Lessons learned about using technology for training in the North

At the beginning of March, I was honoured to have the opportunity to share nationally a little bit about the Recreation North Training Program. Technology for Training: Lessons from rural, remote and Northern communities was part of a ReImagine RREC workshop.

ReImagine RREC – Renew, Retool, Engage and Contribute – is a national COVID-19 recovery initiative for parks, recreation and community sport leaders delivered by the Canadian Parks and Recreation Association (CPRA). It is intended to help leaders working in parks, recreation and community sport to improve planning, operations and delivery of programs and services in a pandemic and post-pandemic environment, as well as to contribute to community recovery more broadly. Technology: The New Frontier in Recreation and Community Sport was the last of five interactive workshops.

Technology is word we use a lot, but it can mean different things to different people. In my mind, technology is something that was invented or created and that helps us do things in new ways or more efficiently than before… think online shopping, online banking, and online training.

In the North, technology can be a blessing… someone on Dawson City can easily chat with someone in Sanikiluaq more than 3,000 km away using Zoom. But, technology can also be a curse… like when it takes 16 minutes to download a 3 MB photo or when the main fibre line serving Yukon and parts of NWT is accidentally cut.

The Recreation North Training Program enables participants to learn anywhere and to start training anytime and was launched well before the pandemic hit. Being able to deliver training remotely before and during the pandemic has illustrated how technology can support training and how integrating applied learning can bring the training alive in a different way. Watch the video (from 22:45 to 47:45) to learn more about the lessons we learned about technology for training in the North.

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