Online classes are redefining our experience
Prior to April of 2020 (some nine months ago), the only way someone could take the Certified Aging In Place Specialist (CAPS) classes was to find a location where they (all or some) were offered and attend them in-person. That took a lot of advance planning to make the necessary arrangements for days off, travel, lodging, and taking care of family or pets remaining at home. Then, an unexpected event could materialize that put a major crimp in the plans to attend the classes. Some people just couldn’t work with the scheduling conflicts and demands this presented.
Let’s face it, on some mornings we wake up more rested than others, our hair looks better than at other times, and we seem to have more energy. On other days, we may be a little under the weather. This definitely is more difficult to deal with when we are away from home and attending a meeting with other people rather than sitting in our own comfortable surroundings in front of a computer screen.
Some of us hardly remember what it was like to take an in-person class compared to an online one.
Online classes deliver what is needed
There is a difference between an online class and a so-called virtual class that essentially is a recorded program or PowerPoint that is narrated without any participation or interaction from those attending. Some people like the prerecorded class because they can pause it, fast forward, attended incognito, and get the gist of the content without perhaps a full experience of it.
What we have been conducting successfully online for several months is anything but a typical virtual or webinar format that many people are familiar with and possibly expecting to see and experience. These classes are much like – and in many ways better than – their in-person counterparts.
In fact, I have become so fond of the way they allow for the material to be presented and for the engagement of everyone in the class that I much prefer this to in-person workshops. I am sold!
A front-row seat
Many people like to arrive at a seminar early so they can become accustomed to the physical surroundings and begin to feel more comfortable and at ease with the environment. They pick a seat that affords them the best view of the screen or keeps them further away from the instructor so they are less likely to be called upon. Maybe they want to socially isolate or distance themselves because of concerns about catching a bug (pre-Covid). Possibly they have brought a lot of stuff with them and they want to spread out and claim their space before anyone else sits near them.
Whatever the reasons, this is all moot for classes someone takes from their living room, bedroom, kitchen table, patio, basement, or dining room. They have the best and only seat at the table from their location. No one is sitting in front of them and possibly blocking their view. No one is sitting too close to them to cause any kind of uneasiness or discomfort.
People truly have the best seat they can have, and everyone has the same view of the material. No one needs to squint, get closer or farther away, or be concerned that they can’t see or hear well enough. Everyone has the same learning opportunity.
No need to arrange for help
Many people have commitments that ordinarily might limit their ability to be away from home to attend classes – as much as they really would like to attend them. They have small or special needs children that finding a sitter to be with them is difficult to arrange. They have pets. They have an older parent or relative that they are caring for in their home. They are homeschooling. The list of possible conflicts goes on.
Now, a person can do both – attend class and be available to help their charges as required. We have seen children, pets, and older family members make one or more cameo appearances during a class. No worries. We go on.
Aside from it being a convenience issue and one of extra expense, not needing to make any special arrangements give the attendee the peace of mind to sit in front of the presentation and participate – knowing that if they must attend to something that they can do so.
Online classes are here to stay
It took us a while to discover the great learning platform of the online classes and how they really outshine the in-person classes in so many ways, but now we are here and not looking back. This is where we are, and where we are going to continue until something even better comes along (if that ever happens).
Full speed ahead with online learning for the Certified Aging In Place Specialist (CAPS), universal design, marketing, and other classes.