Choosing your Technology

There are a range of technology solutions to support a wide variety of online activity; from meetings via Microsoft Teams to Facebook Live events; the choices can seem endless.

We're going to talk though 3 simple principles to use when choosing your tech, adapted from Campaign Bootcamp. You would also ask yourself these questions when planning in-person activity.

 

Principles for choosing your tech

 

Can I afford it?

As we all know, there are plenty of free online platforms and software out there to support your online activities. Let's not forget the Office 365 suite of applications you have free, unlimited access to with your @ic.ac.uk account.

Visit the Building your Digital Community collection to learn how to setup your online community using Microsoft Teams.

When you have a handle of the tech thats available to you, have a think about:

  • What you feel comfortable with: It’s okay to use a familiar tool while you are figuring out what online training, meetings or events look like. You can then maybe try new tech down the line.
  • What people around you know how to use: If you think you might need support getting to grips with a new tool, remember you are part of a committee and the wider clubs, societies & projects community here at Imperial. It's worth asking around to see what other CSPs are using and asking for advice.

Does it inspire and support learning?

Just as it may seem all new and exciting to host your activities online, long video calls aren't that engaging, whether that's for meetings, training or anything else. Remember to consider all of the features at your disposal to support an engaging online environment, as well as to support accessibility for all participants.

Some features to consider include:

  • Screen sharing
  • A virtual 'hands up' tool
  • Question and Answer (Q&A) functions
  • Breakout groups: smaller 'groups' within the larger meeting or session
  • Being able to mute and unmute participants: like calling on hands in a real life training
  • Collaborative document sharing or editing during the session
  • Polls and 'temperature check' features: checking in with your participants throughout to gague engagement and learning

Can everyone access it? 

Just as you might consider hosting your training at say, the Charing Cross campus as well as South Kensington, you need to consider who you might be excluding from participating when choosing yor tech. 

To learn more about accessibility and tech have a look at the Creating Accessible Online Activities collection.
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