I have seen the hundreds of organizations thrive using video communications, from businesses, schools, medical centers and hundreds more. In each case, it took some amount of training to make users successful and more proficient with using the communication's gear. What happens though, if the users are your 80-something year old parents?
It started as a Christmas gift for my 85 year old father. He had never used an iPad and certainly had never talked over video to his son and daughter-in-law who were 1200 miles away. Being excited and eager to learn about this new device, we started out simple with how to power-on and navigate the iPad. Soon after, he was playing checkers and other card games. He then moved onto Safari and the Internet. I told my dad he can find anything on the Internet, from building and landscaping ideas to amazing recipes and answers to almost any of life's questions. So when asked what was the first thing he wanted to look up...."Can we look up Lindsay Lohan?" asked my dad. There was never a prouder moment in a son's life.
When it came time to graduate to using video communications on the iPad, both of my parents excelled at this. They found it very easy to talk with their kids and 13 grandkids from all corners of the United States over video. We all benefit because we can really see how they are doing versus just hearing their voices. My parents are so comfortable with using video on the iPad now, I think they are disappointed if we don't call them over video!
Each member of my family has played some sort of technical support role over the past few months. This led me to think more aboutPolycom's Adoption Services. These services are designed to help make users more successful and ease the burden of training on organizations. However, I think in all the great documentation and training videos, nowhere do we say "Please do not put your thumb over the camera lens". I am going to have to get that changed!