We do a lot of trainings. Trainings on everything from tobacco control policy to how to organize your coalition and pass an ordinance. In the past couple years I have been up and down this awesome state and visited Del Norte, Kern, Kings, San Diego, Contra Costa and Los Angeles counties, just to name a few. So when Michael from Calaveras County contacted us about conducting a training in his neck of the woods, I started packing my bags and gassing up my Honda.
Unfortunately, there was a wrench in my plan, and it goes by the name “budget restrictions”. Because things are getting tighter and tighter in tobacco control, we can no longer travel for trainings that will have fewer than ten attendees. This is truly a bummer because, 1) I love getting to see all these awesome cities in California, and 2) there is really no better way to train someone than in person.
Thankfully though, technology came to the rescue (sorta) and last week we held our first Google Hangout video conference training. Of course Vanessa and I were initially terrified at the thought of being on camera (seriously, who enjoys that?), but once we got going and ditched the Power Point presentation that refused to work for us, it went really well. The participants were able to interact with us and we were even able to do an interactive activity.
There are some limitations though:
1. A training like this can’t go on long. This one, for example only lasted an hour. I think any longer and we would have lost participants.
2. Technology is always a limitation. As I mentioned above, the Power Point that we created and tested failed us on game day. And anyone requesting this kind of training would need to have accesses to a computer with a camera and internet.
3. While we can’t travel for trainings with fewer than ten attendees, this online training shouldn’t have more than a handful of attendees, otherwise hearing their responses to our questions and having a meaningful discussion would be difficult.
That said I am excited at the idea of doing more trainings like this. And if an in person training is still what you are looking for, don’t worry, we still do those. Just contact us and let us know what you are looking for!