Many people think that learning has to occur in a classroom at a prescheduled date and time, but that doesn’t have to be the case. The internet has a wealth of information that can help you in your position to achieve the goals you set for yourself in your Employee Development Plan. You don’t have to wait until budgets increase and to get approval to go to training. You can design your own training with several resources available at your fingertips.Today, we’re going to review 4 resources?? You can use to learn when it’s convenient for you, for free!
Text-based resources, like website and email newsletters.
Videos like YouTube and webinars
Audio files called podcasts
And colleagues through professional networks
First let’s talk about text based methods to get information.I’m sure that reading websites to gather information on a topic isn’t new to any of you. However, what I’m going to talk about are ways to automatically have information come to you. This will ensure that you don’t miss things and you save the time of going out to find information. Instead, you can read them at your leisure, for example, during a cup of coffee or lunch. Let’s briefly cover email newsletters - Many websites offer the option to receive email updates or newsletters. Most of the time, you can choose how often you would like to receive emails. If you sign up for emails updates or newsletters from a website and decide that the information you are receiving isn’t something you are interested in, you can unsubscribe.
Here is an example. This is CDC’s homepage. As you can see highlighted in the red box, they have an option to receive email updates.
Once I click on the “Get email updates” link, I enter my email address and am given a slew of topics to choose from. One thing I’m subscribed to is MMWR updates. So each week, I receive a summary of the latest MMWR. If you are interested in a particular topic, you can just select that topic. For example, I used to work in Tuberculosis. It’s not part of my job now, but I feel like I’m staying up-to-date with TB trends by getting updates when the TB page is updated – which is more like once every few months.Pay attention when you visit websites of interest. There may be a link to get an email newsletter or updates. I will mention that the negative to email newsletters is that you do have to provide your email address and it will increase the amount of email in your inbox.
The next thing I’m going to talk about is using a RSS reader. I know that may sound foreign to many of you, but don’t worry, I’m going to take a few minutes to describe what it is.A RSS reader helps you keep track of your favorite websites. Instead of receiving an email update, new content comes to your Reader when it's posted. This saves you time by not needing to visit websites of interestindividually. And you ensure your privacy by not needing to join each site’s email newsletter.Let’s take a look at how this works.
This is you and here are your favorite websites. You log on to your computer and you look for something new by visiting your favorite sites. There may or may not be something new. Every time you look for something new and it is not there, you’ve wasted your valuable time.
Now let’s talk about a faster way. We take the arrows and turn them around the other way. This means that new things from your favorite websites and blogs come to you.
So what we are doing is using a single website that becomes your home to read all of the new stuff that is coming from your favorite websites. There are two steps to get started.
The first step is to create a home to read new posts. I use a tool called Google Reader. All you need is a free account to get started. You can find Google Reader simply by going to Google and looking through the list of tools they offer, like Gmail, at the top of their page. If you already have a Gmail account, you can use that email and password for your Reader account.
Once you’ve signed up for a Reader account, Step number two is to set up a connection between your Reader account and your favorite websites. Setting up these connections is called subscribing. Nearly every website offers the ability to subscribe so that new items will show up here in your reader.To set up these subscriptions to a page, look for this orange icon. If you see this icon on your webpage, click on it and you will be directed to a page that will tell you everything you need to subscribe. Another way to subscribe is to copy the web address, or URL, of a page an add it in your reader. You can see there is a red subscribe button in in the upper left corner of my reader. For a closer look…
This is what my reader looks like.My favorite sites are listed on the left. And on the right, I can scroll through all of the new posts from my favorite sites in a single place.All new content from my favorite websites is housed here until I have time to read them. I usually spend about 10 -15 minutes a day checking my Reader site for updated information. Sometimes I do it first thing in the morning or at lunch. Other days it is a nice way to take a break from other tasks that I’m working on.
2 primary video resources that you can use to learn are YouTube and Webinars.
Type your search term in the box at the top
And you’ll get lots of results.
If you already have a YouTube, Gmail or Google Account, and you sign into YouTube
You can create playlists of videos. Playlists are a way to organize videos that you like on YouTube. This is helpful if you think you might want to look at it again.
You just click the “Add to” button and
Select an existing playlist
…or create a new playlist
If you find someone on YouTube with many helpful videos in an area related to your job, you can also subscribe to that person’s channel, by clicking the plus symbol beside their name.
Once you subscribe to videos, you can either choose to be notified by email when that person uploads new videos or you can see them by clicking on the Subscriptions link when you login to YouTube.
Webinars are online meetings and presentations that are usually scheduled at a specific date and time. However, many organizations archive past webinars so you can view them whenever you’d like. Sometimes you will call in to hear the audio. Other times, you will listen through your computer’s speakers. You may also see webinars listed as webcasts.You might find that once you subscribe to newsletters and RSS feeds in your field, you may receive periodic notices about webinars as well.
The CDC has held several webinars this year about Emergency Preparedness and Response. Check the websites of national and local organizations in your field and see if they have webinars.
The National Association of County and City Health Officials has posted an archive of their Emerging Issues in Maternal and Child Health webinar series. Google is a great source to learn about new webinars as well as subscribing to organizations’ email lists.
Podcasts are like a radio shows. It can be an audio or video series about anything and everything. You can search Google for podcasts about topics that interest you and listen through your computer speakers.
I stumbled upon this website for a series of podcasts about health literacy
You’ll notice that you can listen to them directly on the website
You can subscribe to the RSS feed
You can subscribe via email
And you also have the option to subscribe through iTunes
iTunes is a program that you must download to your computer, so you’ll have to do this at home. If you have a portable device, you can listen to podcasts on the go. However, you don’t have to have an iPad, iPhone, or iPod to listen to podcasts on iTunes. You can also listen to them on your computer.
Once you download iTunes. You’ll see a lot on the screen.
If you click on Podcasts on the navigation bar
You can see New & Noteworthy podcasts as well as other categories.
To search, just enter your key words in the search box.
When you search, your results are not limited to podcasts, so you’ll need to
Click on Podcasts, beneath Filter by Media Type to see the Podcasts only.From here, you can subscribe for free to podcasts, see more results and play specific episodes. When you subscribe, each time you open iTunes, it will check to see if a new episode is available and download it for you.
Here is a CDC Emerging Infection Diseases podcast in iTunes.
Here is a Medical Spanish podcast.
And here is a Nursing Show.
Have you ever wanted to run a question by your co-workers to get their thoughts and opinions on something? Or there are some of us who don’t have co-workers in the buidling who do exactly what we do and it would be nice to have more of an extended network.Many of you probably use social networks like Facebook. But what many of you may not realize is that there is a social network, called LinkedIn, for professional networking. This site provides the opportunity to stay in touch and interact with your professional connections.
In Linkedin, you create an online profile. This profile includes your work experience and education. You then create connections with people you know. LinkedIn will help you find these people based on your profile or you can search for them yourself.
Often our people networks can point us in the right direction with many work issues. When you log on to Linked In, you can interact with your networks.
Another thing you can do in LinkedIn is to join groups. These are groups are comprised of people you might not know, but share an interest with. You can then interact with members of a group by reading discussions and asking or answering questions.Some groups are more active than others, but it is definitely interesting to find groups of people working on the same issues that you work on.
Some examples of some public health related groups are: the American Public Health Association, the Council of State and Territorial Epidemiologist, the Public Health Emergency Management, SAS Professional Forum, the American Society for Nutrition, Health Promotion and Education, there is even a VDH Trainers group.
As we’ve seen in the last few minutes, the web has changed the way we access information. We hope that you can take one or two tips from today and incorporate them into your professional development.And one last thing before we wrap up, I just wanted to mention that you can track some of the things you do, like webinars or podcasts, in your TRAIN account. Talk to your SuperUser if you have things you’d like to add.
Think outside the classroom
ThinkOutside theClassroomLearning when it’sconvenient for you,for free!
Text Colleagues Video AudioEmail Professional YouTube PodcastsNewsletters Networks WebinarsWebsites (RSS)
Text VideoEmail YouTubeNewsletters WebinarsWebsites (RSS)
Text Video AudioEmail YouTube PodcastsNewsletters WebinarsWebsites (RSS)
Text Video Audio ColleaguesEmail YouTube Podcasts ProfessionalNewsletters Networks WebinarsWebsites (RSS)
American Public Health AssociationCouncil of State & Territorial EpidemiologistsSAS Professional ForumPublic Health Emergency ManagementAmerican Society for NutritionHealth Promotion & EducationEnvironmental HealthCommonwealth of Virginia Employees & Alumni
Text Video Audio ColleaguesEmail YouTube Podcasts ProfessionalNewsletters Networks WebinarsWebsites (RSS)
Betsy MarchantInstructional DesignerOffice of Risk Communication and EducationMichelle E. JohnsonAgency Training Resources CoordinatorOffice of Human ResourcesVirginia Department of Health, Distance Learning Committee Brown Bag Lunch Seminar