Communicating with Technology


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  • Here are some of the non-training performance initiatives from the BEST organizations as reported in the State of the Industry Report.These are the top five initiatives in which technology is used to enhance a business. The first four enhance communication and collaboration. The last is a financial initiative; as training moves toward technology-based methods, training costs decrease.During the next two sessions, we will investigate opportunities to stay up-to-date on how technology is being used for communication and training. In addition, we will review some technologies currently being used and how they are applied.
  • Globalization--where companies have one main office and many satellite offices--has played a large part in driving the use of technology.
  • There are professional organizations whose purpose is to bring people together to share knowledge, experience and research regarding information and instructional technologies. Frequently, individuals who have used technology for communication and learning will present their experiences at conferences or share them in journal articles and case studies. Many of these organizations also offer hands-on workshops, either during a conference or through technology delivery throughout the year. Attending these sessions and workshops can provide valuable information regarding the use of various technologies. Finally, many of these organizations publish journals where authors share their experiences in case studies and research reports. Let’s review some of these.•American Society of Training and Development (ASTD). ASTD has local chapters and a national office. is dedicated to workplace learning and performance professionals. ASTD’s members come from more than 100 countries and connect locally in almost 140 U.S. chapters and 25 global networks. Members work in thousands of organizations of all sizes, in government, as independent consultants, and suppliers.•Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM). SHRM has chapters locally and internationally and has offices in Alexandria, Virginia; China; and India. is the world’s largest professional association devoted to human resource management. Its mission is to serve the needs of HR professionals by providing the most current and comprehensive resources, and to advance the profession by promoting HR’s essential, strategic role. Founded in 1948, SHRM represents more than 225,000 individual members in over 125 countries, and has a network of more than 575 affiliated chapters in the United States, as well as offices in China and India.•Association of Educational Communications and Technology (AECT);’s mission is to provide international leadership by promoting scholarship and best practices in the creation, use, and management of technologies for effective teaching and learning in a wide range of settings.•International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE); is “the trusted source for professional development, knowledge generation, advocacy, and leadership for innovation.” A nonprofit membership organization, ISTE provides leadership and service to improve teaching, learning, and school leadership by advancing the effective use of technology in PK–12 and teacher education. ISTE represents more than 85,000 professionals worldwide.
  • Ask students to share organizations that they already belong to.Remind them of the importance of finding local and regional organizations in their area as well.•American Association for Adult and Continuing Education (AAACE); is dedicated to the belief that lifelong learning contributes to human fulfillment and positive social change.  •Association for the Advancement of Computing in Education; in 1981, AACE is an international, educational and professional not-for-profit organization dedicated to the advancement of the knowledge, theory, and quality of learning and teaching at all levels with information technology. This purpose of AACE is accomplished through the encouragement of scholarly inquiry related to information technology in education and the dissemination of research results and their applications through publications, conferences, societies and chapters, and inter-organizational projects. •EDUCAUSE: Transforming Education Through Information Technologies, national; is a nonprofit association whose mission is to advance higher education by promoting the intelligent use of information technology.
  • Ask students to share journals they already read or subscribe to.Refereed journals publish research and information on the latest developments of the use of technology and information. Some are available only through membership to organizations like the ones we just discussed.Free journals often provide case studies based on actual implementation and use. They also run articles and advertisements on new technology and products.
  • This is a reflective activity for learners. Allow students time to think about the process and make a plan for themselves.This is for their personal use and does not need to be turned in or shared.
  • Instructor’s note: This slide is designed not only to catch students’ attention, but to open a discussion about different forms of communication. It will also allow the instructor to assess students’ level of use of technology to communicate or to learn. If the group appears to be very novice, you may want to eliminate some of the following topics and delve more deeply into the prior topics. For example, stop before covering the section labeled “Other” in the slides and Instructor Guide.
  • Ask students to provide examples of each before going on to the lists on the next slides. This can be a brainstorming session. Some examples:Synchronous: Interactive video, voice over IP, telephone conferencing, webinars.Asynchronous: Wikis, blogs, podcasting, webinars, learning management systems.
  • Person-to-person interactive video is commonly used. Each individual needs to have a Web cam, microphone and speakers. If users know each others’ IP addresses, they can connect and communicate with both visual and audio.If you want to connect multiple sites, you can purchase software from companies such as Polycom. They sell bridges which allow up to 30 connections, or smaller units which will allow up to 4 sites to connect at a time. This can become costly, because high-speed Internet is required for the connections. If you intend to use it on a regular basis, however, it is much less expensive than employee travel for face-to-face meetings. Another product is Microsoft Live meeting: over IP offers audio only. Services such as Skype allow you to place a telephone call through your computer, over the Internet. You must first download some software and then invite the individual you want to talk with to become part of your phone book. If you have a microphone and speakers you can carry on a conversation without the cost of long distance. One advantage of Skype is that you can connect up to 10 individuals in a conference call, from all over the world.
  • Podcasts are so popular that students should be familiar with it. Podcasts can be audio only, or audio and video. They are excellent for hands-on training in the work environment and for mobile learning. The learner can bring them up any time, anywhere they have Internet access. There are public servers where you can store them, or you can store them on a local server to keep access restricted to your employees. Blogging became popular in 2004-2006. At one time, everyone appeared to be blogging. Some blogs have become well established based on interest in the discussion topic. Other blogs are essentially an individual’s personal journal that they have decided to make public. Therefore, not all blogs are useful to all people. They can be useful as a place for discussion about a project because it is always possible to look back through the postings to follow the thread of the discussion. They are also useful for sharing information and documents with individuals around the world. They can be open-access or member-based. Anyone with Internet access and the blog address can view the information, so no special software needs to be purchased or downloaded.
  • Wikipedia is probably the best-known wiki in use. Unfortunately, in some instances, it has given the use of wikis a bad name. The challenge with wikis is that members can edit any or all of the information posted to the page, giving no guarantee of accuracy. Some colleges and universities have prohibited their students from using Wikipedia as a reference in research papers. Access to a wiki can be limited, thereby making the flexibility of the software useful for collaboration, information sharing and document creation.
  • Webinars have become one of the most common distance training tools used. The advantage is that they can be viewed live or stored for later retrieval. It is easy to sign up to receive regular announcements about an organization’s training schedule. Although individuals must register to participate in a webinar, many are free. There are many organizations who will host webinars; they can be located through an Internet search.Learning management systems are excellent tools for those who are training the same group of individuals on a regular basis. Each learner requires an account to access their class or training session. Learning management systems are good training tools because they keep all of the training information and communication together in one specific place. However, they can be complex to learn and frequently require extensive technology support to install, set up and maintain.
  • Capture tools are useful if instruction is offered in a face-to-face classroom; it can be captured live and then made available so learners at a distance can view it, or any learner can access for review.Captivate captures live instruction and broadcasts it as a webinar or a podcast.Camtasia is an example of a screen recorder that allows you to capture information on your screen while narrating the activity. The capture can then be streamed or podcast for access through a computer or handheld device. This can be used to create training documents with step-by-step visuals.Aggregators are typically used by individuals to help them manage their own resources. They can also be used by an organization to collect important resources and then direct their employees to them. They are great time-savers because the user has only one location to visit, which contains all the information from multiple locations that fit the designated criteria.
  • Social bookmarking: Users save links to web pages they want to remember and/or share. These bookmarks can be saved privately, shared with specified people or groups, shared inside intranets, or another combination of public and private domain.This is a relatively new technology. It is used for easy organization and retrieval of information from disparate places.Example: From Google, allows individuals anywhere to read, review, and edit documents simultaneously. From Microsoft, supports creation of “mashups”--constructs that let users work together to combine data from different sources. Second Life This is a virtual world where individuals create their own avatar (a digital representation of themselves) and can travel around in the world communicating with others who are present. It is free for trial purposes, but people have spent quite a bit of money on Second Life. It is easy to create your own ‘person’, then start on Help Island to learn how to get around and how to communicate. This is a fairly new technology and a number of institutions have purchased their own islands within Second Life ($2,000 for educational institutions) to determine if instruction is feasible. It is important to be familiar with Second Life, because many businesses have established a presence in it. For example, real estate agencies can list property across the country, and those interested can view them.
  • There are many advantages; a few are listed. Have students brainstorm and add to this list.You could delete the list from this slide and add as they brainstorm the advantages, or ask them to brainstorm before showing this slide.
  • Again, you could delete the points from this slide and add as students brainstorm, or ask them to brainstorm before you show the slide.Some of the challenges of asynchronous communication include:Misunderstanding due to lack of tone and inflection or facial cues.Technology can be costly.Troubleshooting for users, especially at a distance, can be time-consuming.Challenges for synchronous communication includes:Participants in different time zones can find it difficult to find a common time to get together.Have the students brainstorm and add to the list on the slide.
  • Possible companies:Adobe (Capture software)Polycom (audio & video conferencing) Blackboard (LMS)Moodle (LMS)ElementK (LMS)Camtasia (capture) Open Source (LMS) Desire2Learn (LMS)WikiSpaces (WIKI)Facebook (social networking) (Blog) Traction Software (Blog)Lybson (podcasting)Switchpod (podcasting)Ipressroom (podcasting)When researching technology for personal purchase or to recommend purchase, it is important to collect thorough information: Company or product Description Contact information Cost – is it a one-time cost or license fee? Limitations on participation – how many can use or participate at one time? Support provided Advantages and disadvantages Most common usesYou might also want to ask for references (who else is using the product and their contact information).
  • This assignment asks learners to look more closely at a product or technology. It prepares them to ask the right questions when considering adoption and use within an organization.
  • Communicating with Technology

    2. 2. THE EFFECT OF TECHNOLOGY According to a 2007 American Society of Training and Development (ASTD) State of the Industry report:  The use of technology-based training increased to 30.28 percent in 2006, up from 11.47 percent in 2001.  Nearly 40 percent of Bench Marking Forum (BMF) organizations said they used technology-based training.  Nearly 36 percent of the BEST (determined by enterprise-wide success as a result of employee learning and development) organizations said they used technology-based training.  The average direct expenditure for training, per employee, was $1,040, or 2.33 percent of payroll.  The second most covered training content was IT and systems skills. 2
    3. 3. ASTD: BEST TECHNOLOGY PERFORMANCE INITIATIVES Technology is being used in organizations to:  Create communities of practice and facilitate collaboration.  Develop knowledge management systems.  Develop online documentation systems.  Provide easy access to standards and manuals.  Reduce training costs. 3
    4. 4. STAYING UP-TO-DATE Staying up-to-date with instructional and communication technology is important.  Technology reduces the cost of training and/or the cost and time required to travel to training events.  Distributed training provides professional development for all employees, thereby supporting commitment to employee growth. It can also shorten the time required to bring a new employee up to speed in an organization.  Technology such as training via simulation reduces wear and tear on equipment and improves time to efficiency.  The use of technology for instruction and communication can increase an organization’s ability to share information quickly and efficiently, and to stay current in their particular field.  Technology allows for rapid content development and easy updating. User-generated documents allow subject matter experts (SMEs) to develop content that is more exact and designed from experience. 4
    5. 5. STAYING UP-TO-DATE: PROFESSIONAL ORGANIZATIONS CAN HELP  American Society of Training and Development (ASTD);  Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM);  Association of Educational Communications and Technology (AECT);  International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE); 5
    6. 6. STAYING UP-TO-DATE  American Association for Adult and Continuing Education (AAACE);  EDUCAUSE: Transforming Education Through Information Technologies;  Association for the Advancement of Computing in Education; 6
    7. 7. HOW TO STAY UP-TO-DATE: READ! Refereed or research journals:  TechTrends (AECT).  Journal of eLearning.  Educational Technology, Research and Development (AECT).  American Journal of Distance Education.  EDUCAUSE Review (EDUCAUSE).  Training and Development (ASTD). Free Journals:  Technology and Learning.  T.H.E., Technology in Higher Education.  Campus Technology.  eLearn. 7
    8. 8. WHY IS IT IMPORTANT TO STAY UP-TO-DATE? Reflection  Outline an action plan you can use stay current on the latest technology. Include:  Organizations to investigate.  Journals to read.  Workshops/trainings to attend.  Topics to learn more about.  Keep this action plan for your own professional development. 8
    9. 9. INSTRUCTIONAL AND COMMUNICATION TECHNOLOGY Two-way communication on the Internet, also known as Web 2.0, has increased the number of options we have for communication and delivery of instruction. There are two ways of communication: synchronous and asynchronous. Communication that is immediate is synchronous. Communication that is delayed (such as email) is asynchronous. What kinds of technology do you commonly use for communication? What kinds of technology do you commonly use for learning? 9
    10. 10. SYNCHRONOUS VS. ASYNCHRONOUS Synchronous: Occurs at the same time and allows for immediate communication. Asynchronous: Occurs at different times and allows for time to think, reflect, and gain additional information before responding. 10
    11. 11. SYNCHRONOUS COMMUNICATION Interactive Video: Live two-way audio and video. Runs on the Internet. Point-to-point or multi-point (Polycom). Requires camera, microphone and high-speed Internet. Allows for up to 30 simultaneous connections. Voice Over IP (VOIP): Internet telephone. Requires installation (free) and headset. A camera is optional. Allows for up to 10 simultaneous video; unlimited audio only. Skype is an example: 11
    12. 12. ASYNCHRONOUS COMMUNICATION Podcasts: One-way communication to disperse information, recorded audio and/or video. Information is stored on a streaming server (I- tunes) and is downloadable for later use. Requires a handheld or computer, speakers or headphones. Anyone with the link can view. Examples are viewable at Blogs: Two-way communication which allows for sharing of text, digital images or video. Requires a computer and speakers if audio is used. Can be closed or open to public. Examples viewable at 12
    13. 13. ASYNCHRONOUS COMMUNICATION Wikis: Wikis can be used as knowledge management tools. They can store definitions, documents, training videos, company policies, and more.  Google Docs:  Wikipedia:  Pmwiki (download and host):  Web-based wiki services: Pbwiki:  Social text:; 13
    14. 14. BOTH Webinars: Provide one-way video and two-way audio. These are typically viewed live but can be saved and streamed for one-way delivery of information. Examples related to classroom technology are viewable at Learning Management Systems: Typically provide many services; asynchronous includes discussion (similar to a blog), email. Content areas include text, audio, video, etc.  Blackboard:  Open Source: 14
    15. 15. OTHER TECHNOLOGY Capture tools:  Capture live instruction for later distribution, either streaming or in a package.  Adobe’s Captivate:  Camtasia: Aggregators:  These are management tools with which the user sets parameters and the aggregator will pull together information from multiple sources to one location for reading. 15
    16. 16. OTHER TECHNOLOGY Social bookmarking: Users save links to web pages that they want to remember and/or share. These bookmarks can be saved privately, shared with specified people or groups, shared inside intranets, or another combination of public and private domain. Examples:, Second Life: A virtual world where individuals create their own avatar and can then travel around in the world communicating with others who are present. Example: 16
    17. 17. ADVANTAGES OF USING TECHNOLOGY FOR COMMUNICATION AND TRAINING Advantages: 1. Most technology allows for direct sharing of information. 2. Many technologies provide a permanent or storable record of information shared. 3. Information can be retrieved and reviewed again. 4. It can increase communication and productivity. 5. It can reduce training costs. 17
    18. 18. DISADVANTAGES OF USING TECHNOLOGY FOR COMMUNICATION AND TRAINING Disadvantages: 1. Indirect communication can result in misunderstanding. 2. Challenges for synchronous communication includes reaching people in different time zones. 3. Technology and support costs can be significant depending on the skills of the individuals who will be participating. 4. Copyright questions can arise as to who owns the materials you create, and permission to use other’s work. 5. Technology problems can interrupt communication. 18
    19. 19. COMPANIES AND PRODUCTS Brainstorm companies and products available. If you were to evaluate a technology, what information would you need to research? 19
    20. 20. ACTIVITY Select a company or product. Research the following information and summarize it in a one- page, report. Share it in the space below, but detail the following information:  Company or product  Description; common uses  Contact information  Cost  Limitations on participation  Support provided  Advantages and disadvantages 20