Last updated: 04.02.14

Technology 'encouraging take up of self-directed learning'

Self-directed learning initiatives that employees can pursue in their own time are gaining impetus, thanks in part to the increasing demands of the business world and also because of the constant march forwards of technology.

Many companies are struggling to keep up with the ever-quickening pace of their industries and rapid technology changes are one of the leading causes of this ever-accelerating development.

Luckily, though, the very cause of the changing landscape also provides the means by which to master it, and newer, more advanced forms of online communication and collaboration can be leveraged to allow for self-directed learning. 

This in turn can provide businesses with a cost-effective way of ensuring that their employees are on top of the latest industry developments. 

According to Ken Howery, cofounder of PayPal, schools and traditional courses are not going away, but new technology has an increasing role to play in the way that people learn.

Speaking to USA Today about the rising popularity of online training resources for workers in a variety of different fields, he highlights the importance of providing as many different routes to career development as possible, given that people thrive in all manner of circumstances and learn differently to one another.

"Some people do best by reading a book. Some others learn best from teachers. And some people need to experiment on their own," he says. 

"Online learning means that you have to figure out what you want to learn as opposed to just following what a teacher tells you. Self-directed learning does require self-motivation."

But for those with the requisite self-motivation, the added flexibility and creativity that this engenders can make for much more positive results than would be achieved in the rigid confines of traditional learning structures.

As fashion entrepreneur Satya Twena found with her own company, learning how to change is one of the keys to learning how to be successful. And with marketplaces developing at such a rapid rate, she tells the news provider that she must "constantly" develop her own skills to ensure a prosperous business - something that e-learning can help with.