Innovate

This is continuation of the previous article on “The speed of technology”

A few years later after qualifying to teach English as a foreign language and earning a year’s worth of stripes in London, teaching a multitude of nationalities, I had reached my tolerance level of London and decided it was time to get out and face new challenges, learn another foreign language and culture. Madrid seemed like a good enough place to start. I had a couple of contacts there, “Spanish is a pretty huge language”, I thought, and apparently there were often sightings of this glowing and radiant orb in a blue sky, known as “the sun”.

After I had happily moved to Madrid and been working for someone else in the EFL corporate world, I got an opportunity with a new client and set up on my own.  After about four years of working hard and squeezing the best out of the traditional paper based resources I could, I can still remember saying to myself… “It’s all very well being able to provide great services to my client and adding value through my experience of teaching but am I being innovative enough? Can I do more? How can I get my content online so they will always be able to learn and have great resources?”

The client I was working with at the time was indeed a giant and had most likely a similar sized budget to spend in the departments of innovation and R&D, as well as everything else.

I felt that from my own side, certainly as a small provider, I wasn’t doing enough and being creative enough and I certainly wasn’t able to offer anything online for my students.

Many other bricks and mortar EFL companies based here in Madrid, but of course all over the world, will always run into the same obstacles as I did.

Are you keeping up with how technology is changing your customer’s access to educational content?
Is your content modern and dynamic?
Are students able to connect with new resources quickly and 24/7?
Are your teachers able to access resources quickly and efficiently?
What kind of platform can I use to execute my content and give my students access to?
So to finally get to the point, it was approximately 6 years ago that I began my journey in the combined EFL /ESL content world and that of creating unique educational video content. Using my knowledge of the EFL educational world, the needs of my customers and media production skills I started scripting and producing video content for what is now called Show Me English. (showmeenglish.adhoclanguage.com)

The kicker with media production, however, is the fact that you then have to manage and edit your footage. The mountainous task of then relearning what I had forgotten 12 years prior, back in the “editing suites” at uni was daunting. All I could remember was using a communal 2 GB Jazz Disk (remember those anyone?) which crashed often on me…to now having to organise hours and hours of shots onto more than one 1-terabyte hard drive.

After conducting some standard market research, we discovered that we would need to organise and build the content into some kind of online courses, which are now best delivered in the form of blended learning.

Another journey was then about to begin, one in which I would then have to navigate how to build courses, learn a new platform on which to build them and then how to organise the courses and add features.

I definitely had a challenge ahead of me. Learn it in my next article.