Mobile Communications

Matt Pierce (Global) - BYOD Training: Content vs. Consumption

Bring your own device (BYOD), the concept of allowing employees to use personal devices in the workplace, has become the latest technology phrase of choice. Opinions on the concept are varied, and shifting rapidly.

Just 12 months ago, a global survey of 1,500 IT managers found 51% said the number of employees bringing their own devices to work was on the rise, and 48% reported their company would never authorise employees to bring their own devices to work. Flash forward a year, a similarly targeted survey found 70% of respondents believe BYOD can improve their work processes, and nearly two thirds believe they would be at a competitive disadvantage without BYOD.

That's quite a shift in opinion. While employees may be enjoying the use of their latest smartphone, tablet or laptop at work, training managers should consider how this trend can be an advantage for them in engaging with employees.

Content creation vs. content consumption
It's easy to forget the majority of BYO devices are used predominantly for content consumption, not content creation. Dozens, or even hundreds, of employees may use their device for viewing a PowerPoint presentation, but few will ever use an iPad to create one.

This habit presents an opportunity for training and learning professionals. The majority of devices being brought to the workplace will have video functionally built-in, meaning there's a near ideal scenario of employees having easy access to multimedia and video content on a device they are already keen to use. It's up to those responsible for content creation to take advantage.

One video, multiple devices
Formatting and sharing training content and resources, such as pdfs or presentations, is a fairly simple process. The vast majority of devices will be able to read a pdf, or at least have compatible apps for this functionally. However, employees are unlikely to fully engage with such content on their own device - especially when they are distracted by email, calendar invites and their own priorities.

Video, specifically in the form of a screencast, offers a more engaging content format. A screencast, sometimes referred to as a screen capture, is a video recording of a computer's screen using specialist software. It allows a trainer to record a video of what's happening on their computer screen, creating a video walkthrough of how to use a website or software. This effectively creates a video tutorial for use as a training resource. The video can also include a voice narration from a presenter. This allows a presentation-focused training session to be captured as a video, with the presenter talking through the presentation slides on screen. Essentially, it acts as a digital video version of instructor-led training sessions.

Such screencast videos take full advantage of the BYOD opportunity, providing engaging content that can be shared across multiple devices, operating systems, media players and screen sizes. Once completed, the recordings can be saved in a format compatible with any BYO device, or hosted online to access through a web connected device.

It also capitalises on the content creation vs. consumption trend, with content usually found on a traditional desktop ported to any number of mobile devices.

Instant access
Hosting video online allows employees to access a library of digital learning content as and when they need it. New employees can be provided with links to the screencast training during an induction, saving time on getting them familiar with new processes or software. Screencast creation is not restricted to trainers. Any employee can create a screencast to share with their colleagues. This informal knowledge sharing can be a valuable asset to an organisation and helps further build up the bank of training resources.


By Matt Pierce, Customer Engagement Manager, TechSmith Corporation



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