February 10, 2015 | News

Solutions for lifelong learning

Digital learning

Digitalization is creating new opportunities for lifelong learning – such as enhanced e-books that automatically update the content whenever the user goes online.

The worldwide training market is worth more than $300 billion a year and the trend is rising. This is not least because digitalization is creating new opportunities for learners and companies in this area too. One company that is taking advantage of these opportunities is Microsoft.

Millions of IT professionals, developers and information workers have obtained Microsoft Certifications by completing rigorous courses delivered by authorized Microsoft Learning Partners. The training material, or courseware, is developed by Microsoft itself and third-party authors. For over 15 years now, Arvato has been one of the company’s primary service providers for the sale and distribution of courseware. Since the release of the Skillpipe e-reader app in 2012, the selection of courseware has transitioned into a majority digital media.

The Courseware Marketplace is a learning platform that distributes both digital and physical learning content on Microsoft’s “technology stack” – in more than 180 countries and in the major languages of the world. Users can search for specific technologies or courses and can easily build customized courses to meet their training needs. The Skillpipe e-reader app supports both online and offline learning scenarios. Users can access their content via browsers or native apps on different devices.

Digital opportunities in continuing education and training

While publishers and training providers benefit from going digital by reducing their print costs, learners benefit from the advantages that the innovative Skillpipe platform offers. Take Dave, for example: The 36-year-old database administrator from Miami works with Microsoft’s database management system SQL Server. “I was really proficient with the 2012 version. But when my company upgraded to SQL Server 2014 to take advantage of cloud computing, I wanted to be prepared as quickly and effectively as possible,” he explains.

Before the training class began, Dave started working through the digital course book, which he could instantly access after signing in to the Skillpipe app. The best part of the learning experience is that Skillpipe displays all of the instructor’s highlighted passages and notes, such as links to additional learning resources, like videos, PowerPoint decks, podcasts, PDFs, blogs, case studies and white papers. And all of the content elements are updated over the lifetime of the e-book. The e-book, in essence, becomes a “living manual” for the learner. “Software changes fast. New versions are released every two to three months,” Dave says. “With the Fresh Editions© Web service offered through Skillpipe, I will always have the latest edition of a digital textbook, even years after my training course has ended. My learning never ends.”

Meet the Skillpipe app:

Learning beyond the classroom

Another advantage of the Skillpipe e-reader: class participants can take notes, which are saved to the cloud. They can then share them with their instructor and class peers who can comment on them in turn. Skillpipe provides useful features like adjustable font styles and sizes, contextual search results, and the ability to highlight relevant passages or add a bookmark to save a reading spot. Offline reading is also supported as learners can download their enhanced e-books and read them anywhere, even on a plane or subway train. If they write notes or add highlights while offline, their changes will be automatically synchronized as soon as they have an Internet connection. Skillpipe also remembers where the learner left off, and will return them to that exact spot when Skillpipe is restarted, even on a different device.

Skillpipe delivers content from the most popular Web browsers as well as through native apps and supports iOS, Android and Windows 8. It can be used on practically any popular device and system; so whenever you want to gain new knowledge or refresh your skills, no matter where you are, you have a whole library of Microsoft Courseware digital textbooks at your disposal. Through our learning solution, lifelong learning can be adapted to fit your lifestyle.

How customers have achieved real ROI: