For Immediate Release
Contact: Wendy Hinton
Director of Advancement Communications
December 9, 2020 – Texas A&M’s Center for Executive Development and MDA Leadership partnered to deliver an engaging and interactive leadership program on Adaptability and Resilience to the senior leadership of a global financial services organization, utilizing the King’s College Barco weConnect virtual classroom located in the Sikorsky Innovation Lab in the William G. McGowan School of Business (MSB).
The leadership program was led by Greg Marchi of Texas A&M University, Jim Laughlin of MDA Leadership, and Maarten Asser of Culture Learning Group. The educators focused on Adapting to Change in a Fast-Changing Complex World and Human Resilience for Personal, Leadership, and Organizational Impact. Approximately 60 senior leaders in the organization participated on multiple days in virtual learning sessions using the weConnect classroom for the first time.
Greg Marchi, Chief Learning Officer and Assistant Dean of Executive Education at the Mays Business School at Texas A&M University said, “We are very excited to be installing the weConnect technology in our Center for Executive Development at Texas A&M University. King’s College has been an incredible partner providing insight, support, and resources for us as we move forward with this cutting edge educational virtual platform. It has been a blessing to connect with King’s College on this exciting initiative.”
Jim Laughlin, Vice President of Leadership Development and Coaching Services at MDA Leadership commented, “As a decades-long facilitator of classroom learning focused on leadership development, I thoroughly enjoyed teaching and facilitating in the King’s College weConnect classroom. My participants – high-level business executives from multiple countries – reported they highly valued the strong interactive session we were able to conduct via this innovative learning technology. I am looking forward to further opportunities to leverage this learning platform.”
The Sikorsky Innovation Lab utilizes state-of-the-art equipment that allows students to learn in a technology-infused environment to prepare them for a 21st century workplace. The Lab uses the Barco weConnect system and is enhanced to provide collaboration pods, where both in-class students and distance education students share work in collaborative environments. There are only a few educational institutions currently using weConnect, and King’s was selected by Texas A&M for a site visit so that they might see the technology in action.
“I felt fully supported by King’s College Barco weConnect system installation to facilitate interactions around my content and insights to the virtual client participants,” said instructor Maarten Asser, Partner at the Culture Learning Group. Asser likened the technology to create a virtual environment similar to an in-person experience, stating, “The flexibility of the system with multiple camera angles, a variety of screens for participants to work on, as well as the seamless set up of breakout rooms, polls, and surveys made the experience so much more valuable as an educator than other communications systems we have utilized.”
Asser continued, “The best element as an educator is that you are literally fully present in the classroom for all to see. Non-verbal communication is virtually restored to the levels of being in an actual classroom with real-time participant engagement. It is a wonderful experience.”
King’s established a relationship with Barco in 2016 when it was in search of a wireless presentation system as part of its Bring-Your-Own-Device (BYOD) initiative on campus. The College has been a site of
beta testing for the Barco’s weConnect BYOD Classroom, a product that offers an easy way to achieve a fully functional collaborative learning environment.
“The product is robust and intuitive with no need for physical wires,” said Raymond Pryor, King’s College Managing Director of User Services. “Wireless without lag is what we were looking for. The product just
worked,” he continued. Pryor also noted that King’s had been searching for this type of classroom connectivity solution as part of its crisis response preparedness planning, long before the COVID-19 pandemic began.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the visiting parties observed all recommended safety protocols while on campus, including wearing face masks and observing social distancing.
For more information about Texas A&M University Center for Executive Development, contact Greg Marchi at CED@mays.tamu.edu or 979-845-1216. For more information about MDA Leadership, contact Jeff Stoner at firstname.lastname@example.org or 612-332-8182.
For more information about King’s College McGowan School of Business, contact Barry Williams at email@example.com or 570-208-5900, ext. 5624.
Raymond Pryor, King’s College; Greg Marchi, Texas A&M University; Jennifer Haddy, MDA Leadership; Kim Sutphen, Texas A&M University; Jim Laughlin, MDA Leadership; Maarten Asser, Culture Learning Group