Digital Communication During COVID-19

With the COVID-19 pandemic restricting the ability of people to meet in person, there has been an increase in the usage of digital communication methods to fill this void. Global usage of digital communication platforms has already been on the rise over the last decade; however, the current COVID-19 pandemic has greatly accelerated the growth of this industry. We now have more ways than ever to work, learn and socialize online.

There are a multitude of different reasons why people need to communicate digitally. Many new specialized communication platforms and apps have begun to emerge in response to the need for niche communication for specific purposes. Each of these has a unique set of needs and functions that must be met to allow for activities to successfully be carried out in a digital format. Here is a summary of some of the main reasons why people use digital communication and the tools that they are using in order to do so.

Probably the most prevalent reason for people to communicate online is purely social. The need to practice social distancing combined with restrictions on social gatherings has led to the cancellation of most social events and decreased levels of in person activities. Instead, some events have moved to an online format and individuals have begun interacting on digital programs to replace hanging out with friends.

Due to its relatively broad nature, digital communication for the purposes of socializing is possible through a large number of available platforms and tools. Zoom, Google Hangouts and Skype are among the most commonly used platforms for this type of communication. All are relatively easy to use and offer a free version that can easily be accessed by anyone regardless of location.

Education and eLearning
With classes temporarily on hold in most parts of the world, primary schools and post-secondary institutions alike have turned to eLearning through digital tools to continue providing a viable learning environment. Apart from audio and video, education also has the need for providing digital testing and evaluation components. There is also a need to streamline student-teacher interaction and provide a structured way to store and share educational materials.

Many schools have turned to Google Classroom to continue their programming. Google Classroom is free and makes it simple to create, distribute, and grade assignments. It is very intuitive and easy for younger students to use. A number of other ELearning platforms have also emerged as leaders for those looking to put on courses digitally. A few of the most prominent include Teachable, Udemey and Ruzuku.

Workplace Communication
With a larger proportion of the population than ever having to work from home at the moment, it has become critical for companies to find effective and efficient ways in which to communicate and work with their teams online. Unified communication and collaboration platforms that combine workplace chat, video meetings, file storage, and easily integrate with other applications have become the leaders for this sector. Microsoft Teams, Slack and Trello are a few of the most commonly used workplace communication platforms that have emerged. All are good for managing and organizing large numbers of employees, clients and projects.

It is important to also mention that due to the varied nature of workplaces, many companies will require vastly different functionalities to successfully perform tasks specific to their industry or business. This being the case, many industry specific tools have been developed to suit these specific needs. One such example is Bannersnack, which is a collaborative graphic design production platform that is tailored to remote design teams. Many major industries now have some form of industry specific communication platforms to choose from. Take a look online to see what exists for your industry.

Webinars and Presentations
With the inability to hold regular presentations and meetings, companies, professional organizations, non-profit organizations and condo corporations alike have been forced to look to online methods to conduct their business. Webinars have emerged as the primary method by which to move presentations from the real to the digital world.

In many ways, webinars mimic in person presentations and allow for minimal disruption to this process. Webinars give presenters the ability to share documents and materials, run polls and easily engage with their audience, allowing them to conduct a presentation in much the same way that they would normally. Webinars are also easily scalable to any size of audience. Some of the most common webinar platforms include Cisco Webex, Zoom Webinar and GoToMeeting.

If you do not feel comfortable organizing and running a webinar, or just simply want to ensure that your webinar is of a high caliber, you may consider getting a webinar service provider to take care of this for you. These companies are experts in all aspects of the webinar process and will ensure that your webinar is properly set up and runs smoothly. One such company is Canadian Webinar Solutions.

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