Most of WildChina Education’s clients know us as a provider of school & university experiential learning programs, whether that is outdoor educational trip outside Beijing, an MBA tour in Shenzhen, service leaning in Chengdu, or one of our international award (IA) trips. From Harvard to Stanford, Oxford to Cambridge, Beida to Tsinghua, our clients know that we are the go-to people in delivering eye-opening lessons and the human stories around China.
How to Facilitate Memorable Virtual Classes
More recently, WildChina has been providing students with interactive virtual classes. Our teams aren’t permanently based in classrooms but we have always specialized in providing experiences that bridge in-school learning to real life experiences. We provide teachers and educational organizations with support in finding the on the ground opportunities that bring in classroom learning to life.
Actually, what WildChina Education is about has never been tied to a specific location – how could it be? We have programs across more than a hundred locations all across Asia.
Our offerings are divided largely into three segments.
Tech & Economic Workshops We offer in-depth workshops with business & tech industry experts – from entrepreneurs and documentarians to those at corporate giants like Bytedance, Alibaba, Tencent, Samsung, and McKinsey.
Cultural & Artistic workshops From Mongolian throat singing workshops to interactive livestreamed beginner Mandarin lessons our emphasis is on the ‘live’ portion of ‘livestreaming.’ We insist on live events, and we take students from Shangri-la to Inner Mongolia, Hong Kong to Taiwan. We’ve got some pretty unique ones that we developed in-house like Chinese history storytelling through sand art.
Virtual Guided Excursions A more traditional interpretation of virtual tours – our virtual tours are the next best thing to being here. We have a range of historians, architects and art experts who connect with your students online, on-site, to share their vast wealth of knowledge via a livestream. We insist on making these as interactive as possible.
Our suite of virtual programs embody our know-how and network to pique curiosity and satisfy the hunger for a ‘real-life’ experiences.
Across all of these different programs, we have almost 50 of them, there are a few things that are overwhelming precursors to success: Whether virtual classes are memorable and engaging or, ‘just another webinar.’
1. People I remember my first day at Psych 101 in university my professor saying, I’m not a PhD in psychology (he was a PhD in a lot of other subjects), but I know how to teach you psychology – he was right. Some people are lauded experts in their field – unfortunately, especially in the case of a webinar – this doesn’t mean much if they are not natural storytellers. Think carefully and always interview the speaker before you put them in a virtual room with your students.
2. Passion Body language is a little harder to convey when the speaker is just a talking head, therefore, the experts that we choose to deliver workshops exude passion through their voice and hands. We are talking about people who just ooze interest, engagement, and over-exuberance in the topic they are teaching. You need that much for it to translate and really touch the students over a virtual platform. Of course, in our virtual guided tours, this is less of an issue as the camera follows the speaker (yes, we have our own streaming crew).
3. Practice No matter how many times the speaker has done a webinar, always schedule a test session in the place that the webinar or workshop will take place. You can catch easy to fix lighting issues and check internet connectivity. More importantly though, we align the voice, tone, and cadence of the talks to be suitable to our audience.
4. Patience Sometimes, internet issues happen. Let the audience know beforehand about any likelihood of interruptions due to connectivity so people don’t panic if someone drops out of a call.
5. Q&A and Video We operate our sessions on both Zoom and Microsoft teams. We encourage participants to have their video open, especially for the Q&A/interactive sections. This works very well in our Mandarin sessions as students see and hear the teacher and themselves sounding out words. Video on vs. off gives an instant world of difference in participation levels.
WildChina Education’s infrastructure was developed to create, catch, and harness wow moments in life then link them to learning.
There are tons of people who say life before covid and life after covid and to be honest we hear a lot of people in the experiential learning industry saying “Virtual is different, nothing can beat an in-person experience” But, who’s competing?
I think if there’s one thing we’ve learned in the past year it’s that it’s not about pre-covid vs. post-covid – it’s about staying true to our core values. We haven’t changed those even one bit.
While international borders might still be closed, our dedication to plugging into rich learning atmospheres remains as strong as ever. If you are interested to learn more about our virtual classes, click here.
Worth to Note:
Are we not doing offline experiences anymore – of course we are. In fact, we have more offline choices for a wider range of learners than ever before.
We have also localized all our programs. Schools and educational organizations now have a wide new variety of programs to choose from within each province. These provide the same depth and range of our programs that are facilitated in less traveled to locations like Yunnan or Gansu – don’t believe that they can be just as interesting? Ask us about them by sending emails to firstname.lastname@example.org, we’d be more than happy to tell you what we’ve done and how we’ve done it.