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Partner Perspective: Q&A with Springest

April 24, 2013, Karen Hui -

Content Connect: Introducing Springest

Springest, an independent content aggregator of Learning and training programs recently joined the Content Connect program. Springest works with local and international L&D providers to provide 70,000 courses from 5000 Learning Providers and around 1150 subjects of the most current training programs and courses in the world. I had the opportunity to chat with COO, Roderick de Rode about Springest and their new collaboration with Saba.

Tell me about Springest and their unique value proposition.

We work with a wide range of Learning providers throughout Europe and the US. Compare Springest to Booking.com: where Booking works with Hotels, Springest works with Learning Providers and their offerings. Users can search, compare and book training courses. We are a content aggregator of training content and educational material and have a completeness strategy. We want to cover 95% of the local available course content.

We have built our platform for all types of Learning providers. From universities and commercial Learning providers to freelance trainers, they all can list their offering on Springest.com. A lot of content providers have an administrator selecting courses and inputting them into a client LMS. Springest offers a synchronized format to providers and LMS customers. We automate the process that would otherwise be very labor intensive. We are currently European focused and building our network outside of Europe. We are very vertical agnostic in our approach; our offering is one size fits all.

The majority of our end users are companies with more than 500 employees, form Mid-Market to Large Corporate customers. We are unique in that we don’t actually provide the courses. We can direct you to a local course provider; organize the signup, billing, reporting and follow-up with huge cost savings for our customers. Saba customers can have an aggregated view of the local provider content.

What do you see as the key trends and formats that will dominate the future of eLearning?

One of the key trends we see is the development of Personal Learning Environments (PLE’s). Because of dynamics in the changing economy and environment, as well as developments in the Learning and personal development market, learners are pro-actively searching and building PLE’s. These PLE’s will become useful or indeed central to Learning in the future. This is not so much a technical question as an Educational one, although changing technologies are key drivers in educational change.

Personal Learning environments are not an application but rather a new approach to the use of new technologies for Learning. There remain many issues to be resolved. But, at the end of the day, the argument for the use of Personal Learning environments is not technical but rather is philosophical, ethical and pedagogic. PLEs provide learners with their own spaces under their own control and needs to develop and share their ideas and learn. Students learn how to take responsibility of their own Learning.

There is an increasing number of Corporates that assign personal training budgets, where the employee is responsible for his or her own development, growth and Learning. Critically, PLEs can bridge the walled gardens of the educational institutions with the worlds outside. In so doing learners can develop the judgments and skills or literacy necessary for using new technologies in a rapidly changing landscape and consequently the marketplace. E-Learning can be part of the Personal Learning Environment. Springest’s strategy and mission is to aggregate information and build a platform where users browse, find and use different Learning resources, from local to international resources. We want to stimulate users to learn and develop, and offer the best tools and platform to do this.

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