"eLearning has the potential to bring dramatic benefits in terms of teaching and learning effectiveness, as well as student motivation," according to Jorma Kaimio, President of WSOY, SanomaWSOY's publishing and learning sector.

"Content providers that understand the different linguistic and cultural needs of different countries, and the needs for solutions that address different teaching styles and classroom situations, will have the most to offer," according to Kaimio.

Kaimio was speaking at one of the Round Tables organised as part of the European eLearning Summit, Europe's first EU-sponsored summit to highlight and promote eLearning opportunities in education, held in La Hulpe in Belgium in May.

SanomaWSOY at the industry forefront

SanomaWSOY and four other leading companies (Cisco Systems, Nokia, IBM, and SmartForce) were the major industry participants at the Summit.

Some 250 representatives from government, industry, and education gathered at the event and put forward a set of recommendations for a declaration given to a meeting of EU education ministers at the end of May

Developing educational content
Developing educational content as part of new eLearning initiatives was the focus of SanomaWSOY's involvement at the Summit.

A workshop coordinated by SanomaWSOY at the Summit looked at three main questions:

  • how best to develop a market for eContent in schools

  • how to develop and incorporate high-quality digital educational content into school curricula and promote teachers' and school administrators' eLearning skills

  • and how to overcome the problems associated with the lack of both technical and quality standards for eContent.

"Providers need to be able to draw on the right international expertise and benefits of scale to be able to produce quality, cost-effective products," says Jorma Kaimio.

"Forging a dynamic partnership between the public and private sectors will be critical to success here - to promoting excellence, the best standards and the best quality, and a functioning commercial market for eLearning products and content."

A long tradition in educational materials SanomaWSOY has a long tradition of producing educational materials and is actively developing a variety of eLearning initiatives.

A good example of this is Opit, an Internet-based, open learning environment initially designed for students attending colleges and vocational institutions. Opit is due to be launched nationally in Finland this autumn.

WSOY's Docendo Group is the Nordic region's largest IT publisher and one of the Nordic area's leading players in interactive IT e-training solutions.

Docendo's interactive e-training software, Simultan Open, can be used over intranets, the Internet, local area networks, or via CD-ROM for training personnel to make better and more effective use of their office software. Docendo has sold some 400,000 Simultan licenses in the Nordic countries.

WSOY also has a 49% holding in Young Digital Poland, a leader in delivering interactive language learning solutions for individual, educational, and corporate customers.

For further information on eLearning in Europe, click here