Our favourite ways to incorporate technology for more interactive learning.
Workshops are a big part of what we do here at BOWER—whether we’re hosting 1-to-1 training days, or group sessions, we believe in creating an experience that keeps our participants, well, participating.
Do you ever remember being at school and zoning out during class? We sure do. For us, learning shouldn’t be about one person standing at the front of the room and talking at a group—it should be about respecting the different ways that people absorb information and creating a workshop that includes a variation of those styles. One of the most exciting things about designing these workshops is discovering new ways to incorporate technology, apps and tools into the process—trust us, there are loads out there. Everyone talks about how technology is shortening our attention span, but with the right tools, in the right setting, it can actually help us to retain information more effectively than traditional methods.
Convinced? Here are seven of our favourite tools and how you can use them to create a fun, informative, engaging workshop.
What it is: An easy, interactive online survey tool that’s a lot more appealing than a plain word document with questions.
How you can use it for your workshop: Send a Typeform before the workshop to gather information about your attendees. Use it as an opportunity to get to know them better in order to tailor the workshop to their experiences and record their thoughts and opinions on the topics you’ll cover. Top tip: Relay any stats you retrieve from the survey in the workshop to make them feel engaged from the get-go (eg: 75% of you—the people in this room—said that you would directly benefit from further training in the workplace). You can also use Typeform to gather feedback after the workshop.
Learn more about Typeform
What it is: You probably already know it, but for those who don’t, Spotify is a music streaming service that allows you to create custom playlists from millions of songs.
How you can use it for your workshop: Have you ever tried to eat a biscuit in a room that’s deadly silent? Nightmare. Let’s be honest here, a room feels more at ease when there’s a bit of background music, especially when it’s a room of people who don’t know each other. Create a happy, chilled playlist and watch your attendees grab a chat over the pain-au-chocolat.
What it is: An app that gives you fun icebreaker questions so the group can learn more about the others in the workshop.
How you can use it for your workshop: Team them up in groups of 2 or 3 and have the questions on the screen. With the app, you can set your favourites beforehand (they have a list with hundreds of ideas). Host this quick, 5-10 minute exercise so everyone can get to know each other.
What it is: An interactive polling app that allows the group to vote on their phone. Their answers show up on screen in real-time.
How you can use it for your workshop: We love Slido because it’s particularly great for people who are a bit on the shy side; it creates a safe space for everyone to have a voice. In your workshop, ask questions and the group will answer through the app—use those answers to steer conversations and debates. Big plus, it saves paper and sticky-notes too!
What it is: Free, no-login-required video conferencing software.
How you can use it for your workshop: Arrange for a special guest (eg: a figurehead in your industry) to have a live video Q&A with your group. It’ll break up the workshop and give them an opportunity to speak to someone with a niche experience.
What it is: Online drive where you can save and share files.
How you can use it for your workshop: After the workshop, upload all the slides, useful links, videos and resources to one folder on your Google Drive. Create a link and share with everyone who attended the workshop.
Why do this instead of emailing? You can update what’s in a Google Drive (just in case you’ve missed anything, or you’d like to offer even more information).
What it is: A forum around a certain topic where you can add members on LinkedIn.
How you can use it for your workshop: First of all, create a group that’s around a relevant topic for your industry and the types of workshops you’re hosting (eg: We have a LinkedIn group called Revolutionizing Support Staff). This will give people a reason to stick around. For your workshop specifically, you can invite the attendees before the event(so they know who’s coming along) and/or after the workshop. This is where you can continue to add value by posting relevant articles, dates for future workshops, key findings and more.