Natural and Manmade Disasters Training for a global Media organisation

Posted: 09/11/2021

Jacqui has over 20 years of working in disaster areas around the world from Haiti to Pakistan. She led the training we provided for a global media organisation last week. We worked hard to ensure that our 4 hours of online training was dynamic and kept our course participants engaged. All were experienced journalists, some of whom had worked in diaster zones and some were new to it and nervous and excited to get started. They all worked in the Asia region, so had expeirence of living in Typhoon areas, but working during one is a different matter. This is what Jacqui said,

"When a training course on Working in Natural Disasters was first discussed it was to be located near to Cockermouth North West Cumbria – a town which had flooded – and was to be a combination of outdoor classroom, outdoor venue (the actual flood location) and minimal indoor. 

With Covid moving training on-line, it was key to us to try and keep the energy of the training, which also better matched my training style, whilst moving indoors and over video – hence the emphasis on creating a ‘virtual classroom’.

The change of delivery venue took considerable planning in three key areas;

  1.  Making the training visual and keeping energy levels high for trainee and trainer
  2.  Facilitating the ability for trainees to vocally contribute from multiple overseas locations and with English, for some, a second language
  3. How technology needed to be utilised, and placed, to visually create the ‘virtual classroom’

The decision was made to use a combination of an actual whiteboard (not virtual), a demonstration of equipment (not just powerpoint slides) and guided discussion (with minimal powerpoint again).  Technically this took a range of pre-sited laptops in 2 ‘classroom’ locations; a static camera; a multi-functional speaker and mobile camera work with a phone and tablet. 

We had 2 trainers to deliver so the primary trainer could ‘deliver’ whilst the secondary was maintaining visual integrity, feeding in ‘chat’ and concurrently pre-preparing technical support for location changes. The feedback was amazing and we were pleased that the effort had paid off. Not for the faint hearted – but a great success!" said Jacqui with a sigh of relief when it finished.

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