In-House Private Podcasts: A Cost-Effective Training Alternative
An in-house private podcast feed as a training solution offers a strategic and cost-effective alternative for disability services looking to optimise their training programs.
Minimal Infrastructure Costs
Unlike traditional training methods that may require renting venues or investing in specialised equipment or even outsourcing to an RTO (registered training organisation), in-house private podcasts have minimal infrastructure costs. All that’s needed is a platform for hosting the podcasts and basic recording equipment which can be as simple as a smartphone or a computer with a microphone.
This simplicity in infrastructure results in significant cost savings, allowing disability services to allocate depth to their training programs.
Reduced Logistics Expenditure
Logistics, including venue bookings, transport, shift coverage and accommodation for attendees, constitute a substantial portion of traditional training costs. In-house private podcasts eliminate the need for these logistics, as training content is delivered digitally.
Staff can access the training materials from the comfort of their own workspace or remotely, eliminating the need for travel.
Scalability without Incremental Costs
The great thing about a private rss feed, depending upon your host, is that it costs as much to produce a program or course for one person as it does for a thousand.
Or to put it another way, once the initial investment in content creation is made, it can be accessed by an unlimited number of individuals without additional expenses. This scalability is particularly advantageous for disability services that operate across wide regions, states or even the nation. Your onboarding process could, perhaps should, include a series of episodes from the CEO explaining, in depth, the ethical basis for your service, what’s expected as a minimum standard from employees and how to access their pay and EAP options. This would be great for the new staff member to consume between interview and offer of employment and onboarding paperwork sessions. Setting the standard for service from the beginning.
Flexibility in Scheduling
Traditional training sessions are often bound by fixed schedules which can be challenging for disability service professionals with diverse responsibilities. In-house private podcasts offer flexibility in scheduling, allowing individuals to engage with the training content at their convenience.
This flexibility not only caters to varying work schedules but also accommodates the time constraints faced by individuals working in different time zones. It empowers disability service professionals to balance training with their daily responsibilities, promoting a culture of continuous learning without disrupting workflow.
Enhancing Training Content and Accessibility
In addition to cost-effectiveness, in-house private podcasts contribute to the enhancement of training content and accessibility.
Rich Multimedia Content
Podcast feeds offer much more than audio delivered training content. Depending upon the podcast app, video is an option. Back in the day, the original internet beta vs VHS battle over video on the web was between video podcasts and Youtube. There was a clear winner. The video option in podcasting remains available even though some apps do not support it, for some reason. This does not mean all training episode should be in video, the power of audio as discussed ad infinitum in this feed, is its unique ability to connect with deeper parts of the human mind, linking us back to the wandering storytellers of the Bronze Age and the fact it can be consumed whilst doing other things.
However, for instruction on the use of software, a screenshot video would be appropriate.
Beyond audio and video, an rss feed will also transmit .pdf files. So worksheets, module summaries, checklists and the like can form part of the instructional design. And there are no transport nor postage costs involved. The .pdfs just arrive in the feed for downloading as any other episode does.
Accessibility for Diverse Audiences
Disability services often work with diverse groups, including individuals from different cultural backgrounds, varying language proficiencies and diverse learning abilities. In-house private podcasts can be designed with accessibility features, such as multilingual content, audio descriptions and transcripts. As just discussed, audio, video and .pdf are all available and may be prepared in more than one language. Even the video option could allow for the hearing impaired to view an episode in Auslan if not just in written form.
The possibilities are limited only by the imagination. This is somewhat exacerbated by the assumption of audio only for podcasts. In most cases I would advocate for audio only but remember the other options are there and a training feed would be one such exception.
Overcoming Barriers to Technology Adoption
While in-house private podcasts offer a plethora of benefits, it’s essential to address potential barriers to technology adoption within disability services.
Selecting user-friendly podcast platforms is crucial to ensure that individuals with varying levels of technological proficiency can easily navigate and access training content. Platforms with intuitive interfaces and clear instructions contribute to a smooth learning experience. I live in hope that Alphabet will reverse its decision to kill off the Google Podcast App as it was minimalist, intuitive and easy to work with. They won’t. The Youtube Music Podcasts replacement option from Alphabet is a very poor alternative. The Apple Podcast app is a little too busy for new users, I find, but could work. I prefer Overcast in the iPhone world and hear Podcast Addict is similarly good for the Android world. By the time your service has its modules up and running, another review of available apps would be a good idea.
Conclusion: Maximising Impact, Minimising Costs
An in-house private podcast represents a leap into the 21st century. Disability services are able to optimise their training programs, maximising impact while minimising costs. By going all in on this innovative approach, disability services can create scalable, flexible and engaging training initiatives to provide an edge over others in the field, create a culture of continuous learning to develop a body of staff at the cutting edge of client support, which is the point of a disability service, surely.
The next episode in season 11 is about just how to elevate the effects an in-house elearning podcast!
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