Integrating the latest technology into learning sounds well and good, but often the task can seem daunting to an institution that has not done it before. Be it for a university setting, or a corporation, there are four main methods of using technology with learning. In some cases, all four stages (as originally mentioned by TeachThought) are necessary for the topic at hand, but then there are other situations which call for specific strategies. Many of these methods are employed in higher education already, but I can see a steady growth in the for-profit sector as well.
1. Directed: In the directed approach, learners are guided in their use of the technology that is assisting them with their learning. Closed-off simulations are a good example. In most of the consulting projects I was on, this was major learning approach for us. It often involved creating a “test” environment of a new software and then creating simulations in programs like Articulate and Captivate that replicated the real environment.
2. Access: This is a the stage that is characterized by access to information, networks, and communities, but is mostly unable to leverage the access available without additional supporting frameworks or considerable planning. Here there is some ability for the learner to select a platform, technology, or possibly content.
3. Mobile: The mobile technology available today is knocking down the walls of a traditional classroom. Institutions that are truly mobile today are poised to disrupt non-flexible curriculum. Mobile based initiatives within learning are still rather unpredictable, requiring various communication methods.
4. Self-Directed: The final, and ultimate goal, of implementing technology into any learning program is the self-directed stage. Here, the learners are required to consistently self-direct critical, core components of their learning – be in on-the-job criteria or educational disciplines.