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a partner of TechSoup's recently posted an article addressing how to train staff in
simpler, more cost-effective ways. All of the methods listed use the web or
some form of computer technology in order to avoid the hassle of going to
off-site training seminars or conferences.
Each of the solutions, such as
online conferencing, recorded seminars, screencasts, and learning
management systems, utilize the Internet to take the common job training
seminar and keep it on location, saving time, energy, and money. Many of these
solutions can be integrated into your employee training through product donations
offered by TechSoup.
The use of video
conferencing and webinars are great ways to not only teach new employees,
but also it allows new information to reach the diverse staff in an effective
manner. Citrix, offers a product donation program available
for eligible nonprofits through TechSoup that provides web conferencing, webinar, and online training,
for an annual subscription. For the subscription, staff are allowed unlimited conferences, webinars, and unlimited training sessions. On top of
this, Citrix allows for web training to not only be provided
from outside sources, but also can be created by your organization to train
Another donated service, ReadyTalk, provides web and audio conferencing at
an affordable annual subscription and low rates for callers once subscribed. With ReadyTalk, you can hold large web
or audio conferences that can be held or listened to by anyone with an Internet connection. One thing to keep in mind is that using an integrated
phone line from partners can increase the cost of the service quickly, so be aware of any costs included before you set up a large group training.
BetterWorld, another TechSoup partner,
uses your existing phone system for audio conferencing at a low,
per-minute, per-participant rate. The charge is sent directly to the
company, and the conference line can be connected to via the given
Lastly, SlideRocket is a great donated product for creating online presentations for nonprofits and libraries. The presentations can be created online, shared securely, and can be gauged to see how effective or popular they are. SlideRocket Pro accounts offer more features than other consumer-grade products on the market and it's a low-cost method to create and share your presentations and training materials in a secure and professional manner.
Each method has its own
set of advantages when it comes to educating your staff. Online conferences
allow easy sharing of information between large parties in a way that allows
employees with geographically diverse skills to all get on the same page with a
topic. Webinars and web conferencing can let you bring in an
expert on a topic who can very accurately explain and teach an idea or method.
Learning management systems are useful for teaching individual employees
skills, and allows them to learn at their own pace, meaning there will be fewer
unanswered questions and greater skilled employees.
Provided below are a few useful webinars (made using ReadyTalk) from our TechSoup site about training using online tools.
Visit the Training section of our Learning Center for more resources on how to conduct online trainings, learn online, and get your staff and volunteers the training and skills they need to help you meet your mission.
Have you used these or other tools for conducting online trainings? Share your experiences, favorites, and tips in the comments below.
Chris Edwards is an intern on the TechSoup Content Team.
These are great resources Chris. Online training has revolutionized how people learn and made learning cost effective. We have been doing webinars for many years now, and found them to be very effective. I will try to post some additional tips about making webinars successful. Also, we have a special webinar membership for non-profits (more information can be found at: www.people-onthego.com/memberships)!
Just discovered your blog and found it very interesting. Its good to know that there are sites for online training of staff that is very cost effective for businesses. It really revolutionize training anywhere and everywhere. Great resources and very interesting! Thanks!