by Greg Pick DTM – Pathway Coordinator

Do you work with computers at your job or home? Have you shopped any kind of business online like Amazon? Have you asked Google, Siri, or Alexa a question when you used to go to an encyclopedia or a library to get the answer? Even better, you can get real-time updates on time in Beijing, the weather during an incoming storm, and reminders to take your clothes out of the dryer. When you stop and think about it; our whole world has changed in the last few years!

My employer has introduced computer-based training. Some people have jobs where they complete the training from home. Most of the time now, it is delivered from a server in a cloud. Customer satisfaction surveys for everything from hotel stays to ongoing conference information to customer service are requested in my email. We shop online, watch our television programs via streaming from the web and learn from courses delivered online.

When Toastmasters International decided to move our education program online, it now seems visionary after what occurred last year. They have created an extremely flexible online educational program that can be utilized anywhere, anytime you can access the internet and from your phone or your computer at home.

There are several examples where an organization did not adapt quickly enough to the changing consumer expectations. Blockbuster, a giant brick-and-mortar movie chain, eventually collapsed to its competitor Netflix. Netflix turned out to be more nimble and lower-cost with walk-up kiosks. Eventually, Netflix even started streaming content. The true irony here is that Blockbuster turned down several attempts by Netflix to merge.

We should appreciate this move and recognize the benefits we have reaped from our online education system. For more than a year, Pathways and Zoom have allowed Toastmasters clubs worldwide to continue to meet and in some cases flourish while we could not meet in person. Members have excelled and proved that we can be flexible and still participate. We have continued to achieve educational goals and grow as individuals. Why? because Toastmasters had transitioned to an online educational platform known as Pathways.

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