This is a guest post by Tarun Reddy, Digital Marketing Manager at 16best.net, expert in Market Research, SEO, Inbound marketing, content marketing, and lead generation. firstname.lastname@example.org
Technology has surely come a long way. Who’d have thought online schooling could be a full blown actuality? Yet, eLearning today is changing our lives for the better. Millennials stand to benefit the most from this digital revolution. The first generation to grow up with technology in its truest sense, they know the world is not bound by geography or time anymore. Anything they want is just a click away. And let it be known, these digital natives are not just about unicorn frappuccinos and Snapchat; self-development and knowledge rank very high on their lists.
eLearning is just what it sounds like. It’s the use of electronic technology for educational purposes, shifting the concept of traditional classrooms to our favorite digital devices. We’ve all heard of Coursera and Udemy. These eLearning platforms have opened a vista of opportunities for those willing to learn. Be it graphic designing or medical science, theater acting or corporate leadership, writing fiction or an academic thesis – there’s nothing you can’t find on these sites. Although did you know the seeds of eLearning have been around for much longer? We’re talking about Plato. Not the ancient Greek philosopher but the first computer assisted instruction (CAI) system. Created in 1960 by Donald L. Bitzer, schools and businesses have had a long history of using CAI. But it wasn’t until the 2000s and the global explosion of social networking sites that eLearning truly took off.
Today, this industry is worth a whopping $165 billion. North America accounts for most of the revenue, but other regions are catching up fast. In this day and age, when information is power, nobody can afford the damage caused by a stagnant skill set. Evolving with the times is a necessity. And nobody knows how to do this better than the millennials.
eLearning And Millennials: A Perfect Match
These two are truly a match made in heaven. Here’s why.
The term millennial refers to anyone born in the timeframe between the early 1980s and the early 2000s – right when technology was booming. Unlike others of the previous generations who had to learn to work their way around even basic technology, these young kids are, it seems, born with the genes. With a pen and paper, they may falter a little but give them a digital screen and they will shine. This inclination towards anything that is technology means they are all for the concept of eLearning.
We all know how hyper-connected the millennials are. They have a need to be in the know of things at all times; this is why social networking is such a big deal. Constantly on their digital devices, millennials expect connectivity from the other side as well. After all, a disconnected system is inefficient for everyone. The biggest bane with traditional learning is how it doesn’t support the digital interface. However, eLearning makes accessing education possible from any part of the world and anytime you choose. Millennials vie for feedback. A generic “great work” remark doesn’t do much for them. They need to know what it is that they did right and the exact areas of improvement. Even in early schooling, individualized feedback and attention are preferable to the “one size fits all” approach that many educational institutions tend to take. With eLearning, though, they are part of a constant loop of feedback and are given new goals to accomplish. They can keep track of their progress, self-monitor their way into more knowledge, and learn more efficiently than they ever can in the bounded classroom with hundreds of others.
Unlike what the media keeps portraying them as, millennials are extremely dedicated to self-development. The yogilates class that’s all the rage with them? That isn’t just a whim but a deep-rooted desire to be better. In earlier eras, changes took place much slower; our great-grandparents never really experienced any drastic shift of worldview. Today, things are transforming by the minute. Millennials are bang in the middle of the daily revolution and they are taking it in stride. Standing still, they know, means being pushed out of the rat race. Gulping down new skills and evolving into better, more efficient people is a necessity now. And eLearning is the easiest way to make it happen. If you want to know what the next big thing is, ask a millennial. Chances are not only they know it like the back of their hand, they are also neck deep in it.
With an on the go lifestyle and a constant lookout for the next great adventure, eLearning is their best friend. Millennials are highly achievement-oriented, driven, and genuinely love mastering new skills – the more, the better. But with juggling all the tasks they do, how can they go about learning the latest skills? eLearning does not only facilitate all the learning their heart’s desire but ensures that bite-sized information doesn’t overwhelm the learner. The attention span of millennials is notoriously low. Good luck having them hooked on anything for longer than 20 minutes. Micro-learning might be the answer here. The short yet informative videos you see on Khan Academy? That’s micro-learning. These are basically morsel of information, granular, varying, and most importantly, concise. Micro eLearning modules make learning much more engaging for young wandering minds. In fact, they improve understanding, application levels, and retention by as much as 30%.
What Makes eLearning Great
Now that we know millennials and eLearning go hand in hand, let’s also understand how eLearning works and what makes it an amazing learning solution for every one of us.
Are you ever in control in a classroom? You study a course, designed to the T for you, but by facilitators who don’t take your individual needs into accounts, and it is highly likely they are completely out of touch with the reality of the outside world. In an eLearning environment, you are a king. You choose a course of your liking and a syllabus you find engaging. You choose your pace, revisit a topic as many times as you like, and are in complete control of how you choose to study.
Not everyone looking to develop herself is a young student. Many professionals, at different stages of their careers, want to grow their skill sets, maybe for a career switch or just to be better at their jobs. Years ago, however, there was not much one could do except pray for a training program by the office. Today though, more power belongs to the employees. Develop any relevant skills and impress your colleagues with the flexibility of eLearning.
Got 30 minutes to spare? Instead of scrolling the Facebook newsfeed, you can simply do a bit of learning on the side without having to leave your house or office. Don’t believe it will work? Here are the numbers. The 53% of employees claim eLearning increased their productivity and engagement.
It’s not just individuals who can benefit from eLearning. Organizations are working it to their advantage too. With industries spinning 180 degrees being the new normal, employers are often at their wit’s end, trying to train their employees. After all, introducing the latest software or new techniques to a huge number of people is no easy task. And it’s definitely not cheap. Some companies can simply not afford to constantly keep employees updated; the costs are meteoric and anything they manage to learn will soon become a thing of the past. This is the making of a failing business.
eLearning, however, is a cost-effective solution to your office training needs. Once you have a top-notch Learner Management System (LMS), training the entire organization is much simpler as long as you have the necessary resources and an engaging interface for your employees.
Join The eLearning Revolution
The jack of all trades is the one who is most in demand these days. Specialization, although great, is simply not as important as it used to be. A working knowledge on as many fields as possible and adaptability is what the world wants right now.
If you don’t want to fall behind in the race, it’s time to upgrade yourself. There are tonnes of eLearning sites you can check out. Coursera and Udemy are, of course, well known to us all. They even provide Ivy League university certified courses! If you don’t find what you’re looking for, there’s also Lynda, Udacity, Open Culture, edX, Tuts+ and plenty more for you to try.
These are all asynchronous platforms. That means you don’t have to study or avail resource materials in real time. Anybody who is enrolled can access course material at any time of their choosing. When you’ve got the internet at your fingertips, there is no excuse for a skill gap anymore. Forget the skill gap, for those of us who love the high of knowledge, eLearning is a godsend. No topic is out of limits, and nor are there any restraints holding you back. Enroll in a course right now to become the best version of yourself.