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Take a More Hands-On Approach with Digital Training

Jan. 08, 2019
Michael Watkins

It was 1997 when I took my first Computer-Based Training (CBT). This was my first exposure to technology-delivered training. Beyond the novelty, I found it neither engaging nor really that educational. What made it interesting to me, an aspiring IT guru at the time, was the fact I could learn something without having to “go” to a class. Convenience remains an alluring course feature today, as students migrate from traditional classroom environments to digital learning.

Learning has advanced far past my CBT training in 1997. Today, Global Knowledge’s on-demand offerings support the student who values convenience while also seeking ease of access to cutting-edge training.

More than video

When I look around it seems that everyone has a digital learning offering but how can someone judge what is best for them? This evaluation begins with the distinction between “information” and “education.” You’re probably nodding while silently asking “what do you mean by that?” Let me give you an example.

If I was curious about Windows Server 2016, I have any number of choices to gain information. I could read about its features in white papers, I could watch videos from a variety of sources on YouTube, or I could ask a friend in IT what they think of it. Each of these sources would provide me with information. I would walk away from these encounters better informed but not necessarily better able to work productively with Windows Server 2016.

Much of today’s digital learning is like this. Despite the streaming videos and animated drawings, at the end of the experience the user is simply better informed but not truly prepared to execute critical activities with the technology. To be able to acquire the skills necessary to work with today’s complex technologies, you need education, not just information. So, what’s the difference again?

Gain hands-on experience

As a 20-plus year veteran of technology and business skills learning, my practical definition of education is simply the ability to move from knowledge acquisition to demonstrable acquisition of skills. That’s where the approach of on-demand stands apart from the great majority of today’s digital learning options.

Watching a video, even one with excellent product demonstrations, is not enough to help a learner truly acquire the skills necessary to be successful. The learner needs to have access to the technology to gain hands-on experience.

“Hands-on access” is more than a marketing term; this is where the learner can put into practice the knowledge they have acquired. This is a critical step in the learning process, particularly for long-term learning, the type that translates into skills acquisition and success day-to-day on the job.

Making sure your learning investment pays off

At Global Knowledge, we provide a complete learning experience that blends the convenience of digital learning with the ability to consume the learning at your own pace, while being supported by experts along the way. We help learners cement their education through access to hands-on, challenge-based labs and activities that are structured to move the learner from initial acquisition of knowledge through skills acquisition to the ability to tackle on-the-job scenarios.

By taking this holistic approach, we move past the clutter of today’s digital learning marketplace with tremendous amounts of information. We also assure individuals and their organizations that their learning investment will noticeably translate into job-ready skills to successfully work with today’s technologies and business processes.

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