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NPEA 2012: Pension Education's Plan B…for Plan B?

  
  
  
broken projector

There you are, standing in front of a large audience, ready to give your presentation, when sudden ly you realize you’re not wearing any pants. The audience howls with laughter, you scream, and wake up in a pool of your own sweat. Scary, right?

Well, thankfully that nightmare is just a cliché. What’s really scary (because it’s far more likely) is that someday you’ll be facilitating a presentation--like a technology-based training session for your pension system’s members--and realize you’ve left your power cord in the car, your jump drive is corrupted, or your laptop is showing the blue screen of death.  

As more pension agencies move content to the web and align themselves with emerging technological trends, they’ll face a greater risk of technological problems. Pension educators were reminded of this fact at the 2012 annual conference of the National Pension Education Association (NPEA) this week when a session called “Best Practices and Benefits for Online Learning” was grounded by technical difficulties. Although this was a real bummer for those of us interested in hearing what the presenters from Citrix Systems had to say, we were glad when the NPEA board and conference planners reacted with their usual grace, efficiently reordering the sessions and keeping conference attendees engaged. When problems arose, they were ready with a Plan B.

We can all learn something from this. As we do our best to navigate a sea of continuous and rapid change, we should remember that things can—and will—go wrong from time to time (Murphy’s Law, anyone?). As we receive buy-in to use young technologies (webinars, videos, blogs, teleconferences, online meetings), let’s be sure we’re ready when those technologies experience growing pains. Let’s have a plan B, a plan C…maybe even a plan D.

How do you prepare yourself or your organization for technology changes? Please add your comment below and join in the conversation.

Stephanie Schrankler is Sagitec's Chief Learning and Communications Officer. She attended the 2012 annual conference of the National Pension Education Association and is reporting on her experiences. Click the following link for a video of her talk on change drivers and emerging trends for pension educators.

(Image credit: Arenamontanus)

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