5 Challenges Facing Training
And Education Publishers Today
What this means is that education publishers need to keep up with demand for content in both print and digital formats. At the same time – and despite the rate of progress in technology – many industries still rely on technologies that are over 20 years old. That’s why operators need training materials that cover both legacy machinery, and new digital technology, alongside ongoing learning around health and safety regulations.
To find out more about the key challenges facing education publishers today, what they need from an editorial platform, and how PublishOne supports what they do – we spoke to Saskia Steur, Knowledge Management Advisor, at VAPRO.
Publishing With A Proprietary System
There’s nothing inherently wrong with running an in-house proprietary publishing platform to manage content. However, for many educational publishers, it’s the ongoing and rising cost of maintaining and updating their in-house editorial system which leads them to explore the market for a more cost-effective and efficient alternative.
The reason for the expense is usually that proprietary systems depend on specialist technical knowledge for maintenance and updates. If that IT specialist leaves the organization, or the system depends on the services of a niche external expert – maintenance costs can soar.
Another reason why many publishers choose a standardized solution is the ever-increasing threat of cyberattacks and data breaches. Keeping proprietary software safe from harm is no easy feat. With an off-the-shelf yet configurable alternative, like PublishOne, companies can benefit from centralized updates and improvements directly from the vendor. Alongside security, they can also benefit from the addition of new features, driven by the product’s user base.
Offering Print And Digital Formats
Whilst there has been a seismic shift toward digital publishing – and digital education – in some industrial environments where devices are either not permitted or unavailable, printed books and manuals are still the only option for frontline education and training purposes.
Typically, this means educational resources need to be available in both print and digital formats in order to meet differing customer needs. The challenge is how to align and update relevant information across all formats, and so that operators have access to the latest and most up-to-date guidance.
The great thing about PublishOne is that once a publication is finished, users can click to publish it across all relevant formats. Whether it’s destined for a webpage, an e-publication, or ready for print publishing, it’s a case of create once and publish anywhere.
Supporting Different Educational Settings
There’s also a trend for vocational training providers and businesses to connect around theoretical and practical education. For that reason, education publishers need to create content suitable for both purposes. In addition, some companies prefer to run their own workplace learning. This means that they need more tailored educational materials to suit their unique training programs.
Producing bespoke content can be costly and time-consuming, but with the right digital tools, education materials can be easily adapted and distributed. The beauty of using a single editorial platform is that publishers can adapt, update, and reuse standard educational materials for different purposes. Ideally, this also includes the ability to adjust the structure and layout of publications.
Making It Easier For Content Creators
At VAPRO, much of the educational content is created, revised, and updated in-house. Whether internal or external, most writers tend to work in a preferred app like Microsoft Word. Some editorial systems require writers to work in a specific app or learn a piece of proprietary software. It’s much easier for them if they can use their regular tools to create content.
The flexibility to use preferred writing tools means that when VAPRO calls on freelance writers to support more specialist content creation, such as robotics, there’s no learning curve or technology barrier to writing and editing. With PublishOne, writers and editors can use their preferred tools whilst keeping all their content in one place.
Of course, this content also covers multiple text types, from exam materials to textbooks. Whilst some content is fairly static – such as operating procedures for legacy machinery, other content – like changes to legislation – needs updating more frequently.
Cleaning Up The Digital Mess
Digitization has undoubtedly increased the volume of content handled by publishers. When you consider factors such as legacy publications, different versions, and multiple authors, the digital mess starts to pile up.
For example, say you have a publication with more than one edition. With traditional folder and file systems, it can be difficult to identify the correct version of a document. In the case of VAPRO, the company might hold an original edition, a customized version, an updated edition, and so on. Even with today’s search functionality, it’s not always easy to find what you need when you need it.
That’s why it’s so helpful that PublishOne tracks versions and provides a clear overview of documents and their content.
VAPRO is a long-established and leading provider of training and educational materials for the processing and manufacturing industries.
The company produces a variety of educational content around the subjects of maths, chemistry, and physics – alongside course materials and guidance on production processes, regulations, and safety. With a team of consultants, it plays an important advisory role to companies and education providers in the Netherlands.
VAPRO first came to PublishOne looking for a standardized solution to consolidate their extensive and growing catalog of educational materials. To find out how our friendly publishing platform could benefit your business, explore PublishOne.