A new Learning and Skills Council initiative (part funded by the European Social Fund) is putting extra impetus behind e-learning - a relatively new way of learning which uses technology to bring learning direct to learners' computer screens - wherever they are.
Rod Knox, Chief Executive of Ilkley-based e-learning specialist, Virtual College, climbed to the top of the Cow & Calf Rocks to prove just how flexible and accessible e-learning can be.
Using a wireless network connection, he launched the e-wyse web portal, part of the West Yorkshire Support for e-learning (e-wyse) Champions Project, from the top of the famous Yorkshire landmark. The e-wyse project aims to put added impetus behind the trend towards e-learning by making it much more accessible to small and medium sized enterprises in the West Yorkshire area.
Rod Knox, Chief Executive of Virtual College, climbed to the top of the Cow & Calf Rocks to prove just how flexible and accessible e-learning can be.
e-learning is a vehicle which uses technology to enhance the traditional approach to learning - offering significant potential benefits:
For small or medium sized companies in West Yorkshire, who often find it particularly difficult to provide time off for staff training, the e-wyse Champions Project is an ideal opportunity to try e-learning out for size.
Many organisations are already benefiting from the project including Volunteering Bradford, an organisation that recruits and trains volunteers. They have recently received an award for pioneering work in on-line learning from the National Institute of Adult and Community Learning (NIACE).
Kirkdale Industrial Training Services (KITS) has developed an on-line safety and welding module which it uses to train welding apprentices.
The e-wyse Portal (www.e-wyse.co.uk), developed as part of the e-wyse project is now available to all interested West Yorkshire companies and individuals. It provides a one-stop shop of e-learning resources including:
The benefits of e-learning, different learning styles and methods. Case studies and demonstrations for users to try.
How to get started and develop a company e-learning strategy and learning materials. Suggestions on how staff can be trained and information on content authoring, resources and course management.
The benefits of e-learning, available courses, advice and support.
The e-wyse Champions Project has several strands, offering specific support to businesses in West Yorkshire to help them tap into the benefits of e-learning. These include training for staff to enable them to produce their own e-learning resources, tailored to their own specific business needs.
As one of the e-learning pioneers, Virtual College is the lead partner in the e-wyse project.
Virtual College's Rod Knox commented: "Independent sources predict that over half of all learning in the UK workplace will be e-learning within 5 years. This is an ideal opportunity for West Yorkshire companies to reap the benefits."