It’s no doubt that technological advancements cause change. And these advancements don’t happen once a year or a few times a decade. No, technology jumps forward by the day, making it hard to keep up. (Apple always seems to release a new iPhone right after you buy the last one, right?) In 2018 alone, 3D metal printing became mainstream, AI began managing cloud-based systems by Amazon and Google, and we now have earbuds that can translate languages (OK, so that last one’s a bit clunky, but it still works!). And these are just a few highlights.

In 2019, we’re looking forward to some great new innovations, one of the most anticipated being 5G, which will open the roads to self-driving cars. But technology doesn’t only affect your car’s intelligence—it also affects the way we humans learn.

How technology affects learning

Technology is constantly pushing us to embrace new tools and processes. This is true not only in our daily lives, but also in our workplaces and schools. While learning itself won’t necessarily be revolutionized, an increase in efficiency from technology changes both how we learn and the overall role of learning professionals in corporations around the globe.

Technology places learning straight in the hands of the learner, both by using mobile learning tools, augmented and virtual reality, and even video games. (At the request of numerous professors, the Assassin’s Creed video game series created a violence-free version of ancient Egypt for learners to explore, complete with guided tours.) Using technology takes learning out of the classroom and gives learners the ability to adjust learning to their own timeframes and unique talents. This makes using technology for learning especially valuable for job training and enrichment.

The future is all about choice and data

As technology continues to advance learning, the importance of choice and data collection have risen to the forefront. Learners want choice, administrators want data, and technology steps in to fill both needs.

Experience API brings home data collection for administrators

Data collection is a critically important aspect of learning. After all, two of the most important data-points for administrators are tracking employee learning and assessing learning effectiveness. This means getting specific, granular, and ultra-focused with the information you’re collecting, then using that rich data to iterate and change things for the better in your organization.

Experience API (also called xAPI) gets down to the nitty gritty details of data collection, looking at specific learner knowledge and tying that knowledge to KPI. xAPI makes this data collection possible online and offline, promising to be a trending tech topic in 2019. And while xAPI is important, other crucial parts of data collection includes automation, product dashboards, and trending algorithms.

A growing focus on UX creates user-driven learning

Technology, such as mobile learning apps, give learners the ability to customize and personalize their learning experience. They get access to internally and externally developed resources, lists of content curated by their manager, and articles recommended by a sales rep from five states away. They can learn for 15 minutes on their commute to work and 30 minutes at the office, or they can do it all at once while working out on the elliptical late at night. And they can learn the way they want to learn—watching videos, reading documents, attending webinars—all on a system that you, the learning professional, optimized for choice-driven learning.

Change is here to stay

Continuous growth in technology means that change is here to stay. Whether at home or on the job, tech affects almost everything we do. Take a moment and think about your job. How has tech changed the way you’ve done your job in the past five to ten years? Chances are, you’ve seen a lot of change, from virtual communications on Skype or Slack to using AR and VR for sales. Though some change might be hard, embrace it!

Learners want choice and administrators want data, so keep looking for all the new ways that technology adds more data and more choice to the learning experience.