Technology is supposed to make our lives easier, but it hasn’t always worked out that way in the real world. Since the pandemic struck, we've all had to get better acquainted with videoconferencing and we all have thought about how we would improve it if we could.
I believe that pressure for improving online meetings, which have become so central to everything from education to public services, will bring a burst of creative innovation in the sector. I believe that the brands who survive all the creative destruction that we call innovation will be those who prioritize simplicity and utility.
We can all think of technologies that just didn’t catch on because they were too hard or not valuable enough in the lives of their customers. Facebook phones were poised to storm the market in 2013, but people found they weren’t as versatile as a standard phone and the devices quickly disappeared from the market. On the other end of the spectrum, Blackberry devices were all the rage for many years due to their utility. They only faded away after a simpler option, the touch-sensitive iPhone, eclipsed them.
Simplicity. Utility. In the world’s best technologies, these two lines of force meet at some point, which is not the same for all users. When enough people agree on the most useful device that they can easily operate, adoption tends to be extremely rapid. When those lines cross at the wrong point, even the most promising technology is likely to gather dust.
Why On-call Support and Training Matters
My team and I at OneScreen have thought about this subject a great deal. Videoconferencing, collaboration and remote learning solutions can quickly become too complex to be useful for everyday users. There are always new features to add or more platforms to integrate. We strive to provide as much utility as possible in every device, but we are careful to keep in mind the learning curve for new users so that it never becomes intimidating.
Everything we build, from our new GoSafe systems that reduce risks and improve security at entryways to our Hubware series of interactive smart screens with built into collaboration tools, is supported by our Screen Skills Guru team. They are there to offer new users whatever training and support they need to flatten the learning curve.
An article in Forbes looked at the problems faced by educators in the transition to online classes. Many teachers have been disappointed by technologies in the past. They may have turned back to more traditional methods of teaching when they couldn’t get the training and trouble-shooting help they needed to succeed. On the other hand, they may have mastered new technologies but then weren’t able to achieve the results they expected. Simplicity and utility must go hand in hand.
Roadblocks to Remote Learning
Research on education technology agrees with common sense in this case. People need two-way communication and answers on-demand in order to feel comfortable with new technology. In a study on barriers to technology adoption in schools, Lenny Schad, former Chief Information Officer at Houston Independent School District, cited a lack of “individualized training” suited to the needs of each user. You can’t post a 5-minute training video and expect everyone to jump on board.
“When it comes to putting in place enterprise systems, you may be changing how people have done their job for years and their value to the organization feels threatened,” Schad explained.
Live help is a combination of knowledge transfer and confidence building. That kind of assistance is beyond the scope of over-taxed IT resources in many organizations. To provide that level of help takes more than tech support. It takes a guru.
"Someone to be there."
In working with educators over the past eight years on building the ideal remote learning environment, we found that there was one thing they wanted more than anything else: just someone to be there when they had a question. While there are always new platforms to integrate and improvements to components, what all users agree on is a need for more help getting started and support on the fly. Teachers and administrators have very little time to spend on training and their local IT staff, if they had any at all on site, were already overwhelmed.
In an age when so many tech companies have cut back on tech support, or started charging higher prices for it, or made it impossible to reach a real human on the other end, we went the other direction. We dreamed of offering free tech support on demand from people who had the skills to actually answer customer questions. Then we found a way to make it real.
Meet the Screen Skills Gurus
It has taken a considerable commitment of resources, but we now have the manpower to answer calls for training, tips or technical support at the press of a button. Screen Skills Gurus are on call from 8am to 8pm ET.
Because we maintain offices around the world, we are able to offer this service in some of the most common languages as well. We've witnessed the relief teachers and business leaders feel when they can finally access tech help in their native language - English, Spanish, or Urdu. More languages are being added as the service expands.
Our Screen Skills Gurus are engineers who can respond over the phone, in a chat window or in a live teleconference. This service has vastly changed the utility of the devices we provide. Administrators and school boards can know that they are not wasting district budgets on tech that teachers can’t use. Teachers are the ones eager to explore the potential of these new devices once they know they have a guide on hand.
The Screen Skills Guru service from OneScreen is completely unique in the smart screen market. We were the first and remain the only manufacturer to offer something like this and we have done it since day one in 2012. I believe that this is strongest evidence that we really want our customers to succeed -- unlimited, live help online for free, across a range of time zones and languages. The Screen Skills Guru button is right on the homescreen of our devices to give everyone an elevated level of value, convenience, and service.
Defining True Value
Training and support unlock the true value of any technology. Whether you are in a conference room or a classroom, you don’t have time to wait for an over-taxed help desk. Know that there’s a Screen Skills Guru on your side for training and support before, during or after your next class or meeting.
For a quick overview on how this works, watch our series of videos There's A Guru for That! When you are ready to see OneScreen in action, simply schedule an online demo. See for yourself how easy technology can be when you have your own Screen Skills Guru by your side at just the click of a button.