If there is one single, dominant trend for training, professional development and other avenues of continuing education, it’s that the Internet has become the primary gateway to finding and often delivering the appropriate learning experience.
It all starts with the search engine. Whether you need continuing education credits for your profession, want to take a cooking class, or find the best workshop for new parents, you typically start by “Googling” it.
The results will vary by the specificity of your search, but expect to be overwhelmed by the number of choices. You can earn a Masters’ degree online in any of a number of fields. You can find hands-on instruction in you-name-it closest to where you live. Heck, you can learn Calculus on Youtube for free from the guy that caught the eye of Microsoft’s Bill Gates.
Once you zero in on what appears to be the appropriate option for your needs, the next step is also a simple one, thanks to the Internet. You sign up online. You even pay online, if necessary. You then get a confirmation e-mail and can expect a reminder e-mail closer to the training or event.
Well, most of the time, anyway.
In this digital age, you can still find websites offering educational and other programs accessible only by a PDF registration form that needs to be printed out, completed and faxed in. Sometimes, the only contact information is an e-mail address or phone number, leading to an even more complicated and time-consuming registration process.
Ask yourself as a consumer – reviewing two seemingly equal options you just Googled, one with online registration and one without – which are you more apt to choose?
In the age of the Internet, you don’t even have to search to know that answer.