Tag Archives: synchronous

An Olympic Online Opportunity

 

 

 

 

At 12:49 on Wednesday 6 July 2005, I was travelling in Staffordshire to a training venue listening for the imminent announcement of who was going to ‘win’ the Olympic Games for 2012.  Now, I’m not a big sports fanatic but I couldn’t help but join in very excitedly with a big ‘WHOOP WHOOP!’ as Jacque Rogge made the announcement ….. LONDON.

Seven years later and it’s nearly here and Olympic fever has begun.  But along with the kudos comes chaos.  Now we’re hearing about all the disruption the Games are going to create.  It’s already started with Olympic organisers creating an Olympic route network meaning roadworks.

With the disruption to day to day business with journeys to work affected, higher than usual annual leave requests, pressures on transport systems and road networks, the advice given in the ‘preparing your business for the games‘ LOC publication to businesses is:

Millions of additional trips are expected on public transport and the road network in London and the UK … This could potentially disrupt your employees’ journeys, business travel, deliveries/collections, and the operations of suppliers, other contractors and freight.  To keep your businesses running, you should aim to reduce the need to travel and make essential journeys at less busy times or by using different modes or routes.

Over the past few months several delegates on my courses have talked about their organisations being encouraged to allow staff to work from home where they’re not needed to be in the office/building.

Of course, this doesn’t just mean problems for day to day working but also day to day training/learning.  Fortunately, if key people in these organisations are on the ball, they will see there is a way around some of this disruption.  Where live conversations are needed to take place, whether it’s to discuss on ongoing project or as part of a planned training course, we have the technology.  We’ve been communicating via e-mail for years.  The concept of collaborating remotely is not new but we’ve yet to embrace the live online environment.  Perhaps it’s the fear of the unknown.  Perhaps it’s bad experiences of them in the past.  But now – and I mean now and not in a few months time as an afterthought – is the time to make the most of the technology at our fingertips and start working (and learning) smarter.  If we start investigating as soon as possible how best to engage our live online participants (audience is too passive a word), we’ll be on the winning team by a long shot.

We certainly do have an Olympic opportunity.

Online education doesn’t have to suck!

There was a very interesting article posted by Mashable yesterday reporting on the use of virtual classrooms in higher education. There is no point in me repeating what it says here – I’ll let you read the full report yourself but it does certainly make for interesting reading. To me there are no surprises because I know how effective virtual classrooms can be used.

When you read the article, although it is primarily looking at higher education in the States, please don’t let this cloud your thinking. When it talks about education – think learning in general. Afterall, set curricula in higher education can be similar to set courses in organisations.

Here are some key points I took from the article.

  1. Garbage in garbage out to quote the American phrase. It’s not tool that makes for low-quality delivery, its the quality of the deliverer. A poorly designed and delivered classroom when delivered online will still be poorly designed and delivered. If you know how to deliver engaging, learner-centred face to face classroom session, you can, with a little extra effort and enhanced skills, deliver engaging and learner-centred live online classroom sessions. Just because it’s delivered online doesn’t mean you can make less of an effort – in fact you will need to make more.
  2. Blend the delivery for maximum efficiency by making the best use of resources. For example, observed assessments locally were face to face as well as being assessed over video by the tutor.
  3. The ability to reach more people with minimal extra cost and physical resources. Not to mention being able to overcome travel disruptions such as those we experienced in December just gone.
  4. Encourages self-motivation and collaboration on a wider scale.

The future of learning is using the right set of tools for the job. The key to success is how to use the tool effectively.