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Esri Educational Services Expands Offerings
Esri Educational Services has expanded the range and availability of its educational offerings and the variety of delivery methods it employs. Esri educational products cover topics related to GIS concepts, GIS applications, and GIS technology. GIS professionals and students choose among instructor-led courses, Web-based courses, podcasts, and self-study workbooks to find education solutions that fit their learning styles and budgets. (See new offerings from Esri Educational Services on page 44.)
Instructor-led courses are ideal for those who need to learn the most in the shortest amount of time. They are especially recommended for highly technical staff, such as application programmers; those with specific technical or application questions; those who are new to GIS; or those who lack the full support of skilled staff on the job.
Courses combine personal delivery, hands-on experience, and class participation to create a rich learning environment. With Esri's policy of one person per computer at Esri learning centers, students work with the most recent versions of Esri software available. Class time is equally divided between lectures and exercises, giving students plenty of time to practice their skills and apply what they learn. In addition, students in instructor-led training receive individual attention from the course instructor, allowing questions to be answered immediately. Because classrooms often include students from many different industries and organizations, instructor-led training facilitates professional networking and encourages interaction with peers.
Classes are taught at numerous learning centers in the United States, including Esri's corporate headquarters in Redlands, California. Prepaid training contracts are available to organizations that have a large number of employees who require varied training during the year. Private classes are also offered to organizations that purchase all available seats (12 seat minimum) for a single class event at a 20 percent discount. Alternatively, courses can be hosted at individual client sites, allowing Esri to bring training directly to an organization. As an incentive, organizations that purchase 5 or more seats for a single class event will receive a 10 percent discount on instructor-led traditional classroom and online classroom courses.
online classroom, Esri's latest education solution, combines the focus of an instructor-led course with the convenience of Web-based training. online classroom courses provide a high-quality, focused training experience directly through the student's computer.
Each online classroom course includes nine hours of training over three consecutive half-day sessions. Class time is divided among lectures, software demonstrations, and hands-on exercises. These courses are taught by experienced Esri instructors in real time, allowing students to ask questions, get answers, and communicate with classmates as they would in a traditional classroom.
With reduced training budgets, this option provides cost savings and convenience. A online classroom course eliminates travel costs normally associated with receiving direct GIS training. Students can learn at their own desk in morning or afternoon classes, and no Esri software installation is required. Students have access to the latest version of Esri software via Citrix.
Esri Virtual Campus offers self-study GIS training and education via the Web. Virtual Campus courses are ideal for motivated students who want or need flexibility in their training options. Because Virtual Campus training is accessible seven days a week, 24 hours a day, students are able to learn at a time that's convenient for them. All they require is a computer with Internet access and a Web browser.
Since it was launched in 1998, Virtual Campus has trained more than 340,000 people representing more than 190 countries. There are a wide variety of Virtual Campus courses to choose from, including many with downloadable trial editions of Esri software and many that offer the first learning module free of charge.
Virtual Campus also offers free live training seminars and low-cost Web workshops. Live training seminars feature one-hour presentations and demonstrations on focused topics by subject matter experts, streamed directly to a user's desktop through an Internet broadband connection. Attendees can ask the presenter questions and get answers in real time. All live training seminars are recorded and available for viewing after the live broadcast. Web workshops are offered for less than the cost of a college textbook and include value-added features, such as hands-on exercises and exams.
Instructional Series Podcasts
With Esri's Instructional Series podcasts, users can receive free Esri software training on demand. The podcasts provide focused training that fits easily into anyone's schedule. Users can download and listen to these short audio recordings on a computer or an MP3 player.
New podcasts are published often and cover a variety of topics, such as improving workflow, tricks for optimizing a geodatabase, and updates on new software features. Anyone can subscribe to the podcast feed (www.esri.com/podcasts) to be notified when new content is available.
Esri Press Books
Esri Press publishes popular self-study workbooks on Esri software, such as the best-selling Getting to Know ArcGIS Desktop, as well as books on GIS; cartography; and the application of spatial analysis to many areas of public and private endeavor, including land-use planning, health care, education, business, government, and science.
Esri Press workbooks are fully illustrated and most include a companion CD with trial Esri software and exercise data, plus tutorials, demonstrations, and a variety of support and reference materials that complement the text. Workbooks are used in many settings, including formal universities and as part of corporate training programs.
For more information about Esri's educational offerings, visit www.esri.com/training.