Firstly lets be clear… the Pokémon GO explosion is pure brilliance in concept and execution. The adaptation of technology, understanding of the market and connecting the two in a mobile evolving environment is GOLD. How exciting would it be to see students standing around in groups using their mobile phone, conversing, seeking out, and battling for information relevant to their course of study? Impossible you say…no very possible. With imagination such a platform could be created. It comes down to the will to dare to be different. Hopefully you are getting the Pokémon references!
Here are three lessons you can learn from Pokémon GO to improve your students’ VET outcomes: Adapt, Adapt, Adapt.
Lesson Number 1: Adapt technology to meet demand
Pokémon GO adapted technology brilliantly. The old Gameboy system was great in its day but the use of Google maps, GPS and augmented reality technology has brought Pokémon onto your street and into your home. My son caught a Rattata in the garage! I have the Instagram to prove it…
How amazing! The training industry is still trying to train with a Gameboy mentality or worse, playing card mentality. As an industry we are well behind in adapting technology to deliver better training outcomes. Technology is used in different shapes and forms but not adapted to meet particular needs. For instance businesses all use computers, tablets and mobile phones, but how many RTO’s continue to use paper-based sign up, training plans, assessment and checklists.
My Profiling is a system for handling all these things electronically yet we continue to see RTOs that are resistant to making the transition from paper based. Management on the whole gets the need to adapt but is often held back by a unwillingness to adapt and adopt at the grass roots. I had a moment this week where I saw the possibility of adapting existing technology. While working with some observation checklists I realized I could radically reinvent the way we build and use checklists by adapting technology that already exists in My Profiling. More on that another day – suffice it to say it’s definitely creative!
Technology offers more ways of engaging users than you can imagine, literally. It doesn’t have to be a holographic interface, although that is a current option. It could easily be voice activated search engines like the one we are adding to our My Profiling app in its next release. Voice activated searching is about accessibility, accessibility leads to information, and information leads to learning, and learning leads to improved performance. Whatever the technology, adapt it to provide a better business outcomes.
Lesson Number 2: Adapt to the market
Search, find, capture, evolve and battle are the same principles as they were 20 years ago in Pokémon but in Pokémon GO they are delivered in a way that is relevant to the market of today. This isn’t so much about technology, although that plays a large part in the ability to do it different and better. It is more about providing your product in a format that is consistent with competing products.
Your competitor, as an RTO, isn’t other RTO’s. It is whatever is consuming the attention of your students at the moment. All those endless possibilities – Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, mobile games etc, provide the benchmark against which your service will be compared – compared for relevance, ease of access, interest, outcomes and rewards.
As an industry we have to compete for, not expect, the attention of students and that is what adapting to the market is all about. Providing training in such a way that a student will want to engage …… learning is the outcome, engagement is the aim.
Lesson Number 3: Adapt to different ways of thinking.
Adapting the way you think means you can get creative! Pokémon GO got it right when they took the fundamental principles of Pokémon (lets call that knowledge), got creative with how to interact with those principles and adapted technology to provide the outcome (lets call that delivery). I am sure the creators of Pokémon GO said, “Wouldn’t it be great if we could actually walk the neighborhood searching for Pokémon!” and then set about adapting goggle maps, using GPS and augmented reality software to come up with a beta app that turned over a billion dollars in the first week of its release!
Don’t limit the ideas by what technology you think is available, start with “Wouldn’t this be great?” or better still, “Market research says this would be great” and then adapt technology to deliver. So lets get creative! If you are going to get creative about Training and Assessing then one of the things you could do is separate the knowledge a student needs to do their job from the delivery of this information. Instead of determining the knowledge required and then finding a suitable way of making it accessible, lets turn it upside down and first think delivery.
Get creative about delivery. How will you go about adapting to the market demands of instant accessibility, relevance, enjoyment and stimulation? How will you adapt your training and assessing strategy to deliver to this generation of students? Then you can think about the knowledge. How you impart, make available and encourage access to the knowledge they require. You need to give students a reason to access information, and the easiest way to do that is to make it relevant to what they are doing.
I like to think that at My Profiling we are continually adapting, adapting, adapting, as we embrace new technology, seek relevance in the marketplace and brainstorm creative solutions.