Guest Post: Putting the “How I See It” Activity to Work in a Virtual Environment

Mark Nilles is someone I’ve know for a while. He has a long career in roles in which he’s worked to make the world a better place through learning initiatives – from the Peace Corps to Humentum (which is where we first met) and now with EnCompass. Recently he sent me an email sharing how he’d modified an activity he learned about through this Train Like A Champion blog into a virtual activity.

I was so fascinated by the way in which he used different technologies to make the activity work that I asked if he’d be willing to write a guest post. Whether you might be able to use this activity as he’s modified it, or if you’re just looking for a new tool to help you engage your virtual learners, Mark’s experience might be of service to you!

Here is Mark’s experience, in his own words:

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Taking Virtual Training to the Next Level (A Conversation with Cindy Huggett)

I had the extreme pleasure of meeting Cindy Huggett in person at a networking dinner during last summer’s ATD International Conference and Expo. If you’re unfamiliar with Cindy’s work, she’s literally written the book(s) on virtual training. Her books include:

During our conversation, we not only spoke about some fundamental things we can all be doing to tighten up our virtual training delivery (I know it’s been 19 months and we feel like pros at this by now, but there are definitely some habits we can still clean up), and we also spoke about some things that more advanced presenters have done to take their virtual training to the next level.

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Still looking for ways to engage people during virtual meetings and training sessions?

Just last week, two things happened to make me realize that even though Covid-related lockdowns began in March 2020 (leading to a complete shift from in-person to virtual meetings and training sessions), there are a lot of people who still aren’t quite sure how best to leverage virtual technologies to engage people.

First, someone who I used to co-facilitate training with reached out and asked if I had a lesson plan template and some best practices for how to engage people virtually. Second, there was an article in the Washington Post last week entitled: Workers are putting on pants to return to the office only to be on Zoom all day.

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When Zoom attacks, will you know what to do?

Whether you’re using Zoom, Webex, Adobe Connect or any other virtual meeting platform, chances are that you’re going to run into technical difficulties at some point, especially when you try using features intended to make a session more interactive.

Recently, my colleague Lauren Wescott delivered a highly acclaimed session on the role of the producer in virtual meetings. The producer has many responsibilities, and among those responsibilities is the need to quickly troubleshoot and think on their feet. If a virtual feature is giving you fits, the producer may need to help nudge the facilitator in the right direction to move past the technical difficulty.

Following are a few common mishaps, and a handful of immediate steps to move beyond these issues without derailing your whole session.

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Technology to Make Virtual Feel Less “Virtual”

TechChange CEO, Nick Martin, has been leveraging technology to make learning easier in some of the hardest to reach places in this world. He’s not just using any technology, he’s using some very cool technology which, even if you’re not able to implement the same solutions in your organization, may at least be able to inspire you with some new ideas for how to make virtual learning a little less virtual.

Because some of this technology is something you’re better off seeing, we’re going to do something a little different with today’s podcast. Nick won’t just be talking about some of these technologies, but he’ll be sharing his screen and showing it to you as well.

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A Trainer’s Responsibility: Staying On Top Of Current Trends

If you’re anything like me, you find some cool tools and techniques that work for you, and you incorporate them into your daily practice. Once you feel like you have enough tools and techniques, there’s no need to learn about anything else!

I’ve realized recently that I seem to have stopped learning about new tools, techniques and trends sometime in 2015 or so (Kahoot was totally cutting edge back then!). Recently I had an opportunity to talk with Training Magazine Editor-in-Chief, Lorri Freifeld, about the importance for learning professionals to stay on top of trends, how to differentiate between a useful trend and a “shiny object”, and where learning professionals can get the biggest bang for their professional development buck.

As L&D practitioners, we can’t be like the Cobbler’s children who have no shoes. We can’t go around helping others to do their jobs better, and never think about how we can improve our own craft.

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Are Online Conferences Worthwhile?

Last week I attended the Adobe MAX conference. I have wanted to attend this conference for years, but it is fairly expensive as conferences go. I am not a true graphic designer, so I have never been able to justify the cost. This year, Adobe offered this conference, free of charge, to anyone, anywhere in the world! The caveat obviously being that it was delivered 100% online. While I had some reservations about this format, I am elated to say that I got a lot out of this conference. Let’s take a look at what Adobe did right to make this online conference successful.

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