These days, electronic media fills an important niche in furthering education and job training. Learning institutions and businesses seeking to offer new job skills to their employees are eager to make use of these up-to-the minute educational tools.
Teachers responsible for generating new course material may be worried about keeping up with the modern trend of computer-assisted education, but the experts at the Karlsruhe-based Fraunhofer Institutes for Information and Data Processing IITB say their premier Crayons software allows the user to develop media-rich courses that will not only enhance students' learning experiences in the classroom but also make it a snap for their tutors to go over the class material with the students at home.
The courses created with Crayons allow the students a broader understanding of the educational material. The program makes it easy for the user to link to video, images, and online texts with the course work. The leader of the Crayons project, Daniel Szentesm says that users can use the program by intuition alone. There are editors provided for every exercise and these function in a manner similar to programs like WORD. There is no real learning curve. Users can just dive right in.
Tutors can add in links to the course content to help add context that will speak to a specific student. The course work can be designed to take the individual preferences of the student into account. Students who like concepts illustrated through true stories, for instance, may end up with a course designed to give them the chance to research real-life examples that touch on the subject at hand.
Using Crayons is a cinch to use and the only requirement for teachers and students who use the program is that they have access to the internet and an internet browser like Internet Explorer or Firefox. According to Szentesm, Crayons can be configured to provide course material that will give students as much pedagogical support as possible. The teacher can apply any number of didactic approaches to the course work. If a particular student needs slower-paced learning, a more hands-on approach, or prefers images to text, a course can be produced combining all of these elements.
Meantime, another program produced by Fraunhofer Institute, this time for Ilmenau's Digital Media Technology (IDMT), can aid employers in providing vocational training in new job skills. The training can be done in the workplace or at home on the workers' personal computers. The program cuts out time spent in travel as well as lost work days. Educational Media (EDMedia) is a learning content management system that was designed with these goals in mind.
Dr. Fanny Klett, who heads up this project, says that users can incorporate a variety of media, just as in the Crayons project, for learning new job skills.