Lunchtime Links: How Associations Fill the Education Gap

Can your educational offerings help train workers in necessary specialized skills? Also: Get your attendees' brains working.

Are associations a better option than higher education for teaching specialized skills?

One argument in favor of that, and more, in today’s Lunchtime Links:

Reinforce your industry’s skills needs: There’s an education gap, and it’s leading to a lack of skilled workers for many industries. How can you help offset that? Jack McGrath, the president and creative director of Digitec Interactive, recently shared a few ideas with the Blog. “Industry should be turning to associations for their continuing education and certification programs,” he writes in a guest post. “Associations may be in a better position than traditional suppliers of higher education to provide the continuing professional development companies need to compete in today’s global business environment.” How are you working to encourage educational efforts for your industry?

Work your attendees’ mental muscles: Now that you’ve got them at your meeting, how do you encourage the best kind of learning? The always-on-point Jeff Hurt has a few ways to make your session a bit more brain-friendly. Among them? He suggests building cues into your presentation. “Tell your audience that you will be using a specific cue or signal to get their attention and let them know that time for the discussion or activity is done,” he writes. “Consider a countdown clock that can be displayed via your slides as another option.” Are your sessions working the right brain muscles?

Is NFC the wave of the future? Psst … have you guys heard about near-field communication? If you haven’t, Bob James at the Engage365 blog is ready to give you the skinny on the ease of use offered by the touch-technology product. “With NFC, event ticketing, access control, games and contests, session scanning, lead retrieval, and attendee tracking all are suddenly easier—and less intrusive—than they’ve ever been before,” he points out. And if you’re still not convinced, James points out the video above, which shows the tech in action.

What’s striking your fancy on the interwebs today? Tell us about it in the comments.


Ernie Smith

By Ernie Smith

Ernie Smith is a senior editor for Associations Now, a former newspaper guy, and a man who is dangerous when armed with a good pun. MORE

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