Somewhere in South Africa, an L&D Manager is sitting on her couch, wine glass and tablet in hand. She devours yet another video of the awe-inspiring training tech mushrooming up around the globe. And sighs.
These inventions are the elixirs to our unique educational problems, but we are yet to discover a way to bottle it in our digitally deprived state. How would she describe the impact that technology is having on L&D endeavours at her organisation?
This was one of the main questions asked in The Eventful Group’s 2019 research report* into L&D Innovation in South Africa: a third of our companies reported no impact at all, and almost 10% confessed to a negative effect.
The reason for our country’s lag in adopting L&D technology is not a mystery. It is the perfect storm brewed up by deficient digital infrastructure, government policies that fail to bring revolutionary change in education, and legacy learning models that are not keeping up with global research.
However, thanks to the passionate, can-do attitude of our local L&D community, those doom and gloom sighs are promptly replaced by a glance at the horizon: How can we adapt and thrive digitally? How exactly is technology changing Learning and Development? How do we keep the best of both worlds: our humanity and progress?
When The Eventful Group unearthed these questions in their research, they boosted the representation of Learning and Development at their annual HR conference to introduce the first-ever HR + L&D Innovation & Tech Fest. Here’s a sneak preview of how their impressive selection of industry-leading, award-winning speakers will be tackling these questions in Rosebank on 26 and 27 August 2019.
How Can South Africa’s L&D Adapt and Thrive Digitally?
“If you do not understand and embrace digitalization as an L&D Exec, then you risk becoming irrelevant,” warns Shaun Dippnall, CEO of EXPLORE Software, in his talk on day 1. With stories of his 7-year journey and compelling case studies, he sheds light on the difficulties and rewards of becoming a digital-first Learning and Development company.
On day 2, Wayne Mott, Senior Advisor at Agilite Consulting in Australia, challenges what we believe about our own L&D digitalisation: “Is it really turning the principles of learning on its head?”; and point rookies in the right direction, “What do you need to do right now? Where do you invest?”. He’ll probe the role of machine learning and Artificial Intelligence (AI) in the realm of training, and urges us to “act now, or we will be left behind.”
How Exactly is Technology Changing Learning and Development?
Statista, one of the most successful statistics databases in the world, recently delved into learning technologies used by L&D departments worldwide – specifically the growth of various channels between 2018 and 2019. Video learning showed the biggest jump of 28%, followed by a 16% increase in games and learning simulations. How would South Africa stack up?
Rob Bothma is a Strategic Business Solution Engineer at Oracle. On the second day of the conference, he’ll tell us how employees use gamification, artificial intelligence and chatbots to design their own learning journeys based on their unique career goals and through “flexible hybrid learning paths with content accessible on their cell phones.”
Speaking of mobiles, remember the Pokémon GO craze of 2017? Then you need no introduction to Augmented Reality (AR). Sometimes confused with Virtual Reality (VR) that exists solely in digital form, AR superimposes digital content on the real world through screens or AR goggles. Statista revealed that AR users increased from 60 million in 2013 to 200 million in 2018.
Using AR in training and development gives new meaning to the phrase “hands-on learning”: its engaging and experiential nature has revolutionized medical education and is making training in the manufacturing industry exceedingly safer.
On home soil, Anglo American Platinum introduced AR into their in-house HR and training programme, Manning for Success (M4S) in 2017. Senior Functional Specialist and AR ideas guru Hugo Coetzee shares their journey on the same day.
How Do We Keep The Best of Both Worlds: Our Humanity and Progress?
“The robot is the new sabre-toothed tiger,” says Tricia Jones, Capacity Builder at Innovative Capacity Building Solutions, on day 2. She explains how our perception of threat sends us into survivalist mode where we “cling even tighter to traditional ideas about jobs and one-size-fits-all people practices.” But she also shows us another way – one that will re-awaken the power of human potential.
Elmarie Grant from Webber Wentzel points out an all-too-common dilemma for L&D managers like herself: “How do we navigate the tightrope between the relentless drive for technology and innovation and our ingrained human resistance to change?” Find out on day 1 if she believes there are benefits to remaining human as AI becomes an integral part of employee training.
Interested in joining your forward-looking L&D community members at the first HR + L&D Innovation & Tech Fest? You can ogle the full agenda here.
*The Eventful Group’s 2019 L&D Innovation Research Report – get your copy here.
Get Your Tickets
If you’re reading this before or on 2 August, you’re in luck – the Early Bird tickets are still available at R12,995 excl. VAT (standard tickets are R14,995 excl. VAT).
You’ll dine like the king or queen you are and get the (electronic) keys to all the content and full participant contact list.
About The Author
Ilse de Vries is a human-development zealot and hopelessly excited about learning and development, in South Africa and in its digital incarnation. She is also an adventurous content strategist and content creator. Over the last two decades, she has honed her skills as a learning and marketing specialist in the UK, Japan and South Africa.