Unionlearn Project Officers have recently been supporting the PCS Union Learning Fund project and delivering training online training sessions as part of their distance learning offer hosted in the North West.
PCS member Stephen Levy recently took part in one of the sessions and found it a useful experience.
Stephen is a Paralegal Officer at Crown Prosecution Service London and undertook a Short Story Writing course with PCS. This was delivered by Matt Pointon from unionlearn.
Despite a few initial technical problems, which seem to becoming part and parcel of the distance learning and meeting experience at the moment, Stephen found the session very useful along with a lot of the links that were shared during and after the activity.
Stephen said: “
n terms of the content it was very good with quite a lot of useful information being compressed into the hour. I could come away from that short course and readily apply some of the lessons learned.”
I should also say that the course was delivered with passion so, despite the inherent difficulties when remote working of generating an enthusiastic atmosphere, that enthusiasm came through loud and clear.”
Stephen feels that the job he does can be pretty dry at times and sessions, like the ones PCS have been offering, offer a contrast that is beneficial.
The session has inspired Stephan to give other online learning sessions a try. He has registered with Litmos and tried a 10-minute Creative Problem-Solving course, which he enjoyed.
He is also exploring other courses, either provided by PCS directly or through Litmos and plans to check on a regular basis.
It is likely that I will want to continue with creativity-based courses: communication skills, writing, photography etc. As a union rep I produce a newsletter for our PCS branch.”
I always try to develop it both visually and in the way it is written. The “Corporate” style that is “going forward” and “drilling down” is such a turn-off. So whatever I can learn from others is appreciated.”
Stephen feels that it is important that unions use this current situation to develop remote training, and explained:
Our union branch is working on this so as to provide bite sized courses for members on subjects like reasonable adjustments at work for people with a disability.”
It is a way of maintaining contact with members at a time when in many instances, like mine, we are not meeting each-other in the office.”
Stephen said he would encourage others to think of signing up for a distance course or online learning event. He said:
If you are working at home many of the random meetings and events you would previously have experienced will be gone. The day progresses in straight lines without entertaining detours that come from a short conversations when making tea in the office kitchen or watching the microwave spin around.”
We have to create our own detours and short courses offer that by discussing subjects and interests beyond the demands of work. Never know where it might lead.”
The union as educator is a key element of who we are but especially so now.”