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The World Is Our Classroom

Today’s launch of Light Reading University, our online training division, gives me an opportunity to remind everybody why Internet technology is so exciting.

It’s not just technology for technology’s sake. The fact is, Internet technology promises to revolutionize the way we learn, work, and play.

For the past three years, Light Reading has been demonstrating this point, not just in what we publish, but in how we publish it – over the Internet. The bottom line is that everybody gets a better deal:
  • Readers get more reliable, more timely information and an online discussion forum.
  • Vendors get more ways of marketing their products and a guaranteed return on investment.
  • We make a profit, which we reinvest in our company, allowing us to hire more people, who develop more products like, well... Light Reading University!
Meanwhile, traditional print trade magazines are in deep trouble – a situation that has parallels in the telecom industry itself. In fact, the publishing and telecom industries are both undergoing huge shakeups, courtesy of the Internet. We're so close to it that sometimes we can't see it.

Enter education, where I see even more potential for the Internet changing things. That's why we've launched Light Reading University, or "LRU." With LRU, we're repeating the Light Reading formula: We're delivering courses on Internet technologies, using the Internet to do it.

Courses are divided into a series of 20-minute-long slide presentations that are viewed over the Internet in the same way as Light Reading's popular Webinars. The courses include guest lectures from luminaries such as Daniel Awduche, Dr. Larry Roberts, Professor David Payne, and Professor Nick Doran, as well as some very nifty downloadable exams.

The Internet helps us deliver much better courses at much lower prices than traditional training, where people have to travel to a location and take a whole course in one go.
  • Students can take a 20-minute module whenever they've got a spare moment, while still sitting at their desks, which has two benefits: First, they needn't take time off work; second, they can learn at their own pace, repeating modules if necessary.
  • The world is our classroom. Courses can be taken anywhere at any time, so they can be taken by a limitless number of people. As a result, we can afford to invest heavily in producing the best quality course material.
  • This includes having a real expert in charge of our training division – Geoff Bennett, until recently a Distinguished Engineer with Marconi plc (Nasdaq/London: MONI). Don't take my word for the quality of our content and Bennett's lecturing skills: Check out the first module of our first course – LRU-01: Integrating IP and Optical Technology – which is free of charge. Click on this link to start playing it now.
  • Our courses focus on leading-edge technologies, which are often a moving target. The Internet enables us to update courses continuously, so that students aren't working with out-of-date material.
  • The Internet helps us cut costs on all fronts. Our courses cost a fraction of traditional ones, even though they're much better, and companies aren't faced with students taking time off work and charging travel expenses.
Let's loop back to my opening remarks. The success of Light Reading and the arrival of LRU should fill your hearts with hope. We're proving that the stuff about the Internet changing the way we learn, work, and play isn't baloney. It's actually happening here, on this very Website. We are changing the way people learn and work. And guess what? We even have a game in the works that might change the way you play!

— Peter Heywood, Founding Editor, Light Reading
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