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What can trainers steal from online, k-12 instruction?

Back in March, schools abruptly closed and went online. It was a messy experience for students, teachers and parents. This fall however, many schools and teachers have done an amazing job finding new educational technologies and navigating their classes through less than ideal circumstances. As I sometimes catch myself spying on my children in school to see what online school looks like these days, I find that some teachers are using technologies I’d never thought to use (or hadn’t even heard of).

I think there might be some lessons and technologies we, in the world of learning and development, can adopt from these online school experiences. Here are two recent examples that I’ve seen my children’s teachers use.

Pear Deck for Google Slides

Remember in the olden days when we used to say: Ugh, PowerPoint… it’s evil! It’s so boring!

Pear Deck seems to have solved that problem, in a big way. I’ll start up front by saying that’s it’s only available as an add-on for Google Slides (so if you develop everything in PowerPoint, you’ll need to convert them to Google Slides, which is a pretty simple step).

Pear Deck turns your slides into an interactive experience that allows learners to write or draw on slides you’d like them to engage with, or create their own slides.

I’m excited about the potential for this, especially in this era of remote learning, because learners don’t need to try to fumble with using an annotation tool that can sometimes be tricky to find and finicky to use. It basically combines an annotation tool, PollEverywhere and white boarding into one space, and it’s all done through your slide deck.

Several years ago there was a gaming platform used in a lot of educational settings that slowly made it’s way into the corporate training world. It’s called Kahoot and I see it used all the time in presentations nowadays.

Pear Deck may be the next k-12 edtech tool to make the leap into the corporate training world.


Do you ever assign something for your participants to do individually, and then wonder if they’re using the time you’ve given them to work on your project, or if they’re checking email and updating expense reports?

Classkick is a cloud-based tool that teachers can use to assign classwork, monitor progress in real-time and provide feedback.

There are times when I ask participants in my train the trainer class to work individually or in groups to develop a lesson plan or even do a quick activity on developing good learning objectives. In addition to walking around the room, I could absolutely see application for classkick when assigning tasks like this going forward. It will allow me to see what people are working on and where I may need to follow up when we come back together in the large group.

Have you noticed any edtech as you watch teachers or students navigate this world of online school that you think has potential to help in the corporate training world? I’d love to hear about other examples in the comments section!

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