Lunchtime Links: How Technology Is Driving Changes in Education

The impact of digital learning on education—and how it applies to your association. Plus: An enterprise professional's opinion on scrapping the HR department.

The impact of digital learning on education—and how it applies to your association. Plus: an enterprise professional’s opinion on scrapping the HR department.

Today’s modern-day classroom has shifted far from your grade-school memories. Technology, when applied in education, permits an incredible range of learning possibilities—something to consider when upgrading your association’s educational programs.

The learning trends, and more, in today’s Lunchtime Links:

Smart board: Times change, systems adapt—and learning evolves. From virtual conferences to platforms for teachers to self-publish, advances in education technology fuel upgrades in entrepreneurial learning, writes Celissa Steele of the consulting and research firm Tagoras. Today’s learning trends, like flipped classrooms and virtual conferences, inspire organizations to rethink the learning opportunities they provide. But while today’s education market is “wide open” and “increasingly competitive,” the old-school tradition of providing credible and trustworthy content remains important, she reminds. How have you incorporated today’s learning trends into your education services?

Skimming the surface: It’s that time of the year again—your employer’s holiday gift of the ever-exciting performance review. But, as consultant and author Jamie Notter asks, why do companies still struggle with performance reviews, despite system and technological advances? “We are not trying to monitor and control parts in a machine,” he says, yet companies often use a misguided process to tackle the complexity of reviewing people. The review should provide an evaluation that helps an individual employee improve technically in the job, but performance of the organization’s systems is important too and can’t be overlooked. What works—and what doesn’t—in your organization’s performance reviews?

For the people, by the people: Human resources departments serve employees’ critical interests, but not everyone thinks the current HR model works well. Here’s one opinion from that angle, from enterprise performance expert Bernard Marr: “HR departments often portray themselves as a valued business partner for management and staff alike. However, how can anyone take a department seriously that refers to people as ‘resources’?” The problem, he writes, is that HR departments “serve two masters,” positioned as they are between employees and the C-suite. “This conflict of interest can cause friction, and in many instances HR departments swing to the ‘support the company’ side, rather than the ‘support the employees’ side,” Marr says. He suggests scratching the HR department and replacing with a “people analytics team” and a “people support team.” The result: separate entities that can better cater to employee and company interests. Agree? Disagree?

What improvements have you made to your approach to human resources? Tell us in the comments.


Emma Beck

By Emma Beck

Emma Beck is a contributor to Associations Now. MORE

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