When all the chatter first started about the then forthcoming Apple Watch, my mind immediately turned to how wearable devices could be “next big thing” in digital learning. I started to visualise scenarios of engineers, perched high in precarious places, looking to their wrist for helpful instructions about what they should do next. Then one of my technology partners reminded me that you needed to have your iPhone nearby and that it wouldn’t really offer much without that connected device. A valid point. In your average scenario, if having to choose between the tiny watch screen and the larger one on my smartphone, most people would realistically choose the latter. So I stopped thinking about wearables.
It’s been said that we are a generation of YouTubers and it is quite literally possible to learn just about anything from an online video. Long gone are the days when the corporate L&D world had to rely on a small number of “classic” generic video tapes procured from two or three providers who dominated this market. Gone too are the times when you’d set the video playing and leave the room for 30 minutes to get on with something else, then return with the crib sheet from the video vendor’s trainer’s guide. Well at least I hope so. And no longer do you have to spend Hollywood level amounts to commission bespoke video. Back in 1996, a five-minute video cost me a staggering £25,000.