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Engineer, 70 years young, attends classes online

A 70-year old engineer from South Africa has successfully completed a three-month part-time course in PLCs and SCADA systems online through a training program offered by IDC Technologies, the research team says.

The online component of the course suggests that efficiency and cost considerations mean that more people are turning to web-based course work, including 70-year old Edwin Wakefield, IDC Technologies said.

Wakefield enrolled in the class under his own steam and paid his own way, aiming to expand the knowledge he has developed during his career in industry.

Edwin noted that he was extremely supportive and optimistic about online learning today. He said that “the main advantages of online learning are convenience and accessibility and the guaranteed availability of top-class instructors.”

“I’m sure that attending live evening classes can have certain advantages, provided the quality of the instruction is up to standard. This may not always be the case. Unless one’s place of work is close to where the course is presented, attending live classes can suffer from lack of convenience and accessibility,” he said.

The online course was a new experience for Wakefield, and included a blend of live interactive webinars led by the instructor, plus reading material and coursework via email, and some one-on-one contact.

The live sessions made an enormous difference and provided strong motivation to stay with the course, says IDC Technologies. He reported that the course was “extremely engaging and interactive”. He concluded that he achieved his goal of “gaining a working knowledge that I had been lacking for too long.”

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