Why Digital Learning Is Important for the Smart Buildings Industry

The year 2020 proposed a new challenge in the way we interact and learn. Historically, technical training was provided in person through classroom instruction with only a few institutions offering virtual or digital learning opportunities. Now, digital learning opportunities are becoming more prevalent in traditional schools due to COVID, as well as in business for professional development. 

Digital Learning FINstitute

Near the beginning of the pandemic (March 2020), J2 Innovations transitioned our entire range of training courses from physical classroom to virtual learning experiences. The new system, called “FINstitute,” is an online platform that delivers content through a combination of live instruction and self-directed lessons.  

February 25 is Digital Learning Day, (#DLDay), an online celebration where educators share great ideas, amazing stories, and promising practices through social media and within their own schools and communities. As a software technology educator, I thought I’d share some of the benefits of digital learning from my experience building and growing the FINstitute with my colleagues at J2.

Digital learning allows you to reach more people

Unlike traditional technical classes, virtual classes do not require the commitment of time and logistics for traveling. This makes digital learning much more accessible to busy professionals who may not have the time to travel. Additionally, some courses can also be offered as self directed learning, which means they can attend and learn on their own schedules. In the smart buildings industry, we face a shortage of qualified and trained technicians. Offering a more accessible approach to technical training is a huge need in the industry that digital learning modules can offer. 

Digital learning is more effective 

We have found that logistics required to deliver training has dramatically been reduced through digital learning methods. Through the use of a learning management platform like the FINstitute, we are able to host both larger classes and at times simultaneous courses within the same week. This reduces the cost of travel and related travel expenses and lowers our carbon footprint! 

Better content

We’ve found that digital learning requires a much higher attention to course organization and content details to convey a successful, engaging course. As a result, the use of well produced videos, detailed labs, and better feedback mechanisms through surveys and office hours has made our course content more engaging and better quality.

Expanded learning opportunities

Looking beyond knowledge transfer for traditional technical training courses, we are expanding our course offerings to include learning opportunities for more audiences. For example, we have an internal sales workshop that leverages the FINstitute to help them talk about FIN to customers. 

Here’s a quick tour of the FINstitute to give you an idea of what the platform looks like for students.

FINstitute Tour

 

As you can see, digital learning has been a beneficial offering here at J2 Innovations. We continue to look for more opportunities to be in alignment with our customers' needs in this changing world and beyond. Learn more about FIN training offerings.

B. Scott Muench

Scott joined J2 Innovations as a partner in 2011, and is now Vice President of Customer Experience. He has a wide range of responsibilities including evangelism, business development, training, and operational excellence. Scott is well known as an industry expert in smarthomes and smart buildings. He is a past president of ASHRAE, and is currently a board member for Project Haystack. Scott attended Clarkson University for Mechanical Engineering and graduated with a BS/Business in Organizational Innovation.

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