training blog - flip or flop?
On one of my latest train the trainer courses, a lovely delegate called Lotta introduced me to one of the latest innovations in technology, the Samsung “Flip” (This is not an advertisement). Having never heard of it and Lotta’s excellent description, I decided to investigate:
I love technology and can remember the excitement building in an old training establishment I worked in back in the early 2000’s when they said they were installing “Smart” boards. With baited breath, we all couldn’t wait to try them, but within six months they quickly became boards screwed to a wall that no-one used. It wasn’t because we didn’t like technology, it was just that the software was poor and they were very unreliable. I’ve always been very sceptical since then when technology tries to fill tried and tested delivery methods but I’m still always open to something making me change my mind. Step forward then, the Samsung “Flip” a 4K 55” screen that advertises itself as a creative digital flipchart. Could this be used as a replacement for our trusty old paper Flip Chart Pad?
Lotta had been telling me that her business had invested in one recently but that she hadn’t been able to use it properly just yet to see its true capabilities. We did, however, look online to do some research and came up with a few advantages and disadvantages I can share:
Endless, unlimited paper – No more running out of paper Flipchart.
(Very) long-term cost savings (upfront cost circa £2100) – How long will it take to recoup that cost with a traditional flipchart pad at £5-10 per pad in bulk?
Sharing possibilities – Phone / USB / Uploading / Downloading with many ports and casting live. Could also replace the need for flip and projector.
No more pens that run out – Digital means no more pesky pens that always seem to run out mid-session.
Training and practice – This will take significant time and potentially some cost whereas traditional flip is very easy.
Technology not for everyone – Some people don’t like technology and no matter how much you train and encourage them, they still won’t use it. This, after all, would be a significant investment!
You can’t remove use stick on the walls – traditional flipchart allows you to remove and tack it up on the walls to reinforce learning visually. Once you flip the electronic one, you can’t see it. Similarly, you only have one place to do group work unless you have multiple digital flipcharts.
Cost – As above, will the outlay ever repay itself? £2100 is a lot of money for something that may not get a lot of use. Also, this needs power!
Portability – You can put a flipchart in a bag and transport it; although this is on wheels, it’s only really going to be office based and can’t be transported.
Compatibility – It’s not compatible with all phones and pads which is always going to cause issues (Android v Apple)!
I think the evidence is quite compelling really when I ask myself the question, great training aid or expensive toy? Is it good enough to replace a flip? Maybe in some respects for some businesses and trainers but not for me although I still would like to have a play! Anyone care to invite me who has one?
Huge thanks to Lotta Viika for the help and inspiration behind this blog.