In the first half of 2020, we have all witnessed unprecedented numbers of employees and students forced to convert their homes into offices and classrooms as we attempt as a society to flatten the curve of COVID-19. Conference room meetings and lectures are now held online, and email communication has become even more vital to maintaining business continuity.
For those unfamiliar with meeting software like Collaborate, Zoom, and Google Hangouts, the difficulty of working, learning, and teaching has become a challenge, while so many other aspects of everyday work and life are now forced to evolve around a growing list of new uncertainties. Small businesses from Karate dojos to restaurants are forced to find new ways of satisfying customer needs or lose market share. All of these changes pose many new challenges. Many have looked to custom eLearning development to meet these challenges.
Had COVID-19 emerged 20 or 30 years ago, businesses would have had few good options. Today’s tools are allowing many companies to face this pandemic through a complete digital transformation of their businesses. At SilkWeb we are working with teachers to move their instructor-led curriculum online and developing custom eLearning solutions. We are helping dance studios, karate dojos, and tutors continue serving their customers from a distance using proven eLearning methodologies and tools that have been used in the academic sector for decades but entirely new for these industries. We are also helping corporations by providing tools and platforms and by offering our online corporate training library free of charge at https://silkweb.com/free-training/. This free online corporate training library gives businesses all the high need and compliance courses online in one easy to share location.
All of these technological changes come with new and unique challenges, most of all, people’s ability to learn and adapt. Like it or not, we are all life-long learners from necessity. But in the modern age and now in the age of Coronavirus, learning has grown in significance and importance. And if you refuse to learn, that can mean a loss of clients for a business or a loss in work or social interaction for many individuals. And a loss of education for students. The learning curve will be steep for sure and fraught with setbacks in the short term, as ideas mature into decisions and ultimately practice. Custom eLearning development will be needed to train people on these new tools.
One Karate Dojo, in particular, Scottsdale Martial Arts, never missed a single day of classes due to COVID-19. The day they shut their doors to do their part in social distancing, they began reorganizing and rebuilding their business to continue through eLearning. Certainly, altering their entire business model in the process. They started recording exercises and instructions and building up a platform to host their web materials. They created a zoom meeting account and invited their students to join. As a class, they hold zoom meetings where the students can watch and participate, also giving them much needed time for socialization and exercise. Belt tests are conducted online one on one with the instructor, where students perform in front of webcams while their sensei watches, instructs, and grades. They use email to communicate daily to their classes to keep them informed, motivated, and up to date on their training. And now thanks to their efforts, they are slowly building up a library exercises that they can refer students to later after life returns to normal. They also now have the flexibility of offering online classes in the future thanks to their efforts. For being new to custom eLearning development, they have made incredible progress and proven that anything taught face to face really can be taught online.
For their students, mostly consisting of kids ages 5-19, who are now also completing all their schoolwork online, the transition seems to be easy. Many of the same eLearning and meeting tools used in online schools are also now being used by the dojo. Indeed if a small local dojo can adapt to eLearning so quickly, it seems logical that just about any other business could also; with the right tools, knowledge, and motivation.
If there could be a good time for business to have a pandemic, it is now in the US. Most Americans have access to the internet, are familiar with its use. While many American workers already work from home at least partially. The understanding and technology are commonplace. All that was needed was their adaptation to many new and unique business needs. And with the pressure of social distancing, has come a forced adaptation and, in many cases, importation of eLearning methodologies which would likely have taken another five to ten years had this terrible virus not appeared.
Meanwhile, a significant percentage of classes are already online, particularly at the college level. The industry benefits today from nearly two decades of investment in custom eLearning development. For many schools, the learning management systems and online curriculum already existed, and so did instructors well verse in eLearning technologies and instruction. It was just a matter of just getting the remaining face to face courses online to complete the transition.
Surprisingly, it was the thousands of public K-12 brick and mortar schools that had the hardest time transitioning to online learning. Although some eLearning had already been threaded into much of the regular curriculum, so much classwork had not. This left teachers scrambling to get face-to-face content up quickly and having to navigate the challenges of using new tools like Storyline for custom eLearning development. Meanwhile, many disadvantaged students lacked the tools to access online curriculum, forcing districts to loan out tablets when available.
As terrible as this virus has been and will be, one glimmer of hope is that it leaves our society more resilient to future catastrophic events. In its wake, we can expect to see some of the new services that have recently emerged become fixed parts of our life, ultimately expanding access to broader segments of our population and expanding market share for many organizations. It is a certainty that custom eLearning development will continue to take center stage as it is used to light our way through what can be without it a technologically challenging future to navigate.
For more information about our free online training, please visit https://silkweb.com/free-training/.