Sure Beats Flyin’

From the comforts of home, I just finished teaching a two-day seminar to customers in Singapore.

I worked “second shift” Sunday and Monday evenings so the live-via-the-Internet training would occur during their normal workdays of Monday and Tuesday in Singapore. Class began at 9:00AM (6:00PM the “day” before, my time) and ended at 5:00PM (2:00AM, my time).

I’ve traveled to Singapore in the past to give training and, while it is a relatively safe place and spotlessly clean with some very interesting cuisines, it’s also a long trip with a big shift in body clock. It takes more than 24 hours, door to door, to get there. And while you’re typically so tired that getting to sleep that first night (which feels like your “day”) isn’t difficult, your then rested body goes back to its normal “home” time. This pretty much guarantees 2-3 days of malaise getting adjusted.

And for a short class such as this one, just about the time your body clock is in sync with the sun, it’s time to come back and do it again.

Trust me. Your body does not like two such “adjustments” in a single week.

So, being able to present a seminar via the Internet where they can see my computer’s screen and then hear me via speakerphone is a very nice alternative, albeit with a couple of late nights for the teacher.

I should add that there are some downsides. There’s no camera in the classroom or facing me so, when teaching remotely, I can’t tell when someone is nodding off in boredom, looking lost or playing Solitaire on their computer. Nor will someone who is timid about speaking up get their questions answered. I do ask, “Does anyone have a question?” But if they don’t make a noise, I won’t know.

But we can put a class together on very short notice and, if flights are delayed or cancelled, that won’t affect anything. I’m still “there” (virtually).

Teaching high security system software design while barefoot and wearing an old shirt and jeans is real nice.

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