In light of COVID-19, more than ever entrepreneurs are looking online for the information, education, and training they need to run and restore their business’s financial health. As entrepreneurs surf the Web, the question comes up: What is the difference between information, education, and training?
My name is Lacey Clifton and I was asked to do a guest-blog and address this question. I have a master’s degree in Instructional Design and Educational Technology and am certified in Preparing Future Professionals. Needless to say, this question is right up my alley. You can find out more about me at https://LaceyClifton.com.
In a nutshell, information is content that can be accessed when needed. The learner doesn’t engage with the content beyond reading, which is relatively passive. This often leads to learning on demand which businesses use for employees to have immediate access in the moment of need; think tech support call centers where they support agent can quickly pull up a screen with instructions. The World Wide Web is full of information and it can all be easily accessed when needed. However, not everyone is able to learn this way because of the lack of engagement.
While information can be educational, the difference between information and education is the level of engagement. Think about a pamphlet, you can be handed the information but choose to do nothing with it. Educational programs and environments promote the active process of learning through interaction with the learning material. Some workshops are only informational where you might just sit and listen but other workshops engage you in the learning with worksheets, notes, conversations, questions, etc. There are a lot more complexities involved in education, but this is the most basic difference between information and education.
Training and education are very similar as they are both engaging experiences. The term training is often reserved for learning skills as opposed to learning content. A training workshop would offer the learner an opportunity to practice skills in a hands-on way. These skills do not have to be physical in nature, but practice must be involved for the learner to come away with the learning that they need. For example, I offer a live LinkedIn training workshop where participants are given opportunities to practice the new skills they were just taught by me, the instructor, and I am available as they practice to answer questions, help correct any errors, and provide guidance as they develop their new skills. Trainings can occur remotely, but practice and feedback from the instructor are needed to make the training a success.
New Knowledge and Skills
A good educational or training opportunity should present new information in a practical and engaging way. Many online webinars present information with no opportunity to engage which may be a waste of time for a DIY entrepreneur. Look for opportunities that allow interaction to get the best bang for your buck (be that money or time). Also, know how you learn best and how you will be able to implement and utilize the information. Most of us need some hands-on training to maximize our results.