With schools in the UK set to close their gates starting today (Friday 20th March 2020) and a seemingly never-ending stream of bad news being broadcast on a daily basis surrounding the COVID-19 “Coronavirus” pandemic, it is clear that at this moment in time we must do our best to look after our own health and wellbeing, including those close to us such as family, friends and work colleagues.
It is also clear that as many of us adapt to a new way of working and conducting our professional lives, the role that digital technology will play in ensuring that we can continue to build and grow professional relationships at a distance, conduct important meetings remotely, and collaborate with our colleagues will be invaluable.
After spending some time today speaking to my clients and discovering how they are being proactive in this period of uncertainty, I decided to write this blog post in order to share the insights that they provided, along with a selection of useful offers that are currently available on software for work-at-home professionals.
Many of us who remain fit to continue working during this period will be reliant on technology more than ever, so it is great to see that a number of online service providers such as Adobe and Techsmith are extending the free trial periods available for their products.
I also spoke to our friends at Oakwood Training, who have been one of our most valued clients over the past two years. Oakwood specialise in mental health and personal safety, and have produced a number of outstanding digital resources that also includes insights into the practical measures that their own clients are implementing at this time, which I’m sure many business owners and people who manage staff will find insightful.
I will endeavour to keep this page updated with any other offers and resources that I come across over the next few weeks. I wish everyone impacted a speedy recovery, and I look forward to having a pint down the pub again when this is all over!
‘COVID-19: What You Need To Know’ – Free eLearning Resource
Last week the good people at Articulate shared a fantastic and well researched eLearning resource developed by their in-house team, built in their own publishing software RISE, which we also use at Discover eLearning to generate highly engaging digital learning content.
The learning resource provides practical advice for both parents and businesses.
Take a look at the free learning module right here: https://examples.rise.com/coronavirus/index.html#/
‘Looking After Your Own Wellbeing’ – Oakwood Training
Our friends at Oakwood Training continue to do what they do best during this period; helping individuals and businesses to focus on their health and wellbeing. This of course includes mental health, that for many people who are or will soon find themselves in periods of isolation, will come under significant pressure.
Oakwood continue to share valuable insights and tips through their social media channels such as on LinkedIn, but having spoken to the company director Terry Streather this afternoon I also discovered that his team have built a fantastic online resource full of video clips and easy-to-digest advice (based on real scientific information and research).
They have also curated a number of online video chats with their own clients who run businesses. In each video they have shared the practical steps that they have taken to protect and support their own staff during this time, which I myself found very interesting to watch.
You can access the full resource here: https://oakwoodtraining.co.uk/looking-after-our-wellbeing-through-the-coronavirus-outbreak/
Useful Software For The Digitally Dependent ‘Work At Home’ Lifestyle
Adobe Connect – A web conferencing toolkit built for educators. As well as providing the facility to run online meetings, Connect provides the tools to facilitate online virtual classrooms that can be accessed anywhere, anytime, on virtually any device. It leverages industry-leading content authoring tools, rich learner registration capabilities, and powerful learner management and tracking tools to deliver immersive learning experiences.
Adobe are offering an extended free 90 day trial of their software at this time: https://www.adobe.com/products/adobeconnect.html
Techsmith Snagit and Video Review – Techsmith are purveyors in screen capture and recording software. Here at Discover eLearning, we continue to use their highly popular Camtasia Studio software for projects relating to software training or for SCORM-enhanced video development.
From now until June 30th 2020, they are offering free use of two products from their core line for people who now find themselves reliant on home working.
Snagit is their screen capture and recording tool that lets users quickly create and share images and videos. It is quick and easy to learn, and is a great tool for any educator looking to build personalised learning resources for their students.
Video Review is their video feedback tool for online, collaborative discussions and conversations around digital media content. Replacing the need for in-person meetings with the ability for stakeholders to provide their feedback asynchronously, with the video publisher made immediately aware when feedback has been posted.
Loom – is a relatively new but still popular browser-based screen recording application, popular with designers/developers but also in education for producing screen capture based videos.
Through to July 1st 2020, they are lifting the restrictions that would usually be applied to their free plan. The specific changes are:
- Remove the recording limit on our free plan — what was 25 is now unlimited
- Cut the price of Loom Pro in half — what was $10/month is now $5/month
- Extend all trials of Loom Pro from 14 to 30 days
Zoom (This is applicable to our friends in the United States only) – Right now, Zoom the highly popular online video conferencing service, have ditched their limit usually applied to K-12 schools in the U.S. According to a spokesperson for the company, this is how it will work:
Students or teachers who fill out an online form using their school email addresses and are then verified
by Zoom will have any accounts associated with that school’s domain also gain unlimited temporary meeting minutes,
according to a site set up for the process overnight. The free Basic accounts are also available by request in Austria, Denmark, France, Ireland, Poland, Romania and South Korea.
See the following article for more details on this offer: https://www.commercialintegrator.com/markets/education/zoom-limit-free-videoconferencing-k-12/