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Coursebooks Go Digital at Esri Training

Printed Books Shelved in Favor of Digital Versions with Color Maps and Other Features

Esri Training continues its digital transformation with a new initiative: students at Esri training centers will now receive only digital workbooks in their classes.

Digital books replace the printed coursebooks that Esri has supplied over the last 30 years to students who attend traditional instructor-led classes. They offer several benefits over print versions, including the following:

Students taking instructor-led Esri Training courses will now receive only digital workbooks in their classes.
Students taking instructor-led Esri Training courses will now receive only digital workbooks in their classes.

A Digital Evolution

With digital books, Esri Training can finally provide maps in color.
With digital books, Esri Training can finally provide maps in color.

Digital coursebooks are the latest in a long line of digital moves for Esri Training. In 1997, Esri launched Esri Virtual Campus, one of the first commercial websites devoted to teaching GIS topics and technology online. Web courses were a relatively new phenomenon in the late 1990s but quickly gained a following, especially in the higher education community.

Virtual Campus web courses were so popular that Esri decided to virtualize the in-person seminar experience by launching live training seminars in 2001. These are hour-long, free, online seminars on technical topics. Those also proved to be—and remain—popular.

The instructor-led online classroom was introduced in 2004. Shortly afterward, the Great Recession hit, and many GIS professionals found themselves grounded, unable to travel to attend a training class. For several years, the online classroom was the only viable option for many Esri customers to attend instructor-led training. Today, the online classroom is just as well attended as Esri’s traditional classrooms.

In 2016, Esri Training redesigned its website, doubling the size of the e-Learning collection to include new formats and durations.

So digital is already a huge part of what Esri does. Plus, online classroom students have always received digital coursebooks. Feedback from those attendees has helped Esri understand which digital features are most valuable, both during class and afterward, back at the office.

In Class and Beyond

Classrooms will feature dual-monitor workstations for each student.
Classrooms will feature dual-monitor workstations for each student.

To ensure that students continue to have an excellent classroom experience, Esri is adding a second monitor to each classroom workspace as well. Students will be able to view the digital coursebook on one monitor while following the course presentation and interacting with Esri software on the other monitor.

At the beginning of class, students will download their digital coursebook from the Training website and annotate it as desired throughout the class. At the end of class, students will upload their annotated coursebooks to the Training website. Back at the office, the coursebook can be downloaded to a local drive and easily referenced at any time.

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