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Learning giant in its element

Element K has unveiled a host of initiatives to boost IT learning in the region at this year's Gitex.

Element K Middle East has announced the availability of the Arabised International Computer Driving Licence (ICDL) in the Middle East. International Computer Driving Licence (ICDL) Syllabus 4 courses, fully localised have been made available by the online learning vendor.

"Our key speciality in the Middle East is Arabising products. As the digital divide slowly closes this part of the world is coming more online andusing technology to a greater level.

We fully Arabised the ICDL programme. This means we use an Arabic version of the applications including the operating system. Other companies take the English course and put text around it, ours is completely arabised. This has proved very popular in Saudi Arabia," says Susan Bodinson, general manager, Element K Middle East.

ICDL Syllabus 4 was developed by the European Computer Driving License (ECDL) Foundation over a two-year period and incorporates inputs from computer users, subject matter experts and practicing computer professionals. ICDL Syllabus 4 has been adopted by many regions around the world, and the Gulf Region will complete their migration to this new syllabus by the end of 2004.

ICDL Syllabus 4 provides a stronger awareness for using computers by addressing many new technology areas such as security, file compression, e-Government, netiquette, and lifestyle technology devices such as digital cameras and Personal Digital Assistants (PDAs).

The company has also unveiled KnowledgePlanner, an intranet based e-learning solution that has proved popular with schools. The system is designed for those companies that cannot afford an internet connection. Knowledge Planner was developed in response to the growing demand for an Arabic and English intranet e-Learning solution for corporate, education and government customers. The KnowledgePlanner e-Learning solution is the first of its kind in the world to provide Arabic and English capabilities, claims the vendor, and works in a similar way to Element K's KnowledgeHub learning management system.

The online learning vendor is also celebrating the one year anniversary if its deal to provide online training courses on the Etisalat website.

Element K claims that its courses can boost the knowledge of users and help them to further their careers, with many courses endorsed by well-known IT vendors such as Microsoft.
"We do beginner level courses and advanced and in-depth courses focused on specific applications," says Bodinson. "The main advantage of using online learning is that it allows people to train at their own pace and can learn at home anytime they feel like it," she adds.

Element K stresses that its courses are scalable from 10 to 10,000 users and has also noticed a recent upsurge in interest in its security related online courses.

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