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Training is an important part of an organisation. As without training and development, how can you expect your staff to grow and excel? If they are not growing then neither will your business. We scanned the internet for the best training stats out there. Now you can be assured that training is a worthwhile investment.

58% of workers prefer to learn at their own pace

This shows that employees want to be in control of their own development and learning. It’s important that your company uses a learning software that enables employees to take learning at their own pace. HowNow is an online platform.  This means your company can access their own online training school from anywhere and even through the mobile app.

Source: https://learning.linkedin.com/content/dam/me/learning/en-us/pdfs/linkedin-learning-workplace-learning-report-2018.pdf

94% of employees would stay at a company longer if it invested in their career development

Recruiting new staff is a very hefty cost that can impact a business. Not only does it cost the business financially but also slows down the productivity of your workforce.  If almost all staff surveyed are saying that professional development impacts their decision to stay then it’s a no-brainer.  Professional development requirements of employees must be met with training opportunities. It will not only lead to employee retention but it will also lead to increased productivity.

Source: https://learning.linkedin.com/content/dam/me/learning/en-us/pdfs/linkedin-learning-workplace-learning-report-2018.pdf

employee retention

56% of employees would spend more time learning if managers indicated which courses to take to improve or gain new skills.

This figure indicates that the majority of employees would love to develop further but lack the expertise to know what courses or skills to take to advance themselves further in their career.  You want your employees to smash their goals and meet their KPIs. Therefore, allocate appropriate training to ensure they have the skills needed to excel.

Source: https://learning.linkedin.com/content/dam/me/learning/en-us/pdfs/linkedin-learning-workplace-learning-report-2018.pdf

33% of companies surveyed would say that learning and development departments are critical to the success

If you see evidence like this, you can’t ignore it.  Professional development will not only motivate and engage your team but it will also contribute to your profit line. HowNow makes it easy for you to deliver engaging training to employees with live classes, gamification and assessments.   You can measure your employee’s engagement and progress by using a detailed analytics dashboard of their learning and progress.

Source: https://www.findcourses.co.uk/inspiration/read-uk-ld-report-2018-13589

34% of companies say that their learning and development is limited by budget.

There are many things that are likely fighting for a share of your budget. It’s important to analyse each investment even learning, to understand the returns and the overall impact on the company. Thankfully, HowNow is an online platform where you can host and deliver learning online.  This means your budget won’t be quite as stretched as if you were providing workshops and using an old learning management system.  HowNow has monthly plans and if you signed up for a year you will receive a 20% discount.  Without your employees your company would not grow,  after your product, they are the single most important contributor to growth.  So if you are going to invest your money anywhere then I’d say that your employees are a pretty good investment.

Source: Source: https://www.findcourses.co.uk/inspiration/read-uk-ld-report-2018-13589

employee engagment

70% agree that training can help people block out distractions.

It’s not easy concentrating at work, there are a million ways you can distract yourself. Surprisingly as it may be many employees believe that training can help limit distractions. Employees surveyed said they felt much more productive when provided with training and development opportunities. This may be because when they are learning, they are far more engaged in their work and producing the best work they can. Not having adequate training to take on your tasks leads to frustration and distracted.

Source:  https://research.udemy.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/03/FINAL-Udemy_2018_Workplace_Distraction_Report.pdf

42% of employees surveyed said they would be more engaged at work if they had access to learning new skills whenever needed

Just in Time training is a new phrase but at the heart of it, it means learning what you need when you need it.  It’s important that employees can access materials when they need them.  This may be a lesson or a collection of resources when the issues arises. There are many training modules that can be planned but sometimes when you are working new issues arises. Build out a library of content in your school where employees can find appropriate resources. This will enable them to move past the problem quicker.  Not knowing how to solve an issue can lead to distractions in the workplace and a drop in morale.

Source: https://research.udemy.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/03/FINAL-Udemy_2018_Workplace_Distraction_Report.pdf

 

It is notoriously difficult to define employee engagement but there is one thing we know for certain: engaged employees are happier than their disengaged colleagues, and more productive. The 2014 University of Warwick’s study found that “human happiness has large and positive causal effects on productivity”. So, the happier employees are, the more productive they will be, which is a benefit for both employees and employers alike.

But what can you do to make your staff happier at work? Well, it’s not as complicated as you may think. Focus on six key areas of staff engagement and you could have a happier, healthier and more productive workforce in no time!

Communication

Transparency and open conversations between employees and management are the basis of building trust and, consequently, engagement. Tailoring benefits communications to staff can make them happier, which is not only good for your staff, but also good for your business. Receiving meaningful and relevant information can improve someone’s day, receiving generic ‘Dear all’ messages about topics that they don’t care about and aren’t affected by can both frustrate and annoy staff. If you take the time to have a conversation rather than just shooting across an email, your employees will really appreciate the extra effort involved.

Wellbeing

With 1 in 4 people suffering with a diagnosable mental health condition each year, mental wellbeing should already be at the top of every HR agenda. Financial and physical wellbeing should also feature heavily when you’re discussing employee engagement and productivity. These three key areas of wellbeing are so intrinsically linked that it is often hard to impact one without affecting the others. Job insecurity can also lead to financial worries, and increased stress has been shown to lead to poorer physical health, so it is important to provide both financial and physical wellbeing initiatives during any period of change.

Staff Engagment

Accessibility

Making all employee benefits and comms accessible in one place, via an app means that staff have everything they need right at their fingertips. Gone are the days of wasting time trawling the company intranet for some information that might be out of date once you get to it. Today, staff want everything in real-time and an employee engagement app can do just that, and more.

Learning and Development

Learning and development are inseparable aspects of our working life. If we stop learning, we stop growing, so whether you have a speaker come to the office, offer an online database of courses, or you run workshops during lunch breaks, make sure that regular learning and development opportunities are available for all staff members.

Running seminars and workshops on managerial training, refresher courses for employees on elements of their day-to-day job, and more specialist courses for those wishing to move into a different section of the business will help keep your workforce engaged.

Live classes online learning
Example of using HowNow to conduct training

Reward and Recognition

When you recognise and reward a high level of service, you encourage employees to repeat these actions, creating a happier and more productive workforce. The majority of reward and recognition programmes are now digital, which allows access anytime and anywhere. However, even though a programme may be online, this doesn’t guarantee participation. Younger employees check their smartphone an average of 85 times per day, so placing your Reward and Recognition within an app, could significantly boost participation. The introduction of technology even allows for some level of automation, which can make recognising employees hard work even easier.

hapi- Personal Group App

Feedback

Eventually, it all comes full circle and we’re back to communication, this time from employee to employer. Pulse surveys, feedback forms or even grabbing a quick coffee with each team can help show your staff that you do listen and understand their concerns. Once you’ve collected staff feedback, it is important that you take action. The most successful engagement programmes use this feedback to fine tune engagement strategies. Treating your engagement programme as an ongoing and iterative process that is constantly adapting and improving can show your staff that you care about their wellbeing. This will not only help them become more engaged, you may find that it also improves happiness and productivity levels in your organisation too.

 

About the Author:

Hayley is Communications Executive at Personal Group, a technology-enabled employee services business which works with employers to drive productivity through better employee engagement and a more motivated workforce. With over 30 years’ experience, the Company provides employee benefits, serving 550 businesses, reaching over 2 million employees across the UK.

Onboarding

Let’s start from the beginning where training first plays a role. The first experience of your company an employee has is the onboarding process. This is the first impression they get of the company from the inside, the first time they realise what a treat it will be to work for you.  Sadly this process is fairly boring for a lot of companies. The first few days/weeks of a new employee’s life at most companies involve sitting around doing nothing and feeling that they have so much to learn about their new job.

Most of the time they feel unsure how to bring themselves up to speed with the relevant processes and procedures.

Fear not! This is where HowNow could work it’s magic for you.  All you need to do is enrol your new employee to your online school powered by HowNow and invite them to your tailored onboarding course.

An onboarding course could save you a great deal of time and money. This is because you can ensure that new employees are up to speed from their first day. Another bonus is a reduction in costs associated with training; saving money on time and resources. You can ensure your courses are engaging and interactive by using the multiple content formats available on HowNow. This could be video, audio, quizzes, assessments or live classes to name a few.

New starter waiting for training

Health and Safety in the workplace

Sounds pretty boring doesn’t it, but we all need to do it. Although the training is fairly similar in most places, there are small details that differ that make it important to undertake. Better to be safe than sorry as they say! The chances are that your new employees have experienced similar training numerous times in their career. Therefore make sure it’s interactive and engaging so they don’t switch off.

Conduct a number of live classes within the organisation with various groups of people. You can be reassured that those employees are not sitting in the room sleeping with their eyes open.  A live class of say 9 people will allow the instructor to have a more personalised training experience with the learners. The instructor can engage the class with an interactive whiteboard, discussion and even put the learners on the spot with questions.

This kind of training is important to understand if employees have actually understood it, as it could affect the safety of themselves and others. So why not measure their intake of knowledge with a quiz or assessment. You will be able to monitor the employees to see who perhaps needs to revisit this training again as they have not understood it clearly. Guarantee all your employees pass with flying colours for a healthy and safe workplace environment.

health and safety training

Digital Skills Training

We have written a few articles on addressing the ‘Digital Skills Gap’ in your company which you may have read before in HR news and on our blog.  The ‘Digital Skills Gap’ can only be addressed with training. HowNow is all about empowering learning. We are constantly looking for ways to improve the learning and the knowledge sharing experience on our platform.

Use HowNow as a tool for upskilling your staff. Call upon someone within your organisation to who possess the correct digital skills to create a training course. This is a great way to empower employees and make them feel valued, whilst also sharing the great expertise they have in the business.

If you currently do not have anyone that is able to do this for you, then seek help elsewhere. Hiring an expert may be costly but the training material they create for your company will be invaluable as you share that knowledge with the rest of your organisation.

It’s worth noting that with Digital skills, they will constantly need to be updated and refreshed. This is so they fit in with the latest developments in tech and its impacts in the workplace. With HowNow, you can ensure that all your employees are kept up to date and refreshed with the latest developments – wherever they are

Digital Skills Training

 

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What is a Millennial?

A Millennial is someone that is born in the early 1980’s to the late 1990’s. As a customer segment, the Millennial generation can be defined by many characteristics and traits. Although these, of course, vary. There is research that has made ‘claims’ about how this generation thinks and behave. This could be vital to understanding what motivates and appeals to this generation. Millennials currently make up 40% of the workforce and will make up 75% of the workforce in the next 10 years according to Forbes.

Cater to a shorter attention span

It’s not that Millennials are lazy or unable to focus, it’s that our attention span has dropped. According to Microsoft it’s now down to an average of 8 seconds. The presence of technology in our daily lives and how much we use it has lead to information overload. This is why we can only hold our attention for 8 seconds. A survey by Gallup found that 71% of Millennials are disengaged with work, which might be the reason for so many people choosing to do short stints at companies in comparison to their parents. So if you want to keep your employees engaged it’s probably worth investigating microlearning.

Microlearning is the process of delivering small digestible bites of information through a training programme. This type of learning is far easier to process if one has a shorter attention span. HowNow encourages microlearning and the delivery of short digestible engaging content. This could be a 10-minute audio for your employees or a 4-minute video explaining an important company policy.  

Millennials watch

Flexible Learning

The Millennial workforce requires a different approach to talent management as their focus is on a better work-life balance. According to Recruitment International, 70% of this audience want flexible working options. With the Millennials projected to make up the majority of the workforce in the future, companies need to start catering to their learning needs.With HowNow , you can offer all your employees flexibility in their learning. We are an online company, which means that your employees can access the online training school you have created on our platform from anywhere.

We also have an app for both IOS and Android, which means that this tech-savvy generation can access their training material from anywhere and have the flexibility to learn on the go. By offering your employees the flexibility to access training material when and where they want, hey are likely to be far more engaged and enthusiastic to enrol themselves in your many training courses. NBC News found that employees are more engaged when given the flexibility around their working location and hours.

 

Engage through Gamification

The average Millennial would have played their fair share of games online (or on mobile) before they started working for you. The Millennial generation grew up with digital games where you are engrossed in advancing levels and received immediate verification of your progress and achievements. As a result of this, gamification is likely to be far more familiar and appealing to this generation. By offering a level of gamification in your training, you are not only appealing to the short attention span but also the desire for immediate feedback and verification of progression. With HowNow, you can reward your employees with badges for completing certain goals and modules of learning.

You can also create short fun quizzes to test the knowledge of your employees. These methods are a great way to engage Millennials. A short quiz lends itself to the desire for immediate feedback. Updating your talent management and training to also suit the needs of the Millennial generation that makes up your workforce will result in higher performing and motivated employees.

HowNow enables you to create engaging, interactive and accessible learning for your employees.  

Millennial workforce engaged through technology

Startup events are a great way to get your name out there as a startup. It’s great to meet other similar people, potential customers and even potential investors.  We have just run our first ever event on Tuesday this week called Founders@Work.  It was amazing fun.

If you want to watch the recorded live stream you can here. Make sure you skip ahead to 3 minutes 30 seconds.

We will run through why and how we did it and our advice and tips to you, for smashing your first ever event.

Startup event marekting
Founders at Work poster

What’s your aim?

Apart from getting your name out there, what do you want to achieve and promote? We wanted to promote startups and to be seen as the place ‘Where Learning Happens’ ( visit our website to learn more). Our business equips individuals or businesses with the ability to teach and share their expertise. Individuals use us as a way to monetize their knowledge through teaching online in their own branded online school. They can reach learners across the globe with a simple internet connection. Businesses use us for the same purpose to sell courses in their expertise or to offer internal training to staff. We built a product that meant online learning could be engaging, accessible and interactive. So it made sense for us to host an event where you are learning from experts. We want to promote learning and the sharing of knowledge. We want to be seen as the place ‘Where Learning Happens.’ That’s our aim.

What event concept will achieve this?

So if our aim is to promote learning and sharing of knowledge then our event should involve this. So we decided to host a panel discussion where our founder Nelson could ask other founders about their journey, experiences and advice. We felt a panel discussion was best as it was about sharing advice and having an open discussion rather than a presentation. During the founders panel discussion, it would allow people to delve into their experience and personal learnings while bouncing off other founders. We also decided a Q&A at the end was super important for involving the audience and making them feel they could connect better with the people on the panel who were inspiring them.

startup event
Great turn out at Founders at Work

Always add Networking opportunities

As we are all about promoting learning and sharing of knowledge there had to be an element of networking. However, networking is important regardless of what your business is about. If you are a startup then opportunities like this are vital to you finding other people going through the same thing. You might end up finding people to partner with or potential customers. You may also impress investors and have people knocking at your door who want to invest in your startup – that is never a bad thing. Networking allows you to share your business and your experience with others whilst also learning lots at the same time.

What other things do you need to think about?

Marketing

So how are you going to advertise your event and promote it? There are lots of great avenues for this.  Listing your event on somewhere like Eventbrite can be a great way to gain exposure and also look very professional. It’s free and will certainly make your event more discoverable.

So look at maximizing your social media channels and really drive excitement and engagement on these channels.  Make sure you link your Eventbrite page to all of these channels.

Instagram is a great platform to use if you have it. Make sure you do Instagram stories, and an Instagram post advertising your event with a direct link to the event page in your bio.

If you have Facebook – then through Eventbrite you can create a Facebook event which you can share on your branded Facebook page and invite people to attend.

If you have Twitter, then make sure you are posting about your event multiple times a week.

Other marketing options may include posters, paid or promoted social posts and word of mouth.

Other things to consider for your event:

  • Food and drink? Are you providing booze and light nibbles? ( this is often popular for evening events or putting out tea and coffee and pasties for morning events).
  • Music? Does the venue have background music – do you want background music? (We had Iamrisha DJ at our event, who works at Poplify. She played great background chilled out vibes during the networking stage).
  • Promo material? Are you going to use any pull-up banners or flyers?
  • Time? Morning, day or evening and how long do you expect it to go on for? (So we allowed for 30 mins of networking before the panel and then an hour of networking after the panel).
Startup event drinks
Popilify kindly sponsored our event by providing all of the drinks

 

Benefits of planning and launching a successful event

You will love it! Maybe not the lead up to it but afterwards you will look back and think Wow! It’s a wonderful way to get your company name out there, to meet other like minded people. That’s why it’s important to carry a business card so you can exchange them with people and, who knows you might collaborate or work together in the future. You may not build a number of sales from it but you will certainly increase your reputation and awareness. Especially if your attendees are tagging all of their images from the night with your branded social tags. Capturing content is key during any event, as it’s content you can use for the following month. The content can demonstrate how successful your first event was. So when we say content, we mean anything from interviews, videos, quotes, photos, boomerangs etc.  Good luck with your first event! Do let us know how it goes and invite us! We would love to come and support fellow startups!

Here is a little bit about the companies that supported us

Poplify is a leading digital consultancy that helps forward thinking people realise their organisation’s growth potential by designing, building and scaling innovative digital businesses.

Mindspace is a great co-working space offering a creative environment for small businesses and individuals looking to hot desk.

 

Other articles you may like:

Content Marketing for small businesses

How to teach online with HowNow in a day

Free social tools for your business

I love Disney films, I am an adult but I am a child at heart. I am not entirely sure why I love them, it could be the optimism of the film or  the clever animation. It could also be the great story and it’s well thought out characters.  There is something unique about these set of films that are able to appeal to audiences of all ages. They teach audiences a lesson in something. Whether you realize it or not when you walk out of that film you have learnt something. It may only dawn on you later, it may reinforce a belief you already had. However, the key is it taught you something that will stick with you. As you read on I will point out some of the lessons you can learn and apply to you’ll own teachings from the way in which Disney has taught you.

What are some lessons they have taught you from their movies?

I am sure you will see many articles on the lessons learnt from Disney and Pixar movies like this one on Buzzfeed. So let’s have a look at some of the lessons they have taught us.

Dumbo: What makes you different also makes you incredible

Focusing on what you are, accepting what you have and choosing to celebrate it. I think how this is told is by getting the audience to feel empathy for the elephant, and display all the emotions that a child would exhibit when trying to fit in. The power of telling this lesson was connecting you an existing emotional idea you may have seen or experienced at a young age

Mulan: You have to go through a lot before people realise how much you’re worth


This is a great lesson, as it teaches, you the art of perseverance, determination and acceptance of challenges. The main character is forced to pretend to be a man in order to serve in the army.  She accepts the challenge of being a women, accepts she will not be accepted immediately. However, she continues to work hard anyway. How do they drive this lesson home to us? This film draws you in through association- you know the struggles of women and therefore you immediately feel invested in her story. You are also seeing her development and growth through the eyes of other characters. This reinforces the effort she is going through and the little people appreciate her at first.

Inside Out: Accept your emotions and understand we need a mix to be balanced

Inside Out was a critically acclaimed film that many critics and parents leap for joy at. It taught children and adults about their emotions and the roles they play. The role of emotions and how we should respond to them is very very complex.  And yet the film was able to draw a number of lessons about how one should feel. How on earth did they do this?  Well they broke it down, they personified the emotions of the brain as if they were people. Breaking down this complex idea into bite sized chunks/characters made it digestible to the audience, so they were eventually able to build up those small pieces of knowledge into a bigger picture.

 

So how can you apply this to your own teaching?

I am currently reading a book called Creativity, Inc: Overcoming the Unseen Forces That Stand in the Way of True Inspiration. It is by Wallace and Edwin Catmul ( the current president of Disney and Pixar). It has helped answer some very interesting questions I had on writing, watching compelling stories. In this book they walk through their process of creating the story and the process of making the lesson ( the arch of the story) understable and engaging with the audience. This is how teaching should work too.

jacket illustration: © Disney • Pixar

In the examples above we have seen some different techniques for ensuring the audience is able to take this lesson away. Aside from the wonderful story they took you through to learn it there are other techniques which were used. They used a number of techniques such as:

 

Connecting the lesson you are teaching to a memory or experience.

This can be achieved through trying to give your learners an explanation of what you are trying to teach in a way that might connect with them. So encourage them to share memories or experiences that you can relate your teachings to as an example

Making the lesson relevant to cultural or historical events that your audience will be aware of.

You can accomplish this through looking at what you are teaching, then finding relevant current topics or historical moments in which you can tie your lesson too.

Breaking a large complex idea down into bite sized chunks that you can spend time on before sewing them together to form the larger picture.

This is especially important if you are teaching a complex idea of topic.  One way to do this is to break it down into lessons which can be any size if you are teaching online

If you’re interested in further teaching examples you might enjoy these:

Lessons from Ads

How to teach yourself your job

Does music impact our ability to learn more

 

 

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You may be starting a new job or maybe you have been given a great deal more responsibility in your current role. Working at a startup is quite different to working for a large corporate organisation. You often have to learn on the job, teaching yourself and developing your skills independently. So, here I will share with you the best ways to teach yourself your job.  Also how to self train and develop yourself further. If you work in a small business then formal training might not be available and if you work in a startup then you certainly have to teach yourself.

Ask Questions

Ok, so it may sound fairly obvious, but many people shy away from questions in case they are deemed incapable. If you work in a startup/small business any good business leader will encourage it. I would say anytime is a good time to ask questions although my school teachers would certainly disagree.  If you have been given a project and don’t understand something, or if you are unsure – ask away. If you  don’t understand the direction of things – ask away. Maybe you don’t know how to do something  – ask away. The worst case, and I have had these a few times, is the answer is ‘I don’t know, research it’. Which is fine, it just means that they currently don’t possess that knowledge either.

Google is your friend ( other search engines are available). Ask away- now when you ask try to be specific about what you want to know as that way you will get the best articles and sources of knowledge. So, for example, don’t ask “how do I measure performance on social? ” but instead “what are the key performance indicators on twitter that your audience is engaged with?”

What do you mean picture

Have a go – best way to teach yourself

Literally the first three months of my job was all about trial and error. It is the best way to learn. It’s better to fail early and learn what you did wrong then cruise by for months and learn lessons too late. So if this means you need to go back to your boss and say: look I am going to try this, that is ok. Say it may fail, but we need to find out what works, just explain that in order to learn what is needed. You will have to try a lot of things to discover what works.

If you are working in a startup/ small business they will understand it’s important to embrace risk early on. The bigger you grow the more difficult risk becomes. It can feel disheartening to try so many things and to see so little progress. However, trial and error suits if you need to teach yourself your job because there is no formal training.  It’s the best way to test out the things you have read or watched or heard.

We have tried many campaigns that didn’t work, that I had put hours into but they taught us vital lessons. If you are worried about the amount of failure you will encounter then have an honest chat with your boss. Outline exactly what you want to try and what the possible outcomes could be. Then after your ‘tests’ sit down and discuss your learning. You can not be seen as damaging the business if your failed tests are providing the business with vital lessons for the future. Obviously, before you try something make sure you do a bit of research so you’re not just doing it off-the-fly.

Man discussing ideas with woman

Be Proactive

The best way to get better at your job quicker is to be proactive in your desire to learn. So this could be a range of things, from doing your own research to attending events and taking courses.  I was overwhelmed by the number of things I didn’t know and my team didn’t have the answers.  My proactive approach led me to listening to relevant podcasts on the tube to work. I  enrolled myself in a course on Hootsuite to teach myself more about social media marketing and I read a lot,  around different areas.

Events are also a great thing to attend, you can network, learn more and get a fresh perspective on something you might be struggling with.  I am often looking for free events to attend that are in London and are on topic areas related to my job. As you don’t have an official path of progression, it can be difficult to find training that will aid you in your development. Therefore, seek out courses you can take or events you can attend.  Your boss will be pleased you are taking charge of your own development. Most of the time they will be happy to fund this depending on the need of the business and the relevance to your role.

be proactive- Take a course to teach yourself

Join communities in your field

Through joining a community you are going to learn a lot from each other and teach yourself a lot in the process. This could be direct helpful comments,  relevant articles/ podcasts or courses. Some of the communities that I joined were looking at Facebook groups.  I was also building up a base Twitter users who post relevant content regularly and realised that this was a great source of knowledge not only for our audience but also for myself. Depending on your role you might find that networking events and attending them regularly is a great way to discuss practices, tips and tricks.

Teach yourself by meeting new people

 

 

Music oh sweet music. What are the chances you are actually listening to something right now? Pretty high? Music plays a massive role in our life! The average spotify user listens to 148 mins of music a day! But did you know the role it can play on learning?

Does music improve learning?

Many of you may listen to or have listened to something before while studying for an exam, revising or maybe completing a long essay. It is a heavily debated topic as to whether music actually improves learning and increases the intake of information. Many articles have been written laying claim that it can alter the brain’s processing to process more information and help implant it into your memory.

“Music activates both the left and right brain at the same time, and the activation of both hemispheres can maximize learning and improve memory,” says Dr. Masha Godkin

However, there is also a lot of articles saying it actually doesn’t help and it could worsen leaning.  The reason they think it will worsen the learning process is because it will actually distract you from focusing on what you should be doing.  In this articles they discuss how in order to learn and retain information we often need to be absent of distractions. They beleive the best environments to learn are those that are silent and quite.

 

Mozart Effect

 

We don’t know  if it helps or hinders. There has not been enough research conducted and it’s also a difficult thing to measure. There is arguments that the myths of being able to learn better when listening to music came about because the Mozart effect. The Mozart effect is a term referring to the results of a study done in 1993 which claimed that “listening to Mozart‘s music may induce a short-term improvement on the performance of certain kinds of mental tasks known as “spatial-temporal reasoning;”[1]”.

If you’re going to listen to something what should you listen too?

It’s interesting to think that music could actually aid in your study and learning efforts. So if you personally like listening to something while learning and you find it works for you – what’s the advice?

So the general advice is classical is the best option as it could increase our mood and productivity. There has been research and many people including myself have felt the calming effect of classical music and it’s soothing notes. Advice of what not to listen to appears to be anything that is going to excite you. Also anything that has a beat, that  gets you dancing and tapping your feet. Also nothing that is super lyric heavy or you will be singing to your heart’s content.

Does music that relax you help?

There are a great deal of relaxing melodies and study playlists on YouTube which are a combination of gentle sounds and nature. A study by Health found that listening to nature sounds actually increased the physical and mental signs of relaxation, which in turn increases the your chance of learning. There has been new evidence in the study which looks closely at how the brain’s working memory functions when it’s exposed to different stimuli that relaxes it such as music. This is because if you are more relaxed you are likely to take in more information. “Our research shows that when memory-related neurons are well coordinated to theta waves during the learning process, memories are stronger,” said Adam Mamelak, a neurosurgeon at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles.

The jury is still out on the effect of music and learning.  It’s fair to say that relaxation and focus is important. If you find that music does help you, you  are probably in a better state of mind to absorb information. It seems at the moment that everyone is different so keep doing what you find works for you.

How can you use music in your teaching?

If you are an educator/ teacher/course creator who and looking for a way to teach online. Then help your students by offering them varying  content types with HowNow. 

So if you teach music- music is pretty much a compulsory part of your lesson. However, if you teach something like financial management and  you  want to incorporate  this in because you really think it will help – by all means do. How? Well let’s say there are parts of your  course that are less engaging such as reading through some theory. You can upload an audio file for the learner to listen to while reading the text. This way, for those that think they learn better with music, have recommended music by you and for those that prefer silence can take this option. Your learners will be grateful and impressed you are trying to suit multiple learner types by giving them the extra resources to learn in the way they prefer.

To create your own online school, check out  HowNow.

 

You might also be interested in:

5 Pros to video based learning

Free tools to produce professional content for your online courses

5 Steps to start teaching on HowNow in a day

 

If you’re new to setting up your own online school then setting about creating content for your courses can be difficult. It can be hard to know where to begin! How you can do it yourself but still make it look professional.  We look at free tools you can use to make your online courses look like they are worth 1,000 bucks.

High Quality images for course material and for school customization

You might not be a professional photographer and haven’t got the money to hire someone to take photos for you. So why not turn to the generosity of the internet. There are lots of free royalty images sites where you can use their high quality  images for your business.  Unsplash is one of them and the best I think we have found so far. They have so many beautiful images you can use to make your online courses look professional and make your school look sleek. We have Unsplash integrated into our platform, so you can browse and select without having to open a new window- how handy!

Our image above is from https://unsplash.com/@brookecagle/portfolio! See great images for free!

Record high quality videos of yourself sharing your screen

Now this is cool, one of our favourite free tools! So depending on what you are teaching you might find this tool super useful! For example if you are teaching something technical on the computer such as Photoshop, then the ability to share your screen so your learners can see what you are doing while you speak over it is super useful. Have a look at Loom! 

Loom is super easy to use and collects all your videos in one place.

Free tools you can use

Create infographics, visuals and more with these free tools

So I am sure you have heard of Canva, it is fantastic. Create exciting graphics that can be used as  a way to share your information in your online course.  If you need to show something- maybe your product or service being used across multiple devices during your course.  Awesome Screenshots is an excellent tool to use for  demonstrating your point and using visuals to bring your ideas to life. Annotated screenshots can be really useful for learners to see exactly what you mean.

Support your text with summary videos

There is this fantastic tool called Lumen5! Which can be a great way of supporting your text files/pdf’s with a summary video which is short and drives home the main points. What is great about this tool, is that it can also be used on social. Check one of ours below:

 

As a small business owner, you only have so many hours in the day to promote and market your products and services, and social media and pay-per-click advertising will likely be the first avenues you choose to go down. But launching and maintaining a blog for your business is one of the most rewarding methods of marketing; below, we round up some of the reasons why.

Positions you as an authority

Perhaps one of the greatest reasons why content marketing is so important for small businesses is that it can position you as an authority figure in your niche. Think of it like this: if you’re writing high-quality material that helps potential customers find answers to their questions, they’ll naturally think of you as a valuable source of information, and be more likely to recommend your website (and therefore your products and services) to their friends. As such, the more content you write, and the more value you give away for free, the more authoritative you’ll become.

Drives organic traffic to your website

One of the biggest benefits of content marketing is driving free, organic traffic to your website. If you write a blockbuster post and hit rank one on Google for it, then you can expect to receive hundreds, if not thousands, of organic hits to your website – and every person is a potential customer. The key to getting rank one on Google is to write material that’s much better than everything else that’s out there (see also the skyscraper content technique) and building links through guest blogging, blogger outreach and search engine optimisation (SEO).

Gives you material to share

As a small business owner, it can be hard to find new material to share on social media, particularly if you don’t want to share content from one of your competitors. By writing lots of content for your website, you’ll quickly be able to create a pool of valuable material that you can share on social media as and when you like. And there are even greater benefits to this; posting your own content on social media will increase referral traffic back to your website, and you can add calls to action and lead generation techniques to persuade visitors to become customers.

Encourages you to learn more

Writing quality, original material every week for your blog is harder than you might think. Sure, you will likely to be able to round off 100 blog post ideas from the top of your head, but when it gets to the nitty-gritty of writing a post for your audience, you’ll soon see the work involved. You should start every blog post by reading and researching the topic so that you have the most accurate and up-to-date information. Doing this will not only ensure your blog posts are topical and accurate, but it will help you learn more about your industry and become a better leader.

Wrapping up

There’s no denying that writing blog posts is hard work, but the key is to stay motivated and think of the bigger picture. By sticking to a content marketing strategy, you’ll quickly build up a loyal audience of readers and convert some of your followers into customers. Good luck!

 

About the Author

Max Greene is the Managing Director of Muffin Marketing, a UK-based marketing agency specialising in content marketing, social media and search engine optimisation. When he isn’t working on campaigns for clients, he loves binge-watching Netflix shows and walking his dog.