February 24, 2022
Digitalization is changing the way people learn, and not just because in-person learning became so difficult with pandemic lockdowns. Trends such as mobile, micro and adaptive learning, gamification and virtual reality already were beginning to exert an influence in technical education and training. In order to further these and other trends, Festo Didactic has developed a digital learning portal – the Festo Learning Experience, or Festo LX – to make it easier to create individual learning experiences for teachers and learners. The premise in launching the portal is that in tomorrow’s industrial world, the knowledge and skills acquired to launch one’s career will not be enough. New technologies will emerge, changing job requirements and challenging employees and managers to keep up.
“More so than ever, one’s technical education won’t end with graduation, everyone will need to continually upgrade their qualifications,” says Greg James, Festo Didactic regional sales manager for Western Canada. “That not only will require an understanding of new technologies, but also how to work interactively with them, even collaboratively, as they redefine job and skill requirements. For employers, assisting employees in getting that knowledge and experience will be a competitive advantage, even a necessity. Providing the most effective education tools and programs also will give them a leg up in recruiting and retention.”
Trends in basic and advanced training In creating Festo LX, Festo Didactic realized that different learning tools, vehicles and methods are required. Digital learning solutions are a dime a dozen, but don’t necessarily reflect the needs of learners. Festo LX focusses on the growing need for more individualized learning. It provides resources for various technical training professions in small bites which can be individually assembled into courses and entire learning paths. Varied formats such as videos, animations, simulations, text units or small quizzes ensure there is no room for boredom. Existing courses can be modified as desired. New content in text, image or video format can be easily added and assigned to the learners. Available online, independent of time and place, Festo LX fits in with the habits of young learners, who are well versed with technology such as smartphones or tablets.
One way to address the students of today is micro learning, where small, self-contained portions of knowledge are taught. Festo LX learning units are very short with a clearly defined learning goal. They can be grasped quickly and assembled in modules, so trainers and educators can address each learner’s needs from different starting points. Using smartphones or tablets, lessons can be taught any time of day from anywhere. Virtual reality and augmented reality can be incorporated into lessons. With VR glasses, a learner dives into a virtual learning world. Augmented reality folds in information via a scanned QR code. Trainees can be catapulted into future roles via VR. Digital formats are a complement to in-person, hand-on learning. The latter remains essential.
“The combination of hands-on training and online content lets participants get the full potential of the educational experience,” says Greg James.
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