What Qualifies as Learning Technology?

top 100 learning technologies

There are plenty of conferences dedicated to discussing “learning technology,” but we rarely pause to think about what that really means. What does it take to be defined as “learning technology”?

Jane Hart is currently hosting a vote for the Top 100 Tools for Learning. Jane is a learning expert, author, and blogger extraordinaire with a focus on modernizing workplace learning in order make training initiatives more relevant and more continuous. On her site “Centre for Learning and Performance Technologies,” she curates the list of Top 100 Tools for Learning as well as a Directory of Learning and Performance Tools and Services, which has over 1,000 entries.

We were honored when some of our customers brought this list to our attention and intrigued to find that when considering tools for learning, Jane does not limit the list to what most people think of for learning tech. In fact, some of her examples include Google and Microsoft Office. When we are used to expo halls full of LMS, MOOCs, and more, it is strange to think of the generic corporate software suite as “learning tools.”

office learning technology

Yet these tools actually are instrumental to training teams getting their jobs done. In fact, training consultant Gus Prestera shows how to use one PowerPoint file for an entire course. The truth is that while advanced software like learning management systems are important, everyday technology is essential to learning teams.

We know this very well at Mimeo. Many learning professionals rely on Mimeo Print’s technology, which makes it easy to distribute physical training materials to multiple locations on-demand. Yet when they see us at conferences like ATD, they are often surprised to hear we have other applications that are even more closely aligned with training objectives. Since they think of us as a generic corporate partner, they don’t realize that we are actually a learning tool.

The truth is that Mimeo Marketplace and Mimeo Digital were both developed out of our partnerships with learning organizations (offering both internal and external training). In the case of Marketplace, a major food franchise expressed how they needed a central site from which their facilitators at regional locations could order training content, so we developed the solution of custom-branded storefronts (like this one!). When we began offering digital content, we listened to our customers’ frustrations with their current learning technology systems and came up with our digital distribution platform, designed with only the features that L&D teams actually need.

The bottom line is that you don’t need to be a Learning Management System to be a “learning technology.” In fact, sometimes the simpler the tool, the better solution.

 

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Free L&D Toolkit: Top 10 Things to Consider When Delivering Training Digitally

Whether you’re struggling to reach more mobile learners, keep the ones in front of you engaged, or start an entire digital training program from scratch, this toolkit will help.

 

 


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