LearningTimes 2022 – The Year in Review

LearningTimes just celebrated 20 years serving the education, library, museum and corporate training communities. As we enter our 3rd decade, we can look back on the thousands of human to human connections we’ve facilitated; partnerships with hundreds of organizations; and dozens of innovations that make online collaboration and engagement effective in 2023. Time sure flies – it’s hard to believe we issued the first ever standards compliant Open Badges way back in in 2011 and that the TCC Online Conference turns 28 in April!

But, instead of looking too far back, let’s focus on a very exciting 2022 and the future ahead of us in 2023!

The Numbers

Last year LearningTimes supported a wide array of events. Everything from professional development to parent and community engagement to movie screenings and live theatrical performances. Sharing the numbers below is not only an opportunity to thank our clients who put their trust in us to support the execution of their events, but also a huge thank you to the hardworking and skilled production team at LearningTimes.

In 2022 we delivered:

Over 1000 meetings totaling 4.25 million meeting minutes

Over 225,000 minutes of simultaneous language interpretation

Over 75,000 attendees across all of our events.

Fifty scholarships – As part of the way LearningTimes gives back we often reduce our fees in the form of in-kind scholarships so that more people can attend and benefit from the educational and professional opportunities our clients create through their online or hybrid events.

Events with Impact

We continue to focus and work with groups that produce events with impact. To name a few that standout:

The National Immigration Project‘s Hybrid screening and panel discussion of the documentary, “Ricochet” which is about the shooting that killed Kate Steinle in San Francisco, the trial that revealed the facts of the case, and the politicization of immigration in the United States.

Our Online Debate Program for special needs high school and middle school students in partnership with the NYC DOE’s District 75 is in its 18th year and there are no shortage of interesting topics – from requiring music education to robot dogs in law enforcement to should parents have a say in teen vaccination. These students prepare their arguments, create presentation materials, and work together as teams on rebuttal. Who will be crowned the champs of the 22-23 school year and what will be the topic? The season is unfolding as we write this so stay tuned!

We’ve had the good fortune to work with both large and small professional groups in and around museums, libraries, online educators, and community based organizations. This year we began working with Conservation Center for Art & Historical Artifacts (CCAHA) on their annual conference and it helped us solidify a conference service package that is affordable without sacrificing quality; striving for sustainability for us and our clients.

This is our 15th year in the Metaverse! The NYC DOE 3D World Project is an online neighborhood designed for high school students in District 75 to practice social, communication, employment, and life skills.  Students engage in lessons focused on independent travel, banking and financial decision-making, interviewing for a job, setting-up one’s first apartment, and hosting and attending a networking event.

What we’re solving for in 2023

Interpretation and Access – While we have a strong production team and there seems to be no end to audio tech to help solve most challenges we’re still at what we would call the “blunt tool” stage of solving for simultaneous language interpretation in online events. It feels like we’re still using too many different pieces of technology which adds time to set up and breakdown as well as creates too many possible points of failure during a live event. We’re on the lookout for a more elegant solution which we might just need to build ourselves.

Hybrid Events – Connecting face-to-face events with an online participants has alway been part of our repertoire. As the pandemic fades, many clients want to move back to in-person meetings while maintaining the large audiences we helped develop over the past three years. We look forward to many more “road trips” in 2023 , while enhancing the tools and techniques that make LearningTimes the best partner for affordable and engaging events.

What’s on the horizon

The LearningTimes Foundation – We’ve created a foundation to support projects and interests that are better served within a not-for-profit framework. Stay tuned for projects in that space!

Public Interest Technology – This is an area that we’d like to further explore and ensure our work aligns. LearningTimes has a long history in developing technology solutions for public good and we are heartened to see that there is a more formal community for such work. We will continue to learn and we encourage you to do the same here.

NYC DOE CEC Candidate Forums – Producing for the second time in three years we’re gearing up for an intense March and April as we support the NYC DOE Community Education Council (CEC) Candidate Forums. CEC Elected Officials serve a two year term and represent school districts within New York City. To support this important work the LearningTimes team will be devoting resources to ensure that regardless of access to technology or spoken language members of the wider school community can participate fully. This can include coordination between online meeting rooms, phone lines, supporting simultaneous interpretation, and two-way audio just to start.

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