As we experience the COVID-19 pandemic here in the United States there are precautions that have been taken to protect people from the illness; including “social distancing” (avoiding large gatherings and even self-isolating). And while some industries like the travel industry have been hit hard by the virus’s impact, the technology industry specifically has thrived!
Organizations such as Facebook, LinkedIn, Amazon, etc. are thriving and have the potential to capitalize on this paradox as they allow people to interact with each other, shop, and transact business through platforms. What we often thought was an unhealthy engagement for our kids as they kept their heads down with a “zombi-ish” look on their faces as they engaged on a phone, tablet, or computer with their friends and were not physically present with their families was actually socialization. The paradox here is that this form of socialization could potentially save us from contracting COVID-19. Think about it, we are taking what we already use every day to socialize online and we are bringing it to the next level to potentially save lives.
COVID-19 has also caused education institutions to up their game in technology use so that continued value can be provided to their students. Frenzied education institutions at the middle school, high school, and college levels are now challenged with developing online content so that they can deliver courses to their students as they finish out the semester. It is a daunting task to take instructor-led content and put it into an online format, but necessary to place a barrier between the healthy and those who may be infected. This is perhaps where Learning Management System companies may have an opportunity to lend their expertise in support of educational institutions. Companies like Saba, Cornerstone on Demand, SumTotal, Inc., and SAP Litmos, to name a few, have the potential to make a powerful impact in the realm of education.
On the other hand, businesses, in general, have been charged with being innovative in their ability to continue business with their customers and operate their businesses by shifting how they take meetings using platforms such as Zoom, Webex Adobe Connect, etc.
The point here is this…even though we may appear to be having fewer meaningful human connections, social distancing using platforms allows for social engagement and keeping developed relationships going while keeping us safe!