Online learning is gaining by leaps and bounds because of its flexibility and efficiency, said Teri Wachter, group administrator for Crawford County's LearnKey initiative, which provides courses that cost $25 each and can be completed from anywhere at anytime in a few hours.
"It's something you don't have to travel for and pay a great deal of money for, or lose work time for," she
Yeats and Wachter
provided the example of "Violence in Our Schools," which includes a pre-test to assess a participant's knowledge of the topic, a case study presented as an absorbing, live-action drama that recreates events leading up to a possible tragic, violent outburst in a school setting, training on how to identify such students, tips for creating a comprehensive plan, and a post-test to assess what was learned.
There are 30 courses from which to choose, with "hundreds more" that Wachter hopes to add in the future, such as medical billing.
"What's so great about it is we have stuff for moms, like Photoshop to help with their scrapbooking, and for people in the workforce to help them be more efficient, and for older people looking to learn new technology like how to use e-mail," Wachter
What excites her
the most, she
said, is the opportunity the initiative provides local residents in terms of gaining a specialized area of expertise with which to improve their employment standing.
"There is a class called "IC3: Internet & Computing Core Certification," that if they take it they then can take a test and be certified, which is a huge deal and makes a person so marketable they could get jobs almost anywhere," she
Other learning centers , there are more than a dozen in eastern Kansas , are following suit by implementing LearnKey
, and several report that local businesses are excited at the prospect of having inexpensive, efficient training for their employees.
"If someone were to take a live Photoshop workshop, it can cost hundreds of dollars just to enroll, plus travel costs, and here it is $25," Wachter
said."And you can take it any time, any where."
Those interested in enrolling in a course may contact Wachter
or Yeats at Crawford County Learning Center
, located at 1315 N. Broadway, and open from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Thursday and until 6 p.m. on Friday.Phone 235-0120.