My journey into remote training began a couple of year’s ago in August 2019. It wasn’t anything to do with the pandemic but was at the request of a client who preferred to work that way. To be honest, I hadn’t considered it before, I mean digi-training’s USP is ‘we come to you, your own home or office’ so this idea of delivering training via this video conferencing software called ‘Zoom’ was not on my radar. But, as my client requested it I thought I should look into it and give it a try.
Advantages of remote training
The advantages from my side were considerable. No longer did I need to jump in my car and drive for 25-30 minutes, costing time and petrol. We could share screens and my client didn’t even need to own the software he was learning because he could use mine. I recorded each session and sent it over to him afterwards so he could review and practice his learning. I shared resources and links through the chat.
Although the sessions were quite tiring, they were more time-efficient without the travel and preamble. As a result of this ‘Zoom fatigue,’ we cut the length of the sessions from 2 hours to 1 hour which we both found much more beneficial.
My teaching style had to change a little too, as pointing was not as easy, and I had to deliver more explicit instructions. Over time, however, I got used to it, and have honed my skills in delivering remote sessions.
With larger groups, breakout rooms are excellent for discussion, feedback, and giving one-to-one support. The whiteboard option is useful for jotting down ideas and summarising discussions. I have even connected and shared my phone screen on a training session about Instagram Stories. This allowed me to directly show learners the various features of the platform.
One particularly joyful experience of using Zoom was being able to present my own virtual version of the Kimono Exhibition to friends and family.
This was during lockdown—I had decided to try and carry on with all my plans as usual, even if I had to improvise my own versions at home. So, when we could no longer get to the V&A to see the Kimono Exhibition as planned, I decided to hold a version of it myself on Zoom for a group of friends.
I researched what they had in the exhibition and put together a presentation of exhibits along with some images of my own to explain the history of the kimono and its influence on fashion (David Bowie, Issey Miyake, etc.). After the presentation, we all had afternoon tea together on Zoom, and participants could ask questions (some of which were quite challenging!). Following that, we had a little activity to learn how to tie an obi (the Japanese sash that goes around the kimono or yukata). I showed a video of my good friend in Japan talking about the obi and how to tie it, plus an explainer video from YouTube which we all tried to follow. After presenting this session a few times to various friends I actually got quite good at it! To finish the session, we had a look around the V&A gift shop (as, of course, you would if you went to the actual exhibition). My friends and family enjoyed the virtual exhibition, and I found it fun and motivating to put it on for them.
Benefits of remote training
So, those were some of the ways I had to adapt to remote training! Some of the benefits I found were:
- Break out rooms
- Screen sharing
- Chat to share resources and links
- Phone sharing
- Recording of sessions
What do you value most about remote training?
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(I promise I won’t be in my PJs!)