Pro’s And Con’s Of Online Learning
I was sitting at a booth at the Atlanta Pet Fair when the announcement came down that the last day of the show was being cancelled due to Covid shutdowns. Then came 3- hours on hold with Delta while I changed my travel plans. Shortly after that, one after another show cancelled for 2020.
For me, online learning was my preferred method and why I started Pawsitive Educational Training back in 2011. While I found myself at several shows every year, the classes I wanted to take all seemed to be held at the same time I was teaching.
“As someone that has taken classes all through 2020 it’s been a blessing as I have gotten to take many seminars that my competition schedule would never allow, while being comfortable at home... whether that was my pool in the summer, or my couch or work as the weather cooled.”- Helen Schaefer
Online learning became the easy way for me to take classes. And while the pet industry was lagging in this arena, most others were not. I have taken some world class programs from the top people in their fields.
Online learning is simply a different way of consuming education. But there are challenges. From a speaker perspective, it’s not what they’re used to. Adjusting to a new way of doing things, can take some time. It’s why I spend the time walking any speaker I’m using through the platform to at least remove the ”tech anxiety.”
“As someone that has been teaching online, I feel very anxious. I appreciate the live feedback of having an audience in front of me. It is especially difficult when I am doing live demos as I cannot monitor the chat and focus on what I'm trying to teach.” Helen Schaefer
Another issue is the way we learn. There are four primary types of learners: visual, auditory, reading/writing, and kinesthetic. Kinesthetic is commonly referred to as hands-on learning, such as my pet first aid class or hands-on breed workshops. While we will favor a particular type, to some degree we need all four. Online shows lack kinesthetics, and the other issue is focus. So easy to pay attention to a thousand different things while you are supposed to be watching a seminar.
"I'm not much of a fan of online workshops. I see the appeal. Vast knowledge from across the globe in the comfort of my home. Sounds perfect. Except the practical application doesn't work for me. There's something to being in the same space as my speaker/teacher that can't be duplicated in a virtual setting. I would love to figure out what this factor is. Because of the pandemic there's a shift to virtual learning. And I would love to benefit from it as well. As for now, I wait."-Cynthia Alvarado Hoffman
“I have found virtual seminars a blessing and a curse. I love the opportunity of attending a webinar from a tradeshow on the east coast, and the ability to re-watch it again for clarity. At the same time, I find I have to work harder to keep my focus and concentration on the webinar and not get distracted by trying to do other tasks at home or at work”. – Erin Martin
“I’m a visual learner and the CPR workshop with Mary was so refreshing she explained everything verbally and then visual examples. Loved that she recognized that not everyone learns the same.”- Kim Kier
But if you can dedicate the time and space to online learning, it’s wonderful. The other benefit to online education is the lack of travel expenses and time away from business and family. Add in, that a live show is not always in a reasonable geographical location.
“I love the fact I can get training for my staff and have them not have to up end their life by traveling to do so. I also like the fact it's a lot easier to be able to be home and take an online course for staff that has commitments at home so they can't travel. For me I have thoroughly enjoyed the online seminars because I've been able to take seminars by speakers from all over the country, and I can't get to every trade show. I've think it's been phenomenal.”-Anjie Coates
“I love online learning as I’m not a good traveler. I also love the fact I can re-watch the season or class the next day or so.”- Kathryn Simard
I, for one, can’t wait for in person shows to start up again. But online learning is here to stay and should be a supplemental part of everyone’s continuing education.
Don’t know where to find online education, drop me a message and I will direct you to oodles of opportunities.