I’ve been working in virtual classrooms since 2003, back when I first met Insync Training’s Jennifer Hofmann, who pretty much invented using virtual meeting software to support instruction. My job involves a workforce with many issues: geography, availability/coverage, and work shifts. These are frequently compounded by a lack of travel funds for moving people or instructors around for face-to-face training events. I saw so much potential for the technology then that I shifted nearly all my live instruction work to the virtual classroom.
Of course, it didn’t take long for the technology to be leveraged for the worst possible applications: One thousand people enrolled in the name of “efficiency,” with presenters only pushing slides while disabling collaboration tools like whiteboard annotation, participant text chat, and breakout rooms. As with the struggle to differentiate “presentation” from “training,” I tried to distinguish better use of—and my approach to—virtual classroom-based instruction with language like “live online session.” Let’s face it: There’s nothing positive about the word “webinar.”
Over the years I’ve developed or picked up a lot of little tricks for making the environment more collaborative and engaging and thought I’d share some of what I learned. This month I’ll talk a bit about using the whiteboard as a working space instead of just a screen for displaying slides.
Email: info [remove space] @bozarthzone.com . Author,"Social Media for Trainers" Also, "E-Learning Solutions on a Shoestring", "Better than Bullet Points: Creating Engaging E-Learning with PowerPoint", and "From Analysis to Evaluation: Tools, Tips, and Techniques for Trainers" . Also, watch for my monthly "Nuts and Bolts" column in "Learning Solutions" magazine.
I offer many free live-online sessions throughout the year hosted by Insync Training LLC. Check the calendar for details. Also watch for announcements from Training Magazine Network, the eLearning Guild, and ASTD & ISPI Chapters for online events.