they’re already being used in another context). Let’s expect to see the learning industry make good use of this technology in the months ahead.
Hope this blog post is informative.
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