Over the years we have featured several individual projects designed for distance learning or collaboration. In the past two weeks, we have received several inquiries about how ThingLink can support distance learning in situations where schools may be closed, events cancelled or travel minimized. How can teachers and trainers be present from long distances? How can learners be engaged while sharing their thoughts?
ThingLink eLearning and education licenses have this week become available via Azure Marketplace, Azure Portal, and AppSource. This means Microsoft Cloud Solution Providers can now sell ThingLink to their customers and create bundled solutions. ThingLink will provide Microsoft resellers and their customers support with training so that partners in the CSP program are equipped to handle ThingLink related requests from customers.
Previously drivers had to browse several different paper manuals, or wait for an instructor to come and show how a new bus model works. Now they can just tap an interactive user manual on a tablet device and open a how-to video.
One of the most interesting application areas for virtual lessons and visual learning environments is technical and vocational education and training (TVET). Examples that we have so far seen from ThingLink users include interactive user manuals, simulations, virtual campus tours, introductions to working environments, safety drills and teacher training. These examples and several discussions with customers and potential partners have inspired us to think about the next step for TVET and online learning, and the ways in which 360 degree learning environments in the cloud can cost-efficiently improve access to quality education and increase instructional time in real-world working environments.