Hello. My name is Sonya Hardman and I’m the Assistant Executive Director at VCCS Employment Services in Lindsay, Ontario. Thank you for coming today. This is the session on Planning & Developing a Virtual Employment Centre. VCCS has been working on this project for roughly 8 months now – the first 6 of which involved hiring an Intern to conduct some research and make recommendations on how to move forward. We are now at the beginning of the implementation phase, and today I’d like to share with you some of what we’ve learned so far, and how it might be helpful to you when considering online service delivery within the context of your own organizations.
Go through agenda. o Video Library o Audio Library o E-Counselling Methods o E-Learning o Online Quizzes and Assessments o Online Information Exchange o Client Communications: Blog and Discussion Board Go around room and ask attendees to introduce themselves. Name Organization they represent. Types of services they offer.
Since the arrival of the internet we have been using the term “virtual” to describe almost anything that is somehow related to the web – we may not share a common understanding of what is meant by the term. So let’s start by defining what we mean by Virtual Employment Centre: A Virtual Employment Centre is MORE THAN: An online job board A list of programs or services on a website A collection of online information, text or articles For the purpose of our discussion, INTERACTIVITY is the key that differentiates the VEC from a typical organizational website. CCRW was the first organization to develop a Virtual Employment Centre with their site WorkInk.com Needs to be used strategically - not everything that could go online should go online, but interactivity can make your website more interesting and therefore appealing to more ‘online clients’. Think about your own organization’s website for a moment. What is on there? - What kind of information? (content) - What method of delivery? (text, visual, audio) - How does the site impact on the client? (easy or hard to navigate? text heavy? Static?) - Does it meet the needs of clients with different learning preferences?
One of the ways we can achieve our client service goals is to expand our online presence. Virtual Employment Centres are about communicating information and offering service to clients in a variety of different ways. So how do we achieve this? REVIEW SLIDE
We know the clients we serve in a community setting often have multiple barriers that affect their ability to get the most out of face-to-face service delivery Transportation can be a huge obstacle to accessing service, particularly in RURAL areas like the City of Kawartha Lakes (no Go Train or Bus, no subway, often no public transit whatsoever) This leaves clients completely reliant on the goodwill of friends and relatives to help them access in-person services if they don’t own a vehicle. Add to this the many other issues such as: - low motivation & inability to follow through within fixed timeframes (including both appointments and/or action plan items) *community employment service providers are increasingly busy (SCS + economic downturn resulted in a 35% increase in client volume between _____at VCCS) – missed appointments mean other clients aren’t able to access f2f service* lack of esteem, fear, embarrassment low levels of literacy and anxiety about being “discovered” poor intrapersonal awareness & communication skills (makes it difficult to connect with and articulate what they want or need) These are just some of the reasons to consider expanding “virtual service delivery”. Applying technology to career development is not a new idea - We have Computer Assisted Career Guidance Systems at our disposal such as CHOICES AND DISCOVER - Assessment tools are developed for online administration Labour Market and Occupational Information is organized and made available electronically in highly searchable formats many College and University Career Centres have already gone there; they have access to more co-ordinated technical services and in-house tech support; sometimes bigger budgets as well to make these things happen!
When we consider the types of service we offer and the mode of delivery it’s good to reflect on the different cognitive preferences or thinking styles of our clients. These are also referred to as ‘information processing preferences’. People often use a combination of methods for processing information, but each of us will have a dominant or preferred method – one that we rely on more heavily than others and that defines our way of thinking and understanding information that is presented to us. Questions to ask when thinking about our online presence: Are we doing the best we can to make our expertise and information accessible to our clients? Are we presenting information in a variety of ways so that clients with different processing preferences can make the most of that information? My feeling when reflecting on our agency’s own website is that we could be doing this better. Virtual Services do more than just overcome barriers associated with SPACE (geography) and TIME (fixed appointment schedules bound by wait times and hours of operation) Building a site with learning styles in mind helps our clients get more out of our services, not just get easier access to them. Improving interactivity also makes your site more appealing to ‘online clients’ QUICK REVIEW OF EACH LEARNING STYLE
TO GIVE YOU A BIT OF CONTEXT REGARDING OUR AGENCY AND WHY WE ARE FOCUSED ON EXPANDING OUR VIRTUAL SERVICES: The City of Kawartha Lakes was formed as a result of municipal restructuring that amalgamated several counties and townships during period of provincial downloading of costs and services. Covers a vast and predominantly rural area with some small urban pockets surrounding Lindsay (incl. Fenelon Falls, Bobcaygeon) Stretches up to Haliburton in the north, Peterborough county in the east, Durham Region in the south and southwest, and Brock Township (Orillia, Beaverton area) to the northwest Many of our local residents work in other municipalities (e.g. Peterborough, Oshawa, Orillia, York Region/TO Fair to say that VCCS Employment Services is the larges service provider in our area We currently have 24 staff and deliver a ‘one-stop-shop’ service Assessment / Intake (2000+ clients this year) Job Connect Program Employment Assistance Services (EAS) Program – Second Career, SDEB, JCP, TWS, SEB, Opportunities Fund Job Development & Placement Services Resource Room (IRS) A comprehensive range of workshops (Career Direction, Job Search, Job Finding Club, Apprenticeship Info, Assessments, Smart Serve, Fall Protection, Customer Service, Cash Register, Resume Clinics, etc.) Employer Presentations & Guest Speakers Almost all of this delivered f2f at our Lindsay offices. REVIEW MAP OF TRAVEL TIMES/DISTANCES
In addition to our clients geographic realities, a couple of other things happened. Second Career was introduced in June 2008 and then the economy tanked and hundreds of local workers started getting laid-off. Presented is with significant challenges in terms of capacity to meet the growing We experienced a 35% increase in client volume between January and February of 2009 and it hasn’t slowed. This prompted us to ask 2 questions: How might we be able to help our clients more effectively if we explored alternate ways of delivering our services? What makes sense? Staff Time, Cost, Client Interest & Ability
It was also timely for us to start looking at our ‘virtual’ services given the broadband expansion & changing online culture within the City. Bringing fast, affordable & reliable broadband Internet service to residents. Installation of 6 towers that will provide 100% coverage of the geographic area. Less than 10% of homes will not be able to receive broadband due to line-of-sight; satellite service is available for those but it costs more. Affordable – Fixed wireless($30 per month), High Speed Wireless ($45 per month), Satellite ($54.99 per month). Online students are able to raise their hand and interact with in-class students. Local Adult Ed centre is a strong partner – Principal sits on our Board of Directors, interest in partnership work from the Virtual Learning Coordinator, good relationships with staff and school board so there is potential for collaboration and sharing expertise.
More information is available at the “click of a mouse” Bylaws, Government Forms, Reports, Waste Collection Schedules Up-to-the-minute information on issues that affect local residents Eg. Transit Strikes, Weather Updates (Trent University) More and more people expect to have access to information without ever leaving their home
There has been a change in culture – clients expect information and answers to be at their fingertips, and preferably available 24/7 Connectivity is instant – Wireless Technology is everywhere Blackberry’s and iPhones give us email and web access on-the-go We can store and play music and videos or games on our phones There are special Applications for everything under the sun (GPS navigation and street-view mapping, public transit and walking directions, Podcasting, RSS feeds, etc. etc. There has been a rise in CITIZEN JOURNALISM where people are able to tell their stories and share their thoughts and opinions in places where public viewing is possible (i.e. Blogs, Youtube, Facebook)
When we started thinking about expanding our online services, we did some client research to see what features people would be interested in. The information also provided a rough benchmark in terms of our client’s Internet access and understanding of the technology. Focus group participants were highly tech-savvy. Many had been learning and experimenting with these technologies since elementary school. Some had experience writing HTML or building and moderating online discussion groups. Online chat is a favourite with this group, but they like it when a moderator is present to “control the drama”. READ SLIDE FOR CLIENT SURVEY RESULTS
Benefits: Provide a large amount of information to clients in a short period of time Can be revisited at a later time if the client needs a refresher Effective at holding attention and enthusiasm Can be a very cost effective way of assisting clients Can be set up so users do not require any special software plug-ins to view the videos Great for Visual and Auditory Learning Preferences! Limitations: The language the video clip is recorded in is unchangeable. Clients with hearing or visual impairments and some learning disabilities would need assistive devices to access the information 2 Options for displaying video content within the webpage – Open in a 2 nd window by clicking the link, or embedding the video file in the page so user just clicks play Can also include a SEARCH BAR as your video library content grows. Picosearch offers a free webpage search engine, provide you don’t mind the watermark. You can place it on up to 3 webpages at no cost.
This is the area where you’ll notice the biggest difference between College & University Career Services and the Community-based providers Video content is more commonplace on the Career Centre websites at post-secondary institutions Perhaps this is because Community-based organizations tend to be non-profits, with tighter budgets and they lack the in-house technical expertise that their partners in the post-secondary sector can access there is usually no “IT Department” to call upon when you want to build something like this; many of us contract out for webpage design & maintenance York University Career Centre has an impressive CAREER CYBERGUIDE which is rich in video content and even has corresponding printable handouts for each topic University of Waterloo also makes nice use of video content in their CAREER DEVELOPMENT eMANUAL
Our agency website was designed by professional web developers who also maintain the site. Until recently, each time we wanted to add something to the site or make a change, it was sent to them. This is not ideal if you want to develop things like audio and video libraries, where you might want to add content frequently. If your site is set-up and maintained in-house, this is excellent and will save you money as you expand your virtual services. For our agency, It became apparent that we needed a way to update website content ourselves if we wanted to implement some more interactive features. Working with our web developer, we have now purchased software called an HTML editor that enables us to make edits to the site in much the same way as you create an MS Word document. It is called **COFFEE CUP** and $300 bought both the program and staff training.
You’ll also need a program to be able to edit your videos, add music or insert captions. Windows Movie Maker is very easy to use and is available free on most computers. Once you have the final video content, it will need to be “CONVERTED” into a file format that is capable of running of a website. Video files take up a lot of space, and can take a long time to download. To help with this, videos are normally run as Flash files or using the Quicktime player. YouTube has the ability to convert video files so they can be viewed without a Flash player or Quicktime. YouTube even provides the HTML code to embed your video in a website. The drawback is if you use YouTube, the company watermark appears on every video. This is not unacceptable to clients, but it does look less professional. If you don’t use YouTube, you may need to purchase a video file converter. V2F is one product that is out there, and costs around $130.
Some thoughts on how to use audio files include: Employer presentations – some presenters are hesitant about video recording but don’t mind an audio recording Mock Interviews – good and bad examples Top 10 Tips – eg. 10 Ways to Prepare for your Interview You can also convert existing print content into audio files. Resource rooms are full of information and leaflets that agencies produce for clients. Why not pick some of the best handouts that would lend themselves well to audio recording, and put them on your site? This is free information that you’re giving away anyhow!
Video files require a 2-step process – shooting the video and then feeding it through a digital “converter” to translate the images into a file format compatible with posting on the web. Audio recordings are even easier using a tool such as Audacity, which is a DIGITAL AUDIO EDITOR application. It’s a free, Open Source software that allows you to record and edit sounds in several operating systems including Linux, Macs and Windows. Easy to use with many features including: recording & playing sounds, editing features such as cut/copy/paste, converting cassette tapes and records into digital tracks, other special digital effects. “ Help” files available in several languages other than English & French; “Tutorials” offered in languages other than English as well
E-Counselling is not a new concept for career practitioners and many of us have been using these tools for some time to connect with our clients Usually been done 1:1 and depends on the client group you serve and their comfort level with technology. Also depends on the comfort level of your staff with the technology. Lots has been written on the topic of E-counselling (Contact Point articles in pack) Helpful to conceptualize E-counselling services as a spectrum. On one end is the email exchange with clients – not in “real time” E.g. “ASK A COUNSELLOR” feature on some websites - includes an email address where clients can send a query and get a response within a predetermine timeframe. On the other end of the spectrum is E-counselling using SYNCHRONOUS communication tools such as …(above list)
Here is an example of the more common E-counselling method via Email. Our agency has experimented in the past with 1:1 E-counselling, which even including providing (primarily) youth clients with webcams and rudimentary instruction on how to use them. However, we did not have a dedicated ‘E-counsellor’; it relied heavily on the counsellor’s technological savvy and willingness to implement it with their clients. Over time as people got busy or staff left and new ones were hired, interest in E-counselling has waned. We are now revisiting the idea, because technology has come a long way and Synchronous communication tools are easier to use and more accessible to our clients and staff.
Next to Email, Live Chat is probably the most common method that comes to mind when we think of E-counselling. READ THROUGH SLIDE Live Chat is great for clients with Visual Preference! (remember these clients can have trouble accessing and articulating in f2f counselling – Chat gives them some time to think before they respond and not be uncomfortable because counsellor is not right in the room) Also great for Visual Reading Preferences! (remember they enjoy reading and prefer information to be written down) Live Chat might even engage those with Kinaesthetic preferences more effectively than a f2f session – sitting at the computer gives them something TO DO and requires them to focus their thoughts and communicate succinctly Live Chat is NOT a good tool for those with Auditory Preferences unless you utilize video and audio messaging (remember - they find writing difficult) Advantages = clients are very familiar with it; meeting them in a space where they are comfortable; gives flexibility to arrange online meetings at a specific time, or counsellor can use Live Chat to conduct follow-ups when time permits E.g.) Our Job Connect counsellors experience difficulty contacting some of their youth clients for follow-ups or when they miss an appointment; don’t always return phonecalls or may not have a phone at all Being able to log into Live Chat and see if they are ‘online’ gives them one more way of contacting the hard-to-reach client; we know they spend lots of time online! Disadvantages = both parties need to have a webcam w/ microphone if you want to use video and audio messaging features; cost factor
Zoho.com has many different Web 2.0 applications that are worth considering, including their Live Chat product. Your organization may want to consider embedding the chat box into your webpage to increase the profile of your E-counselling service Could have a designated counsellor constantly logged in (e.g. Resource Room Counsellor) but more likely that you would set pre-determined hours for E-counselling and advertise them as you do other services. Chat box only accepts incomers when the Chat Facilitator is logged in. Zoho Live Chat offers “Live Support” feature equivalent to 1:1 chat, and also the “Shoutbox” feature which allows for mediated group chat with a counsellor in the chatroom, where clients can also talk to other visitors
This is what you would see from your Zoho Chat account if you were setting it up to embed the Chat Box directly into your website. You can customize the look to a certain extent, but you still have the Zoho watermark at the bottom of the box. Zoho will generate the code needed to embed the chatbox, and you simply copy and past it into your website.
Live document sharing is another possibility with Web 2.0 tools. I first saw this a couple of years ago at an OAYEC conference and was impressed by its possible applications. Patti Stirling from Internetworking 2.0 and Ken Walker from John Howard Society in Hamilton gave a presentation on new technology 2.0 applications and tips for counsellors/clients. Allows for counsellors and clients to collaborate remotely on documents such as resumes, cover letters, job search logs, etc. If you are using these kinds of tools with clients, you may want to create an instructional video that shows clients how to use the more popular Live Document Sharing programs and then put it in your Video Library. You can even use the Screen Recording tool to provide a step-by-step guide. Advantages: Live Document Sharing is great for those with Visual and Kinaesthetic preferences! They have a better chance of remembering what to do the next time if they are shown and can actively participate in the process Also great for overcoming other barriers to accessing regular f2f service such as lack of transportation, childcare, fears or anxiety about in-person service or group settings. Googledocs probably most well-known but Zoho is definitely worth looking at too.
One of the main functions of a website is to transmit information. For most websites, this transmission is quite static. The information flows in one direction – from us to the site visitor. There are very few opportunities for a client visiting my agency’s website client to engage with most of the information on it, but it doesn’t have to be this way. A number of tools exist to make online information exchange interactive and engaging, such as …(READ SLIDE)
Social bookmarking is another Web 2.0 tool that is gaining in popularity. Social bookmarks are really just another form of WORD-OF-MOUTH advertising, where people have found a way to share virtual information to others in their “trusted networks”. When people search for information on the web using keywords and a search engine such as Google, a metaspider is used to scan through thousands of websites to look for things that match. The trouble is, the websites that come up first in the search are those that have received the highest number of “hits” from previous searches. The next to come up are those that have applied Google advertisements or tools in the webpage. The end result is people spend a long time weeding through lots of sites that don’t have the content they’re looking for. We’ve all experienced this!
READ QUOTE Imagine the amount of time some clients could be wasting, if they don’t have well-developed computer or Internet search skills! Social bookmarking is one tool that is very easy to use and can really help our clients find the information they need. As career practitioners we can use this tool to help clients conduct their web research in places where we know they will find reliable and useful information. Example: Labour Market research.
There are a number of different social bookmarking sites. ( READ SLIDE) Some are easier to use than others, and some have more features than just sharing URL’s Some like www.citeulike.com are social bookmarking applications designed for a specific audience (i.e. Academics) Find one that you like and register for a free account. You can then advertise your bookmarks to clients through your website, in staff Email signatures, in print marketing materials, during workshops, etc. Once you set up the account, the application will allow you to insert a shortcut into your browser toolbar, so that adding a website to your social bookmark page is as simple as a click of the mouse. You can also add bookmarks to your page manually by logging into your social bookmarking account and typing in the URL.
Here is our agency’s Social Bookmarking page. When you add a site to your bookmarks, you are given the option of applying “tags” which help to organize the information. It’s important to choose “tags” that will be meaningful from a client perspective. REVIEW FEATURES AND TAGS IN SLIDE
Some websites are set-up to provide RSS feeds and social bookmarking links directly on the page. In this example, we can see that the Ontario Ministry of the Attorney General has provided 3 links with each news release on their site. Delicious and Digg are 2 popular social bookmarking sites, and Facebook is ofcourse the very popular social networking site. By placing these links with the information, it enables readers to add the article easily to their own social bookmark page and to share it with others. They will usually only want to do this if they found the information useful and reliable, or from a trusted source. This is the essence of tapping into our clients “trusted networks”. You can only get in if the person feels your website or the information on it is useful, reliable and worth sharing. Once they bookmark your site, others will follow. Think for a minute about the type of material or information produced by your organization. Does your organization produce a newsletter? What about other types of articles or information sheets? At our agency, we produce a bi-monthly newsletter, and we also write up summaries from employer presentations. Our newsletter is available online as a .pdf document, and we currently do not post our write-ups, but they are available if someone asks (e.g. How to be a Correctional Officer) If we included links to Social Bookmarking tools in our newsletter or on our Job Board, we can break into our clients “trusted networks”. This increases the organization’s profile and is FREE marketing and public relations.
You may wish to integrate the capacity to deliver online assessments into your VEC. A number of standardized career assessments are available for online administration, such as MBTI, Strong Interest Inventory, Personality Dimensions, TYPE Focus, Career Key, Employment Readiness Scale But there is another tool that your organization can use to develop your own online quizzes and assessments. It’s called Hot Potatoes. Hot Potatoes is a free program that enables you to develop interactive: Crossword puzzles Multiple choice or short answer quizzes Fill in the blank worksheets Matching exercises These can be saved to HTML and posted to a website or incorporated into an E-learning platform.
Many free and easy to use feedreaders for clients, and many websites are now offering an RSS feed so users can subscribe to updates. An RSS Feed could be incorporated into an online job board, a blog, a list of upcoming events, or any other page on your site.
Webcasting is distinct from web conferencing or webinars in that a webcast is non-interactive. The audio or video file is streamed to a specific recipient based on their SUBSCRIPTION using an RSS Feed Questions to consider when looking at webcasting are whether your organization wants to provide video or just audiocasts, and whether you will make it available “on demand” or will you broadcast “live”?
Why use podcasts? Eliminates barriers such as distance and time. Can be downloaded and listened to again when review is needed. Highly portable format – provides for anytime, anywhere learning. Accommodates various learning styles as material can be audio, video, Powerpoint presentations as video, or written .pdf documents. Creating an audio podcast is extremely simple and affordable: You need to record your audio and save it to an .MP3 file format. The Audacity application mentioned earlier is a very easy-to-use audio recording package. This will save the file as a .WAV extension. Audacity has another application called an MP3 Encoder which can also be downloaded so you can convert the file you create into a format that can be podcast. (LAME MP3 encoder) You can also use Windows Sound Recorder to record your audio, but you will then need to encode to MP3 format using Yahoo MusicMatch Jukebox (free version available). You then need to set up an RSS feed for the audio file, using an RSS Feed Generator that will do the complicated work of writing the feed in the necessary code. Finally, you put the RSS feed onto the server that hosts your website, using something called a File Transfer Protocol (FTP). Coffee Cup has a free FTP program that you can download. You can also choose to place your podcast on a “hosting” site like Podbean, which allows free storage and is a place where people go to search for podcasts and subscribe.
Most organizations use a variety of methods to communicate with their clients. Blogs and discussion or message boards are 2 tools that you could incorporate in your online service delivery.
REVIEW SLIDE & HANDOUT IN PACK
Discussion Boards are yet another option. There is a fine disctinction between a discussion board and a message board. Discussion boards would be primarily client-to-client conversation. A Message Board implies that someone with Subject knowledge or expertise will be present on the board, responding to messages and stimulating purposeful conversation on specific topics. Most average users do not concern themselves with this distinction.
Our agency website has incorporated a Message Board for a number of years. During that time we’ve learned that for a Message Board to work effectively, a staff member needs to maintain a regular presence on the site. Conversation needs to be cultivated and stimulated during slow periods, otherwise clients will stop using it. The Board also needs to be moderated for inappropriate language or comments, so they are removed promptly. We found that our clients had begun to use our Message Board like an Online Portfolio system. They are posting messages to market themselves to employers, indicating what type of work they are looking for and including personal information like their name and phone number. If you are thinking of integrating a blog into your site, then the message board may be redundant as clients will be able to participate by responding to blog posts.
I don’t want to overstate the link to learning preferences and how our clients process the information we provide on our websites. These virtual tools are worth considering for simpler reasons: they offer variety and capture client interest they might make it easier for certain clients to access service or to stay connected with it beyond the initial counselling session It’s good public relations – sites that are rich in content and use the newest technologies will help you establish a reputation as a relevant and innovative service provider the tools are fun to use (if you’re into technology!) So where do you start if you’re thinking about expanding your online services? READ THROUGH POINTS ABOVE
Think about whether there is anyone in your organization who is particularly tech-savvy. How comfortable are your staff with computers and technology? How comfortable are your staff with change in general??? Are there any potential partners you can connect with in your community? Who else is trying these technologies and how are they using them? Where can your staff get training in Web 2.0 technologies locally? Are there any features that can be developed in collaboration with another partner? It doesn’t have to be a solo venture! For example: purchasing seats on a partners E-learning platform for clients, or co-developing content and modules. What about having local students or a youth group develop video clips for your site?
It’s important for staff to use the tools whenever possible with clients during face-to-face interaction. Clients need Internet navigation skills in the world of work, but the reality is for some inexperienced users, they will struggle if they have to wander all over the web to find the information that you can provide from your own site. Having some of these extra ‘tools’ on your own website can help them enormously. Some of these tools are very contagious. For example, social bookmarking. It can be exhausting for staff to try and keep up with all the newest information on their own. Within our own office I hear Counsellors talking amongst themselves about different websites they have found, or emailing each other with the latest great information discovery! When it becomes a collaboration between staff and amongst clients and staff this motivates everyone to keep it up and keep learning.
Before expanding your online services, you will want to consider where virtual service delivery fits within your mandate and also your funding model IF or HOW these services can be counted . Eg) Will an E-counselling session be something that you can count? Are you funded for any type of Information and Referral or Resource Service, and could some online services be counted in this way? In order to capture what you need to count, will clients have to register with the organization first before being given access to some online services, such as assessments? Do you have the human and budgetary resources to make virtual service delivery work for your organization? What services do you want to offer online and what is the required initial and long-term investment? REVIEW QUOTE
VCCS Employment Services Planning & Developing a Virtual Employment Centre
Agenda: <ul><li>Introductions </li></ul><ul><li>What, How and Why? </li></ul><ul><li>Features & Technology </li></ul><ul><li>Costs, Advantages and Limitations </li></ul><ul><li>Questions? </li></ul>
What is a Virtual Employment Centre (VEC)? <ul><li>A highly interactive website </li></ul><ul><li>An online “space” where clients can connect with career practitioners, other clients and/or employers </li></ul><ul><li>A community “tool” where mediated networking and information sharing can happen </li></ul><ul><li>Example: </li></ul>
How is this achieved? <ul><li>Through interactive features such as: </li></ul><ul><li>Video & Audio Clips </li></ul><ul><li>E-Counselling (a.k.a. Cybercounselling) </li></ul><ul><li>Online Workshops and Courses (E-Learning) </li></ul><ul><li>Online Quizzes and Assessments </li></ul><ul><li>Social Bookmarking </li></ul><ul><li>Webinars and Podcasting </li></ul><ul><li>Blogs and Discussion Boards </li></ul>
Why build it? <ul><li>Reach more clients using a medium they understand </li></ul><ul><li>Help clients who can’t meet face-to-face (f2f) </li></ul><ul><li>Still Relatively Innovative for Community Service Providers </li></ul><ul><li>Promote your services through client “trusted networks” </li></ul><ul><li>Recognizes different cognitive preferences of clients </li></ul>
Thinking Styles 4 Types <ul><li>Visual Preferences (V) </li></ul><ul><li>Remember what they SEE versus what they HEAR </li></ul><ul><li>May know what they want to say but have difficulty coming up with the words </li></ul><ul><li>Usually need to have verbal instructions repeated </li></ul><ul><li>Respond to colour, art, mapping </li></ul><ul><li>Like to have a plan; good organizers </li></ul><ul><li>The See-ers </li></ul><ul><li>Clue: Doodle during phone conversations, counselling sessions, classes </li></ul>
<ul><li>Visual Reading/Writing Preferences (VR) </li></ul><ul><li>Enjoy reading and would rather read than be read to </li></ul><ul><li>Like handouts, prefer information in words rather than charts or diagrams </li></ul><ul><li>Like to use dictionaries, manuals, texts </li></ul><ul><li>The Reframe-ers </li></ul><ul><li>Clue: Often reread silently, rewrite notes, like to jot down ideas </li></ul>
<ul><li>Auditory Preferences (A) </li></ul><ul><li>Like to talk through a problem </li></ul><ul><li>Find writing difficult </li></ul><ul><li>Remember what they HEAR </li></ul><ul><li>Don’t visualize well; respond to patterns of sound, speech and music </li></ul><ul><li>Often good speakers! </li></ul><ul><li>The Listen-ers </li></ul><ul><li>Clue: Talkative, love discussion, repeat words </li></ul>
<ul><li>Kinesthetic Preferences (K) </li></ul><ul><li>Like to experiment and practice </li></ul><ul><li>Memorize by WALKING and SEEING </li></ul><ul><li>Respond to movement, gestures, acting things out </li></ul><ul><li>Have difficulty remembering a place unless they’ve actually been there </li></ul><ul><li>The Do-ers </li></ul><ul><li>Clue: Hard to sit still during counselling session, may have messy handwriting, gesture a lot when they talk </li></ul>
VCCS Serves: 31km/ 26mins <ul><li>Large rural area </li></ul><ul><li>Few (if any) public transit links </li></ul><ul><li>2000+ clients this year </li></ul><ul><li>Assessment </li></ul><ul><li>EAS </li></ul><ul><li>Job Connect </li></ul><ul><li>IRS Resource Room </li></ul>62.5km;51mins 35km;36mins 20km; 20mins 90km;1hr 22mins 34km;34mins
New Realities = New Issues <ul><li>Second Career Program </li></ul><ul><li>Economic downturn </li></ul><ul><li>New strategies? </li></ul>
Context: What is happening in the City of Kawartha Lakes <ul><li>Expansion of broadband Internet service across the region </li></ul><ul><li>Local high schools are teaching in-class lessons while simultaneously broadcasting live online </li></ul><ul><li>Local Adult Ed Centre also a Virtual Learning Centre </li></ul>
What is happening in our communities? <ul><li>Websites are getting ‘deeper’ </li></ul><ul><li>Computers and Internet connections are getting faster </li></ul><ul><li>Web Technologies are evolving </li></ul><ul><li>Expectations are changing </li></ul>
Why now? <ul><li>Technology trends are quickly evolving in terms of what is available and how public perceives it </li></ul><ul><li>Emphasis on user input and personalization of components </li></ul><ul><li>This new theme of interactive web is known as Web 2.0 </li></ul>
What Our Clients Told Us: <ul><li>Focus Group of 16 multi-barriered youth aged 16-29 </li></ul><ul><li>Survey of 142 clients </li></ul><ul><ul><li>66% had high-speed Internet at home </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>51% can use more complex applications </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>61% engaged in online chat frequently </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>56% had experience with webcams </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>54% had used video streaming/videoconferencing </li></ul></ul>
What They Wanted: <ul><li>58% were interested in online chat (+/- counsellor) </li></ul><ul><li>31% liked the idea of attending an online workshop </li></ul><ul><li>44% would watch videos of Employer Presentations </li></ul><ul><li>50% would watch videos on other topics </li></ul>
Video Clip Library Definition: A compilation of video information used as a tool in employment education (A) (V)
Putting It Together <ul><li>2 Options: </li></ul><ul><li>Direct users to existing video files in another location (e.g YouTube.com) </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Beware of copyright! </li></ul></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Can also use hyperlinks to free video files </li></ul></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>Record, edit and convert video “in-house” </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Update web pages easily using an HTML Editor </li></ul></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>MS Frontpage, Dreamweaver, Coffee Cup </li></ul></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>NVU, Page Breeze, KompoZer, EVRSoft First Page 06 FREE! </li></ul></ul></ul></ul></ul>
Suggested Hardware <ul><li>Digital Camcorder </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Cost $270-$800 (lower end of price range would be suitable) </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Wireless PC Microphone </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Provides clear, consistent audio recording for video </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Cost $100-$130 </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Audio can also be added later </li></ul></ul>
Suggested Software <ul><li>Windows Movie Maker </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Allows: </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Add music </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Split and remove portions </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Insert titles and captions </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Special effects </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>No cost service; free download </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Available on computers using Windows </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Very user friendly! </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Free Screen Recorder 2.9 </li></ul>
Audio Clip Library <ul><li>Definition: A compilation of audio information used as tool in employment education </li></ul><ul><li>Option #1: Provide a library of audio recordings (eg. Employer Presentations) </li></ul><ul><li>Option #2: Provide voice readings of written content </li></ul>(A)
E-Counselling Methods <ul><li>Use web-based media for service </li></ul><ul><li>More than Email; Synchronous </li></ul><ul><li>Potential Methods: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Live Chat </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Live Document Sharing </li></ul></ul>
Live Chat <ul><li>Yahoo Messenger </li></ul><ul><li>ICQ </li></ul><ul><li>MSN Messenger </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Allows collaboration with Yahoo Messenger users </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Live full screen video and audio messaging </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Send and receive cell phone text messages </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Live Chat </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Possibilities: establish a time to meet 1:1 or a digital sign-up session for a group </li></ul>(VR) (V) (K)
Zoho.com Live Chat <ul><li>Free product </li></ul><ul><li>Chat box can be embedded directly into your webpage – nice feature! </li></ul><ul><li>Anonymous secured meeting space </li></ul><ul><li>“ Live Support” vs “Shoutbox” </li></ul>
<ul><li>Insert Zoho.com chat box sample here </li></ul>
Live Document Sharing <ul><li>Online connection with one person or a group </li></ul><ul><ul><li>collaboration on written electronic documents </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>screen sharing and remote assistance </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Live Chat is included </li></ul><ul><li>Examples: Googledocs.com, Zoho.com, Windows Live Workspace </li></ul>(V) (K)
Social Bookmarking <ul><li>A method of Human Mediated Search </li></ul><ul><li>Search engines such as Google use “metaspiders” </li></ul><ul><li>Social bookmarks centralize info others have found on the same topic </li></ul>
<ul><li>“ The average person spends 1 hour a day searching online. That means every 2 weeks, our clients are loosing an entire working day of time.” </li></ul><ul><li>Marco Campagna – OCASI </li></ul><ul><li>Demystifying Web 2.0 Facilitator </li></ul>
How this works: <ul><li>Sign up for a FREE account on a social bookmarking site </li></ul><ul><li>Copy the website address and add it to your social bookmark </li></ul>
<ul><li>Place links on pages of your website </li></ul>
Quizzes & Assessments <ul><li>Crossword puzzles </li></ul><ul><li>Multiple choice or short answer quizzes </li></ul><ul><li>Fill in the blank worksheets </li></ul><ul><li>Matching exercises </li></ul>
RSS Feeds <ul><li>RSS stands for “ R eally S imple S yndication” </li></ul><ul><li>A file format for delivering regularly updated information over the web </li></ul><ul><li>Users request notification when an addition is made to a webpage through a feedreader </li></ul><ul><li>Can be added to your webpage or blog using a feedburner </li></ul><ul><li>Podcast subscriptions work this way </li></ul>
Webcasting <ul><li>An Internet technology that literally broadcasts information: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>audio or video </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>live (streaming) or ‘on demand’ </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Unlike typical surfing (which relies on users coming to the information) webcasting uses push technology ( RSS Feeds ) </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Non-interactive, linear stream of a media file </li></ul><ul><li>Could be used to broadcast workshop facilitators or guest speakers </li></ul>
Components of a Podcast RSS (Subscription Method) Podcast Webpage Audio Content Content Residence User Delivery
Client Communications: Blogs and Discussion Boards <ul><li>A space for clients to learn and to network </li></ul>
Blogging <ul><li>Open forum communication tool </li></ul><ul><li>Can be individualistic or perform a crucial function for your organization </li></ul><ul><li>3 basic functions: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>post links to other sources </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>compile news and articles </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>provide a forum for opinions and commentary </li></ul></ul>(V) (K) (VR)
Discussion Board/Message Board <ul><li>Users post and read announcements on topics of common interest </li></ul><ul><li>A popular way to interact online </li></ul><ul><li>Easy to navigate and easy to use </li></ul>
Where To Start? <ul><li>1. Consider Your Context - what makes sense? </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Agency & Budget </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Service Area and Client Demographic </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Human Resources </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Current Online Presence </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>2. Survey Your Clients – where are they? </li></ul>
Where To Start? <ul><li>3. Take An Inventory – how much do you already know? </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Staff training needs </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Identify a “Champion” </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>4. Explore Partnerships – who can help you make it happen? </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Look within your community for logical partners </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Who offers training in Web 2.0? </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Can we collaborate? </li></ul></ul></ul>
Where To Start? <ul><li>5. Test It Out – when should you ‘go live’? </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Have we missed anything? </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Run some test groups or pilots with existing clients </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>6. Model the Behaviour – use the tools often! </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Have staff refer clients to the site and demonstrate features during f2f sessions </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Encourage staff to participate in the collaboration </li></ul></ul></ul>
Considerations: <ul><li>Funding model & where virtual service delivery fits </li></ul><ul><li>Organizational capacity to make it work </li></ul><ul><li>“ The ultimate goal of technology should be to enhance customer relationships and to increase service levels.” </li></ul><ul><li>- Dan Trepanier, YMCA of Greater Toronto </li></ul><ul><li>(Technology & Career and Employment Counselling – A Compendium of Thought, </li></ul><ul><li>Counselling Foundation of Canada, 1998) </li></ul>