5G and the Future of Learning and Development

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5G is the next evolutionary step in wireless technology. The advanced connectivity will be available via various digital devices, including tablets, laptops, mobile phones, and VR headsets. Ultimately, 5G will replace 4G LTE as the dominant channel of remote functionalities, reshaping the learning and development industries. 

Improved wireless connectivity contributes to a smarter nation, with reduced technical issues and downtime. Trainers will have the opportunity to spend more time on value-added activities like class participation, Q&As, and delivering quality material. Learners can expect more immersive educational experiences and improved lesson outcomes. 

While consumers may associate 5G technology with speedier messaging, video streaming, and other leisure activities, lifelong learning might undergo a digital revolution in line with the new normal. It is also essential to note that the technological leap between 4G LTE and 5G is significant, paving the way for learning mediums previously dismissed as impractical due to connectivity limitations. 

It is an exciting time to be a trainer or learner – remote classrooms and digital content will reach new heights of performance. 

What Exactly is 5G? 

5G is the fifth generation of wireless connectivity standards and successor to 4G LTE systems. The technology will feature low latency levels and ultra-speed data transfers that enable users to send and receive information with added efficiency, which improves overall productivity. 

Some sources report that 5G is capable of functioning 100 times better than conventional 4G services. Users can expect lower instances of buffering icons, lags, choppiness, and other forms of technical disruption that undermine the user experience. 

Educators can implement the speed upgrade to e-learning and development programs to provide learners with novel and engaging content. 

5G in the Paradigm Shifts of the New Normal 

The e-learning and training industries will continue to grow as society advances through the new normal. Remote functionality takes center stage in the economy, with many big brands and organisations leading by example. Market researchers predict corporate global e-learning industries to reach $49.87 billion by 2026.

Deloitte permanently closed four of its offices in favour of work from home contracts. Hitachi, Salesforce, Airbnb, and the list goes on – have all announced remote work as an integral part of their long-term business strategies. It is safe to infer that e-training and virtual classrooms will grow in conjunction with remote operations. 

The umbrella of employment, commerce, and training may co-exist seamlessly from home – and 5G could be the catalyst that accelerates the transition. 5G could significantly improve the quality of training tools and concepts through microlearning and across synchronous (i.e., webinars) and asynchronous (on-demand videos) settings. 

What Does This Mean for E-learning and Development?

According to research, the average attention span of a person has plummeted within a 15-year period. One survey shows that an average site visitor only reads 28% of the words of a website. Additionally, site visitors spend a short time skimming through written content – and possibly retaining little information. 

The observations suggest that modern learners likely prefer dynamic content such as audiobooks and instructional videos. 

In fact, video-based learning content is rising in popularity. LinkedIn’s WorkPlace Learning Report states that 7 out of 10 organisations are starting to incorporate video-based online training into their learning cultures. 

The same report goes on to share that 80% of learning and development professionals (L&D pros) agree that developing employees is top-of-mind for the executive team. 

The benefits of video-based content stem from its stimulating visual elements. Additionally, video content provides unmatched versatility that complements a wide range of use cases, including onboarding, cyber training, customer service training, and product demos. 5G will make video-based courses seamless and easily streamed across multiple platforms and devices. 

When paired with relevant real-life or workplace scenarios, a lesson is made relatable and highly memorable – similar to a firsthand experience.  As such, videos significantly improve learning retention levels and better course outcomes. 

Recent advancements in video technologies enable educators to customise videos for different personalised experiences with gamification and interactive features that optimise retention rates by catering to the individual – as evidenced in Deloitte’s recruitment video

While 5G can enhance video content, its most significant impact lies in enabling a more immersive learning medium – mixed realities. 

5G as a Bridge to AR/VR Learning and Development

Mixed reality mediums such as AR and VR provide users with realistic experiences regardless of time and place. Modern instructors and training companies may consider AR and VR the natural next step in online learning and development. 

Unfortunately, 4G LTE technologies proved unsuitable in sustaining the high bandwidth required in mixed reality content. 5G’s markedly improved performance will help educators overcome current technological barriers to provide widespread use of AR/VR-supported lessons. 

Professionals apply AR/VR-supported learning across various industries, such as healthcare and engineering. 

There are many reported successes in mixed reality coaching: A team of surgeons in China received telementoring assistance from a specialist over 3,700Km away from the operating theater. Educators apply AR technology to engineering courses on electrical applications for a more hands-on process.    

In the corporate side of things, 5G-enabled VR/AR training can help employees benefit from experiential training through IoT connections via mobile or laptops. The technology reduces travel costs while improving retention rates by as much as 90% compared to traditional mediums. 

Specifically, VR/AR enable employers to refine teaching methods for soft skills such as public speaking in safe but realistic environments where employees can hone and test their skills while boosting confidence. Strivr, a company specialising in VR technology, provides learners with customer training by stimulating stressful scenarios such as holiday seasons and rush hours. 

Ultimately, 5G offers trainers the technology required to create hyper realistic remote learning opportunities for immersive and transformational lessons. As the new normal seems to linger with its social limitations, revolutionary wireless technology could be just the thing that trainers need to modernise their programs.  

StrengthsAsia has helped many individuals and corporate clients empower leaders throughout the region by enabling breakthrough experiences for both leaders and followers. If you wish to learn more about the Strengths Leadership Program, please reach out to us here.

A devotee at the altar of language and a celebrant of expression. Laurenzo has written for various SMEs, MNCs, startups and international brands over the last three years. He specializes in topics of psychology, lifestyle, employee management, and digital trends.

Maalikka is the latest addition to StrengthsAsia’s team of marketing and content extraordinaries. As an avid reader, writer and learner, she’s always on the lookout for new information online or interesting conversations to inspire her. Her other passions include gaming, Netflix and cats.

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