Institute for Child Development. Knowledge about autism available online [CASE STUDY]

The Institute for Child Development is a foundation that provides therapy and support for children with autism disorder, their families and those who work with them. An extremely important aspect of its work is the training provided through the IfCD’s Non-Public Teacher Training Center. Below you will read how ClickMeeting works as a platform for sharing knowledge remotely.

Institute for Child Development brings knowledge about autism

The Institute for Child Development Foundation has been helping children with autism and their families since 2006. It is the only replica of the Princeton Child Development Institute (PCDI) in Europe. The Institute is engaged in therapeutic work: 22 children benefit from daily therapy at the Special Kindergarten for Children with Autism Disorder, and 2,640 families have received support through the Clinic’s activities.

But these are not all the tasks the Institute performs. – Our goal is not only to provide therapy, but also to conduct scientific research and extensive training activities. This is what the ClickMeeting platform is used for,” says Dr. Anna Budzinska, director of the IfCD Foundation. In cooperation with the University of Gdansk, the Institute holds international scientific symposia – 6,500 people have participated in 13 events so far. The Foundation’s Non-public Teacher Training Center, meanwhile, has trained 8150 specialists, who are thus able to better help children on the autism spectrum.

Online form works not only during pandemics

As in many other cases, the Institute for Child Development decided to expand its portfolio with webinars during the pandemic. – There was a pandemic, and with it came a new need – to provide online training. Previously, we only shared knowledge on-site,” says Dr. Anna Budzinska. It was important – especially from that perspective – not only to implement the trainings themselves, but also to provide contact between people who were often isolated.

– We were looking for the right tool for this, and it turned out that the ClickMeeting platform meets all our expectations. It allows us, on the one hand, to promote knowledge about autism spectrum disorders, and on the other hand, to communicate with people who attend the training, allows them to comment and answer questions, which is very important for us, to evaluate our trainings,” adds the IfCD director.

During the pandemic, the Foundation invited its audience to live webinars with guest speakers. Such meetings covered a variety of issues and lasted about an hour. They were attended by both parents of children on the autism spectrum and professionals involved in helping children.

Similar principles guided the Non-public Teacher Training Center, as its director Dr. Marta Wójcik told us. – We have been operating since 2010, and initially our activities were based on on-site training. When the pandemic started, we had to find another form of training for our clients. We were looking for a platform that would allow us to best deliver classes to teachers from all over Poland. It turned out that ClickMeeting matched all our expectations.

“Our webinars proved to be our great discovery”

Webinars are not only a great alternative to onsite events, which were impossible during the pandemic era. They offer a whole new perspective, as experts from the Institute for Child Development have also recognized. – The first webinar dedicated to our educational platform ” Quarter for Therapy” was attended by 75 people. We already interpreted this result as a success, because our on-site trainings gathered a maximum of 40 people in one room,” states Dr. Anna Budzinska. The Foundation’s activities in the virtual space are growing brilliantly, and today the events are attended by a much larger number of attendees. – The last webinar with Prof. Marta Bogdanowicz was attended by more than 3,000 people. This outreach was amazing,” concludes the IfCD director. So with consistent action and branding online, fantastic results can be reached. Compared to the initial stages, the increase in the number of attendees taking part in various events is almost 4000%!

The Institute’s event attendees appreciated the new meeting formula. In this regard, it should come as no surprise that specialists continue to use online channels even after the pandemic: – Amazing opportunities have opened up for us and we will never give them up again. We know that we will continue to train online as well. We have on-site events, of course, but our audience, who were initially forced into this form of training, so to speak, have grown very fond of online meetings, and enjoy being able to attend symposia without having to travel,” adds Dr. Anna Budzinska. The Non-public Teacher Training Center operates in the exact same way: – It has turned out that even now when the pandemic has passed and training can take place in on-site form, many of our clients choose online training. So they have remained in our offer and are eagerly chosen by our clients,” says Dr. Marta Wojcik.

How do the numbers look? For the Non-public Teacher Training Center, too, they are impressive: – So far we have trained about 1,500 people in more than 300 trainings in online form, and when we think about it in terms of time, that’s more than 1,800 hours of online training. So without the ClickMeeting platform, our business now would be virtually impossible, as many of our clients are eager to use just this form of training.”

Large international events online? Not a problem!

Another type of events that the Institute for Child Development has transferred to the virtual space are international symposia. – The first symposium held on-site attracted 50 participants. After 10 years, we managed to gather 450 attendees, and it seemed to us that this was the absolute maximum and that more people would not participate,” says Dr. Anna Budzinska. However, organizing symposia through ClickMeeting means completely new opportunities and definitely better opportunities. – We started tentatively to organize symposia on ClickMeeting. And what did we find out? The reach we achieved was incredible. First of all, our event could be attended by people from all over the world, which was impossible when our symposiums were held onsite. We were able to invite many more speakers from different countries: both from Europe and the United States,” she added.

What are the results? The reach and capabilities surprised the organizers themselves. – Our last symposium, held in April 2023, had more than 1,600 live attendees, and we reached about 9,000 recipients. The numbers are incredible, incomparable to what we were able to achieve when the symposia were held on-site,” the IfCD director concluded.

As you can see, large international symposia in online format are the best way to overcome geographical barriers. However, this is not the only benefit they provide. The financial and organizational side of the venture is also worth noting. – Significantly: organizing on-site events involved large costs for the foundation and required a lot of time. We do not employ a large number of people who could, for example, manage the organization of such symposia. And at this point symposia held online are a huge relief for us. The remote formula saves both time and resources,” states Dr. Anna Budzinska.

Without a doubt, this is also appreciated by the attendees themselves. – Participation in our webinars and symposia, by the fact that it requires no financial effort on our part, is free. All people can participate after registering on the ClickMeeting platform. They no longer have to pay for participation. In the case of stationary events, the fees covered the cost of flight and accommodation for speakers. I think we will not go back to the previous form of operation, and large on-site events will be organized less frequently,” the IfCD director concludes.

Additional opportunities through webinars

However, simply gathering people interested in a particular event in a virtual room as part of a live event is not enough. Webinars offer far greater opportunities. Appropriate use of the material obtained this way makes it possible to further increase outreach and also reach people who could not attend the live event. – We are very pleased that webinars can be recorded. This gives us the opportunity to post a link to such a record on our website, which allows people who could not attend the event live to participate,” says Dr. Anna Budzinska. The Institute for Child Development also uses recordings of international symposia online the same way.

Experts from the Non-Public Center for Teacher Training point to interactive features that work well during training and allow attendees to be even more involved. – The ClickMeeting platform allows us to run online trainings, but also chats with our customers. We can use surveys to evaluate the training, which is very important in our work and allows us to constantly develop,” adds Dr. Marta Wojcik.

Join the experts using ClickMeeting

We are happy to support the Institute for Child Development in its daily work and thus contribute to the development of knowledge on autism. If you, like the experts at IfCD’s Non-Public Teacher Training Center, want to get started online, sign up for a free ClickMeeting trial account. You have up to 30 days to test all the platform’s features.

If you’re interested in large online events, such as symposiums, meetings or conferences, take a look at the ClickConference website. As part of this service, organizers receive comprehensive support from our team and a set of tools that will work for these types of events.

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