|New Training Technologies (ILO - UNEVOC, 1995, 95 p.)|
It is now a commonplace to say that we are living in a fast changing world, but do we have the needed resources and infrastructure in place in order to cope with this situation? In particular, do we have the education and training systems offering everyone the possibility to be retrained as many times as necessary in the best possible conditions according to his or her specific situation? And where this system is offered, have people changed their mentality, their approach to learn permanently in accordance with changing jobs in an active life?
New Training Technologies (NTTs) are not the panacea, but they may contribute to a large extent to the development of both the necessary attitudes and educational opportunities for lifelong learning. They may help to provide students with the necessary knowledge and skills to access the labour market or to retrain people so that they can adapt to evolving jobs.
Technologies have progressively invaded our life, sometimes to our surprise! The television brings to everybody, at home, world news, movies, culture, entertainment, and sometimes education. Banking operations and more recently telebanking can be performed using credit or bank cards. Computers control city traffic, capture satellite images for the weather forecast, and now control "intelligent" buildings. Teleworking becomes another possibility, either to avoid losing time in heavy traffic, or work at home when access to the workplace is not necessary.
Adults sometimes find it difficult to accept, absorb, "digest", use new technologies, but interestingly enough young people do not. They were born in our technological world and easily find their way: they use television and audiovisual equipment, they play with video games, they use computers without any preconceived ideas.
Business and industry have adopted most of existing technologies, and this is probably a matter of survival for them. Well used, technologies indeed improve effectiveness and may be necessary to fight competition.
But strangely enough, education and training do not yet use technologies intensively. When discussing the reasons for that, one generally says that education budgets are too small to afford technologies, that teachers are not trained to use them and have the impression that technologies will replace them, or at least considerably change their role, etc.
This is partly true, but we have to take two facts into consideration:
· the irreversible move from teaching to learning (sometimes called the new paradigm). Those who need to know, adults or young people, have to learn through all their life and may not have the opportunity to take formal courses at school or university. Part of their additional education or training will be performed at home, at the workplace, or anywhere else (continuing education, open learning, just-in-time training, self-study). Hence the importance of "learning how to learn" to be taught at school and at the university, and then to have in place the necessary infrastructure for a lifelong training;
· the borders between learning, playing games, or discovering cultural subjects are becoming fuzzier and fuzzier, and this induces the production and distribution of educational packages which are appreciable different from what they used to be: multimedia interactive packages about various subject matters replace more traditional educational material and render learning easier and more pleasant
In this document, we shall first discuss the reasons why NTTs may be used in education and training (Chapter 1: "New Technologies and Training'). Chapter 2: "Delivery mechanism and available NTTs" presents information on how NTTs can be used in group and individual learning. A methodology is then suggested to select the most appropriate NTT for a particular curriculum or course (Chapter 3: "Selecting the right NTTs"). Chapter 4: Implementing NTTs in a Training environment" offers practical hints for introducing NTTs in a training institution. Finally, trends for the next few years are mentioned in order to help make the best possible investment (Chapter 5: "Trends in NTTs"). Technical aspects of NTTs description are presented in the Appendices in order not to disturb the reader who does not need them. A Glossary briefly describes the most important terminology used in the document.