Blended learning has numerous advantages that can affect you positively. Notably, it can give you the ability to work less, train more effectively, reach a potentially larger audience, and earn more money. Thats not a bad deal at all. However, one aspect of blended learning is often not talked about the positive environmental impact that it has compared to traditional training. If youre environmentally-conscious, this is a definite plus!
There are two key ways that blended learning can help to minimize the environmental impact.
The idea of the paperless office was a big buzzword in the 1990s and like a lot of ideas from that period of time, it didnt catch on for a variety of reasons; one of which was the fact that the technology simply wasnt there. Moving forward to today, the idea of going paperless is becoming more of a viable alternative with the multitude of tablets, smartphones, and dedicated ereaders being used daily by millions of people.
To put this into context you must keep in mind that online bookseller Amazon now sells more ebooks than both paperback and hardcover. This is indicative of a shift in attitude that simply wasnt around 10 years ago. Your learners are now a lot more comfortable reading on electronic devices that ever before.
The advent of cloud-technology allows your learners to take your courses wherever they go on their laptops, tablets, or smartphones. The need for an actual hard-copy or a manual is becoming less and less important. Additionally, this gives you greater freedom to update your course as new information comes to light without have to reprint stacks of manuals at a heavy cost to you. Speaking of heavy, your learners wont have to lug around heavy textbooks and manuals. They will thank you for this.
Flying in the expert
The environmental case for blended learning becomes clearer still when you factor in the cost of transportation and accommodations for you. In the traditional training model, you were either flown or driven out and had your accommodations take care of. However, technological innovations have eliminated the need for you to be on site as often as before. From an ecological perspective, by minimizing the transportation, the more positive the impact on the environment.
Youre now able to have face-to-face communication with your learners without actually being physically in the same room by using video call technologies like Skype or Google+ Hangouts. This also minimizes the need for dedicated learning centers by putting the power of learning in the learners hands (literally!) and allowing them to use their own device to learn thereby eliminating the need to purchase, house and power a room or facility.
You can find out what your learning emissions are by using the excellent Learning Footprint Calculator here.
Wrapping It Up
The opportunities presented by blended learning will affect your training program and your pocketbook positively. The environmental benefit is icing on the cake. Blended learning can be so much more though. Read our free ebook How To Create Perfect Training Using Blended Training Techniques to learn how to reap the benefits from it.