The Future is Now: Live Learning Online

A woman delivering a lecture to a webcam.

Of all the benefits that come with live streaming technology, the improvement to the online continuing education industry is one of the most important.

While online learning has grown immensely in the last couple of decades, it feels like we’ve only just uncovered the tip of the iceberg–especially when it comes to live streaming and how it can reshape the landscape of e-learning!

The more we learn to utilize live streams, the greater the effectiveness online educators will have, and the greater the benefits members around the world will gain from it. While live streamed education is considerably different from traditional learning, it offers a very comparable and, in some cases, even superior learning experience than in-person training.

To highlight the benefits that live online learning can bring an audience (and an association!), we’ve outlined just some of the ways that live streams are currently impacting continuing education:

1. Improved Access

The ability to capture and transmit a lecture to anywhere in the world allows users to obtain training that they would otherwise never be able to see. Live streams enable learners to attend schools and association programs at great distances, giving them a far better chance of finding a program that suits their wants and needs.

Gone are the days of having to find a local program in your desired subject at a time that fits your schedule! With programs running around the world, learners can find programs in their ideal field, style, and time slot. Depending on the type of instruction, learners may even be able to explore programs in different languages by using online translators to follow along.

It isn’t just learners who have improved access, though; online learning increases the pool of teachers and trainers available to schools and organizations of all kinds. For instance, member-based organizations can hire instructors from anywhere in the world, having them live stream their lessons online–no expensive travel required!

2. Innovative Teaching Styles and Material

While live streamed lectures may be the delivery method people typically picture when thinking of the intersection between live streaming and education, the technology is giving rise to a variety of other training methods as well.

In traditional continuing educational programs, live streams enable users to watch lectures, connect with peers, and even participate in session discussions from anywhere in the world. Outside of the traditional education sphere, however, the type of content and teaching styles available is constantly expanding!

For example, viewers can now watch live DIY videos, seeing the unedited process of any number of tasks. Hands-on learning is no longer offline-only, as learners can essentially shadow experienced industry professionals by watching live online demonstrations.

Today, association professionals can become educators simply by setting up a live stream! This training method features few restrictions as well, offering a virtually unlimited geographical reach and class size. Learners enjoy the freedom of finding a streamer whose content gives them what they want, as well as delivery methods that match their individual needs.

3. Modern Metrics for a Customizable Experience

In a face-to-face environment, teachers can easily learn about each individual learner by talking to them directly and getting to know them throughout the lesson or course. Traditional classrooms are often given credit for the personalized experience they provide learners, but you may be surprised to learn that live streams can boast a similar capability!

In fact, modern learning platforms even have the technology to create customizable experiences for learners. Instructors can track user performance, productivity, and usage to determine how their learners learn best. Then, based on this data, they can integrate new techniques into their lessons–or even adapt their training on the fly to better accommodate those watching!

That’s not all, though, because live streams also offer…

4. Interaction and Collaboration

Just like with traditional learning, live stream teachers are able to interact with their viewers–the difference here is that where traditional learning will have in-person conversation, live streams typically make use of the online “chat” function. Some live streams may even allow for voice or video conferencing as well!

One of the commonly cited drawbacks of asynchronous online education is that users can’t interact in real time with instructors or other learners. With live streams, however, interactivity and collaboration is easy and effective. Viewers can talk to each other, comment, and ask questions from anywhere in the world, all in real-time. Through online chats and forums, these discussions can even take place without interrupting the instructor or other viewers!

Similarly, live streams allow learners, training groups, and association members to collaborate from a distance. No matter where they are, people can login to a live stream and discuss a project, have a meeting, or participate in a workshop together. Even in cases where learners or teachers are sick or otherwise incapable of attending a lesson, they can simply log in to the live stream and not miss out on the material discussed that day.

5. Reduced Cost

In general, online continuing education tends to cost less for both administrators and learners. The training typically has lower overhead costs than in-person training, and these savings can be passed on to association members.

Additionally, online training tends to reduce or eliminate physical textbooks and travel, which can lead to considerable savings. Add in the fact that online learners can be more selective in their course and program choices when their search parameters are increased so dramatically, and the price point for education can plummet in many cases–a big win for associations!

Live streams typically function a little differently from formal online training; many live stream programs are nothing more than a simple add-on to an existing setup. For instance, consider a live stream of an already running association event lecture or a demonstration. Even at the most basic level, it’s simple to set up a phone or two to capture the session; then, once an association is established and accustomed to the technology, they can begin to add fancier equipment to their streaming setup.

Additionally, streams typically have fewer barriers to access than traditional online programs–especially when they’re provided for a lower (or no) cost. This means that streamed events can open up to the young, the old, the curious, the immobile, and the socially anxious–and sometimes even transcend language barriers!

6. Added Mobility

While live streams have increased the access and geographical reach of continuing education, the technology has also made education far more mobile. Some studies have found that over 60% of learners used their phones to complete some or all of their online continuing education!

As we become more reliant on smartphone technology, that number will only go up–and mobile learning is one of the fastest growing e-learning markets! And really, it just makes sense:

  • Learners can watch their lessons entirely from their phones.
  • They can contribute to discussions and even complete their coursework or make notes.
  • And not only do smartphones have the technology to play nearly any live stream, but, in many cases, mobile devices are actually the preferred vehicle for live streams because they allow for multitasking and come equipped with a camera, microphone, and text capability.

When it comes to live streaming, smart phones and streams go hand-in-hand!

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The emergence of live streaming technology has ushered in a new era for the continuing education industry, helping to revolutionize the way we learn online.

As we continue to harness the full potential of live streams, educators are empowered to provide a more effective and engaging learning experience to viewers worldwide. The benefits of live online learning are vast, and they make continuing education more inclusive, dynamic, and efficient–not to mention cost effective!

The future is now, and live learning online is at the forefront of digital education transformation.