eTraining – Is It Right for You?

by Michele Mattix

In this economy, going to a technical training class is a luxury.  Most businesses and organizations have had to make deep cuts and travel budgets are among them.   This makes attending a traditional classroom training class pretty much impossible.  But technology does not stand still and that is especially true in the geospatial industry.  It is also true in the technical training industry. 

New online software makes it possible to attend live training events from the convenience of your own office so you can keep your skills up to date.  If you haven’t yet attended a webinar online, it’s as easy as putting on your headphones and opening your internet web browser.  Sometimes the audio portion of the presentation happens over the internet and sometimes it happens over the telephone.  Either way, you can see and hear the presentation and interact with the instructor.

No doubt you might not be convinced that e-training is as good as traditional classroom training.  Believe me, I understand.  Many of my fellow instructors and I lament that something is lost with e-training.  The classroom camaraderie is missing.   You don’t get the chance to meet and network with other students.  And if you enjoy getting away from the office and taking a work-vacation every now and then, e-training offers no salvation.

Yet e-training is emerging as an affordable and practical way to keep a workforce motivated and up to date.  Consider the following benefits that e-training offers.

  • E-training is cheaper to attend than traditional classroom training.
  • No travel is required. No airport procedures or jet-lag to contend with.  No time away from home or the office.  No searching out a decent restaurant in an unfamiliar town.
  • Training can happen at a reasonable pace.  Traditional classroom training is usually condensed to fill entire days at a stretch because it’s more cost-effective to do so.  But it can be really challenging – even when you have a good instructor – to sit in class for two or three days straight all day long.  E-training classes can be spread out into smaller chunks so that you’re learning one lesson a day instead of seven or eight.
  • E-training classes are often recorded so you can watch and/or listen to them again after the class is over.  This helps you retain the information better.  Some e-training courses are available on CD so you watch the lessons you want over and over.
  • No one can monopolize the class.   This can happen in a traditional classroom setting – one or two students demand the majority of the instructor’s time.  Not so with e-training.
  • You are free to do what you want when you want.  You can answer that important email from your boss, get up to use the restroom, go get a drink of water, or whatever you need to do without disrupting the class.
  • In many online training classes, you have direct communication with the instructor and other students via discussion periods, chat rooms, online polling and quizzes.

Yes, it’s true that something is lost when you move training from the classroom to an online environment, but something else is gained — flexibility.   Professional training comes to you, directly to your computer at a price you can afford and without keeping you tied up in the classroom all day long.   It fits into your schedule and allows you to take training on your terms.  The feedback I’ve received from our e-training classes has shown me that e-training is all about the student.  And that’s exactly how it should be.

Try one of our online training classes or training videos – we have many to choose from.