This post is a celebration of online training. There’s also a little plug at the end for the upcoming Fundraising Everywhere Festival (which I am personally very excited about). I hope to connect with you there in the chatbox.
The world is moving online.
With lockdown in place and movement restricted, the internet is our only recourse to the outside world and to the communities to whom we belong.
- Zoom and Houseparty are vying for second place in 2020’s ‘word of the year’ competition (behind #1 which is obviously Coronavirus).
- Online food shopping is (for obvious reasons) more popular than it has ever been and there’s a queue of approximately 17,000 if you want to order something from the B&Q or Boots website.
- Gym memberships have for now been replaced by a combination of Joe Wicks, Les Mills on Demand and, for the less enthusiastic among us (and those nursing running injuries), Yoga with Adriene.
Fundraising events and training are moving online too.
For those of us already operating in the online space, this is GOOD news. More people online means more customers (yay!), more competition (yay also) and an increase in quality, visibility and choice across the board.
Fundraising Everywhere were the one of the first providers to create an entirely online fundraising conference. The support they have provided to in-person conference providers during the past couple of months has been second to none.
I am in awe of their ability to move fast and to help others deliver training digitally.
Online training, my experiences
I took my first online course last year. It was a course to teach me how to be a better freelancer.
My second course taught me how to create and sell my own online course.
Both provided a very different experience to previous training I had attended.
Here are three reasons I think online learning is brilliant:
- It’s kinder to introverts
Some people (like me!) LOVE going to conferences / training courses IRL because of the opportunities to connect with people, face to face. I love to be fully immersed in what I’m learning, away from distractions. Meeting new people is something I really enjoy.
Travelling away from home also feels like a really big deal, especially if you’re away for more than a day.
Last year, I treated myself to a three-day ticket to the IOF’s national convention. The cost of doing so encouraged me to really make the most of the time, both during the sessions and in between, when you’re networking and catching up with friends and colleagues, old and new.
For others, this is not preferable. If you’re introverted or have a tendency to shy away from networking / crowds / people, then it’s possible that in person training either doesn’t work for you full stop or requires a day in bed afterwards to recover.
Introversion / extroversion is not about how comfortable you feel at a party. It’s more about where you derive your energy from.
Introverts refuel alone, through reflection, thought, journaling, or doing whatever activity it is which helps them to achieve a state of flow, focus and calm.
Extroverts feel full of ideas and are raring to go when they spend time with others, collaborating, connecting and sharing stories and ideas.
For introverts, online training might be a better way to learn, knowing they can avoid the small talk over coffee and the intensity which comes from being amongst large groups of people.
- Better value
Online training tends to be better value for several reasons:
- For training which isn’t live, you can learn at your own pace, stopping the videos / audio at any point and taking as long as you like to think and reflect on your learning
- You get unlimited, lifetime access (usually when you pay for something)
- You don’t have to pay travel / accommodation
Value should be an important factor for charities, many of whom have limited budgets (even more so now). The ability to return to a training course or to go through it at a pace which suits the user is a huge benefit and enables the student to get more out of a course or programme.
Plus, lack of travel is great for the environment!
- You can stay in your jim jams
Anyone who follows me on twitter knows that I love to be comfy and that during the corona-crisis, I fully embraced elasticated waistbands and the freedom to not wear a bra.
The prospect of life returning to normal is making me seriously rethink my style (especially after all the lockdown baking).
I am considering graduating from skinny jeans to a moomoo (I always felt this was one of Homer Simpson’s strongeest looks).
Online training enables you to do all of your learning from the comfort of your own home. Again, no need to travel long distances, no need to schedule time in your diary (unless it’s a live event), simply download the training and off you go!
What recent months have taught us is that we are able to do so much more from home than we thought.
Many charities have worked quickly and efficiently to ensure that their teams are set up with the right equipment (a laptop and wifi is all it takes) to be able to do their jobs from home.
Training is one of those things which can and should be possible in an online space.
I hope that the recent crisis does elicit some good in the world, specifically:
- increase in quality and choice of online training and development
- reduction in the use of transport, especially private transport and cleaner air
- people continuing to nurture new-found connections within their local communities
- people continuing to connect with each other, whether in person or online
Written like a true trust fundraiser 😊
The Fundraising Everywhere Festival is happening between 11 and 15 May.
- The speaker line up is incredible
- You can network in the chatbox or quietly lurk depending on your personality type / mood on the day.
- The cost (at the time of writing, it was 55 EUR or FREE for small charities) makes it a NO BRAINER.
Get your tickets through our special LarkOwl link here.