The technological age has once again been accused of tradition bashing (this time handwriting, after The Times reported longhand is to make way for typing in Indiana schools), and while there may be stronger consequences for children not learning to write effectively, than for training managers not to have an online booking form, this is one struggle that I can relate to.
In the article, End of the line for pens as schools embrace digital age, champions of handwriting are wheeled out to support the necessity of this ancient form of communication, and while the arguments are pleasant enough they hold little meaning in modern day society. By no means should handwriting be outlawed, reading and writing should remain necessary parts of a child’s learning, but technology too should be understood and recognised as one of very few vehicles that actually has the ability to take society forward.
I occasionally come up against opposition, our training management software has the power to automate so many different aspects of the training process – from marketing and sales to delivering the programme. Resistance appears in many guises, from ‘face-to-face is the only effective way to deliver training’ to ‘if I don’t explain each training programme over the phone to potential delegates, I won’t sell any places’. Similarly in The Times report, Anthony Daniels, a commentator for The Wall Street Journal, described typewriting as “a further hollowing of the human personality, a further colonisation of the human mind by the virtual at the expense of the real”.
Knee-jerk reactions to technology are common. Our software doesn’t have to mean the end of traditional communication for training providers, just like learning a vital skill like typing will not outlaw handwriting. The digital age is here, and if it can make businesses and the lives that run those businesses easier, more productive, and more profitable, while still maintaining a hold on traditional values, it can’t be a bad move, can it?