At Remote Learner, our greatest strength is our staff. We have a diverse group of employees around the United States and Canada, individuals with unique backgrounds and skills needed to meet the challenges faced by our clients. Over the last few months we’ve been profiling some of the staff members that make the Remote Learner team strong. This week we talked to Rich Lewis, who was recently named Remote Learner’s Client Training Coordinator.
Name: Rich Lewis
Position: Client Training Coordinator
Home: Dallas, TX
Brief: Rich Lewis has worked in the training group of Remote Learner’s Client Services team since February of 2017. He has a degree in Electrical Engineering from the University of Oklahoma, and has been involved with classroom instruction and online education since 2001.
Q: Tell us a little about yourself, Rich.
A: My husband Hal and I live near the heart of Dallas with our “chiweenie” Peanut. I love the urban lifestyle and being able to walk to any services we need: restaurants, post office, library, grocery store, etc! My hobbies include gaming of all sorts – both video and tabletop – and I’m a huge Star Wars fan (I’m sure I’ll shed a tear as the last of the main storyline movies lands in December).
Q: Tell me a little about your career path and what brought you to Remote Learner.
A: I started my career in 1994 as a software engineer for Sprint but grew tired of the “business” world and thought I could be doing more with my career. So I took a chance and pursued obtaining my Texas Teacher Certification in 2001. I taught middle school math for four years before my background in technology and my more recent indoctrination into public education merged, as I was picked to help start our district’s Virtual Campus of online programs in 2006. As fate would have it, we chose Moodle™ as our platform and Remote Learner as our host, so I got to know company’s services long before joining the team!
Fast forward through stints at the Texas Virtual School Network, back to classroom teaching, and finally as a campus Instructional Technologist when in 2017 I saw a job posting for a Training Specialist position at Remote Learner. It was a perfect fit as I had solid knowledge of the LMS as a site administrator and had spent hundreds of hours training district staff on how to use it. Now I get to help a global audience learn to use these incredible solutions!
Q: You are somewhat famous among Remote Learner clients as being the voice of our weekly webinar series. What do you like most about hosting our webinars?
A: We’re working hard to make Learning Spaces a robust community for our clients, and a big part of that is our weekly webinar series. Holding weekly webinars can be challenging, as I view each one as a performance of sorts. I strive to be prepared and to make our webinars as engaging and interactive as possible. My favorite thing about hosting our webinars is that, outside of our Virtual Office Hours, they are the best opportunities for me to meet and hear from our clients. We can’t interact with clients via our asynchronous training modules but our webinars are live and vibrant! I’m always thinking of ways we can improve the interactivity of what we present and that keeps me energized every week.
Q: What’s a day at Remote Learner look like for you?
A: Well, it’s gotten a lot busier since becoming our Client Training Coordinator. I’m now responsible for “all things Learning Spaces”. A typical day involves dealing with any account issues that arise, developing training modules, responding to posts made to the Learning Spaces Support Forum, and, of course, webinar management and development. I also coordinate and conduct live client trainings (another great opportunity for live interaction with clients!). Finally, I work closely with the Marketing and Products teams to ensure that we have training in place for new LMS releases as well as new RL solutions. What I really want to share, though, is how much I absolutely love what I do on a daily basis!
Q: How would you describe the impact you and your team aspire to make for our clients each day?
A: It doesn’t matter if you’re in an elementary classroom, a university lecture hall, or training across the globe for a major corporation; educating others is challenging. Moving an education program online is powerful, but undoubtedly adds a layer of complexity to the process. There are always new tools available and they always beg the question of how they can be used to best impact the delivery and quality of instruction.
I think our Training team’s value is in partnering with clients to not only help them master the “how”, but also consider the “why”, “when”, and “where”. Anyone can teach someone how to flip a switch. What’s important is learning why you’d want to flip it, when to flip it, and where it makes sense to flip it. As such, we aspire to help clients become more impactful and productive educators, regardless of their specific field or learner-base.