3. Contextual learning as the integration of digital learning in a physical environment
Here are a few examples and figures that show that this is already starting and affecting our daily lives.
With the evolution of IOT technologies, it is possible to provide learning physically and in the right context. Indeed, the worldwide use of smartphones has recently surpassed 75%.
Some companies offer geolocation beacons for less than 10 euros. Both technologies are have become widely available.
From the mass increase in usage of apps like Yuka, we are using more and more barcodes and QR Codes to get information at the expense of search engines. A Yuka user could use Google to find the same information. It’s just easier to use Yuka.
Finally, the recent success of Pokémon Go also proves that virtual or increased reality has extensively been in use. Notably, it has forced smartphone manufacturer to integrate gyroscopes into even their cheapest products.
Today, it is therefore possible to contextualize training in the physical world. At anytime and anywhere, be it in offices, factories, stores, in your schools, you can have simplified access to learning.
Wouldn’t it be great if we could accelerate and improve onboarding of new employees by giving them the opportunity to visit their workplace (stores, offices, factories) through virtual reality?
What if we could meet our colleagues and quickly understand their role in the company while walking around the premises and receiving contextualized information from beacons?
What if we could improve safety in the factories by reminding them of safety instructions in real time?
What if we could finally get rid of 200-page user manuals and get the information we need simply by scanning a QR Code?
What if we could find out everything about a product by scanning its barcode or even just by taking a picture?
What if we could send notifications about the latest training content available, be it compliance or non-compliance, company news, or content recommendations?
The applications are endless.
As you will have understood, contextual learning is all about simplifying the access to content as well as providing it in the right way. The content should go to the user and not the other way around. That is to say, when they need it, everywhere, all the time.