January 13, 2003
Aspiring Technologists Learn by Playing in the Sandbox in New O'Reilly Learning Lab
Sebastopol, CA--Children learn a new skill--how to walk, tie a shoe, or
program a game console--by trying the new thing, failing, exploring,
trying again, and finally mastering it. Adults learn the same way,
though you'd never guess that from the structure of most courses
designed for "adult learning." O'Reilly & Associates and Useractive are
setting out to change that, with the O'Reilly Learning Lab.
The heart of the O'Reilly Learning Lab courses is Useractive's
web-native Learning Sandbox, a virtual lab environment where users
learn by diving right in to "doing." Every course has an online
coach--a live expert in the topic--who guides students as they progress
from the simple to the complex. And every course includes a free
O'Reilly reference book that supplements the online course materials.
Useractive Co-founder and CTO Scott Gray, a veteran of the University
of Illinois's groundbreaking Calculus&Mathematica project, says, "We
make the courses I wish had existed when I learned these technologies.
Our touchstone is the principle of guided proactive discovery. The
courses immediately guide students into experimentation, and then they
quickly turn work in to their coach, get feedback, go to the next
level, experiment, and learn more. If a student reads for more than 10
minutes without doing something, we've failed."
"Through our new partnership with Useractive, we've finally found
online courses that meet the needs of O'Reilly readers," says Dale
Dougherty, O'Reilly's VP of Online Publishing. "The O'Reilly Learning
Lab courses are written by and for IT practitioners. Their hands-on
methodology is grounded in real-world practice, just as our books and
web sites are."
O'Reilly Learning Lab courses include the Linux/Unix System Admin
Certificate Series, Web Programming Certificate Series, and individual
courses on PHP, C Programming, XML, Java, and more. The O'Reilly
Learning Lab offers discounts on all courses, with fees ranging from
$169 to $279 US. For more information, see
Useractive provides tools and technology that make learning information
technology easy, convenient, and effective. The company's next
generation web-based approach to learning combines online instruction
with an integrated virtual lab environment where users learn by doing.
Useractive's Learning Sandbox virtual lab is delivered via any web
browser and can be seamlessly integrated to compliment any existing
content, classroom or online curriculum. Useractive's unique approach
combines the accessibility and convenience of online learning with the
effectiveness of hands-on lab tools and personal coaching.
Useractive's customers include individuals, corporate organizations,
educational institutions and e-learning solution providers worldwide
who are focused on superior and engaging education and IT training.
Selected courses are eligible for Continuing Education Units and
Professional Development Certificates from The University of Illinois.
O'Reilly Media spreads the knowledge of innovators through its books, online services, magazines, and conferences. Since 1978, O'Reilly Media has been a chronicler and catalyst of cutting-edge development, homing in on the technology trends that really matter and spurring their adoption by amplifying "faint signals" from the alpha geeks who are creating the future. An active participant in the technology community, the company has a long history of advocacy, meme-making, and evangelism.
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