Online Training in the Web 2.0 World

I’ve spoken to a few people lately about how you can use the Web to provide online training or perhaps just to market yourself. I usually start by providing a few great examples, and then I talk about screencasts, sharing presentations and screencasts on the web, and wrap up with a discussion on providing live demos remotely.

Some Great Examples
A company called Commoncraft has an amazing knack for explaining things in plain English using simple videos and podcasts. Scroll down to the bottom of their web page and you can see some of their work. What I like about their work is that it’s simple, production costs appear to be low and it’s really inspiring. Hopefully we’ll see lots of other startups doing freelance work like this. Another great example is the use of screencasts for training: check out this Basecamp demo.

Doing it yourself: Screencasting
Here’s a link to a “Screencast” on how to make (what else but) “Screencasts”! The screencast is from Peepcode. It’s for the Mac but I’m sure there are also lots of screencasting applications for the PC (although I would still recommend the Mac!). Screencasts combine screen shots, diagrams and voice overs to teach a topic. You can pause, try out something, and then continue. By the way, I highly recommend spending the $9 for Peepcode’s Screencast video.

Sharing videos and screencasts
Slideshare provides a great way to share presentations and Slidecasts on the Web. You can upload PowerPoint or Mac presentations. Many people also use YouTube to share their videos as long as they’re short.

Live demos
The next best thing to in-classroom training is live demos. One tool that you might find useful is Webex. Webex let’s you share what’s on your desktop screen with whomever you wish. You can essentially use this application to do live training remotely. There are many other services/applications that do this such as Microsoft’s LiveMeeting. What’s nice about this kind of training is that you can bring up different applications, share slides, and answer questions in real time.

This is a pretty quick overview. Take some time to look at some of these sites and get a feel for what’s possible. Likely, the web-based training you select will combine several of these methods. If you come across any other neat applications or examples of Web based training drop me a note.


1 comment so far

  1. Geoffrey Grosenbach on

    Screencasting is a great way to communicate and to learn. I also like Vara Software’s ScreenFlow app (Mac, $100) and have heard good things about Camtasia for Windows.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: