IT’S cheap, it’s available and it’s easy to use – so long as you’re digitally literate.
The tools and technologies available in the noughties is quite incredible. There is not one task I can think of that someone else has not already thought of a digital solution for, and most likely, already developed.
Recently, we proposed to a client the idea that they add value to the compliance seminars they organise to provide a Certificate for those in attendance. These people would go online, complete a test, and if they passed, receive a Certificate of Compliance. And the digital solution to this? Yes folks, it’s already developed. Well, not one solution but many! And searching through the various offerings, we can narrow the options down until we are satisfied that the solution pretty well matches what we want, perfectly. And the cost? Sometimes it’s free; other times its a monthly fee if we want to add in extra features. (Eg, Proprofs Quiz Maker) Or, take the case of a Skype recording device to record interviews over that free service for a Mac OSX – for $12.95! (Eg ECamm)
Remember the cumbersome technologies of the ’80s. Take the video camera. That was some apparatus that you carried around on your shoulder, and had to attend a training course to learn how to use it. Now most people record videos on their mobile phones, without even really thinking of it. Sure, the content quality may not always be good, but it’s technical quality and usability features are incredible. Ease of use is no longer an issue. Video cameras like Flip, or Sony Bloggie have features such as wide angled lenses, and record HD. Quality cameras ranging from $100 – $400.
For the 21st Century educator / trainer, there is no longer any excuse for not integrating these tools and technologies into everyday teaching practice, when analogue or print-based methods fail to meet the needs of the learners or the appropriate level of knowledge transfer.