The Internet Distance Education Academies Co. Ltd.

To remain at the forefront of industry each major company must invest in the training of its personnel. To remain marketable in the fast-paced modern world, professionals must be continually updated of recent developments in their respective fields, and be appropriately trained so that they can deliver the most effective solutions to their clients or employers. To take our rightful place on the world stage our youth must be well educated.

Traditional approaches to training can be tedious and costly. Staff must be scheduled to devote time away from the direct income-earning activities, often for weeks at a time. Personnel may be required to travel to the training centers, and accommodation provided. For in-house training, a considerable investment in office real estate and equipment must be made. In the industrial sector, on-site training may be hazardous, posing a health risk to the trainee and regular employees, as well as possible damage to vital equipment. The content of primary, secondary and tertiary education curricular are becoming more abstrasct, with increasing emphasis being placed on problem-solving which involves more analytical and mathematical skills. To address these needs solutions are required which in effect reduce space, and bridge the gap between the abstract and the physical. Computer networks and approaches to teaching that are based on computer graphics, can do just that.

The most common technological buzzwords in the 1990s are the "information superhighway". That is, the INTERNET, and particularly the World Wide Web. What began as in interesting experiment has become, in a few relatively short years, the most important medium for mass communication and commerce since the television and ABM machine.

Most importantly of all, the World Wide Web, along with graphical operating systems such as Windows, are also ideal as media for delivering educational material, regardless of the physical locations of the trainee or student, and the server. No additional equipment is necessary - if you have a basic office or home computer with an INTERNET connection, you are ready. The most recent computer developments make day-to-day office procedure even more Web-centric with the web browser becoming as vital as the telephone.

Within the context of corporate or professional training, this means that the employee or professional need not travel to a physical training center, nor does the employer have to find valuable office space to conduct training sessions. Furthermore, with a graphical operating system such as Windows, dangerous training procedures, such as "hot wire" operations in electrical power systems, can be simulated using three-dimensional graphics and interactive user input. The physical training center has been transformed into a virtual multimedia training center. For students, the rich graphics capabilities of Windows and modern hardware mean that graphical representations of abstract concepts can be readily portrayed and becasue the process responds to the student's mouse clicks, placing him or her in control, learning becomes a fun experience. Hundreds of companies and universities worldwide now use the INTERNET for hosting virtual training centers for delivering their material.

Often in training, the nature of the material is such that one needs to ask the instructor, teacher or lecturer questions, do tutorials, submit essays, or even take exams. All these activities can be facilitated in a virtual training center. In fact, you can even collaborate with other persons taking the same course without leaving the INTERNET medium. You can even see the other trainees or the instructor during the training via video conferencing. The training can be conducted in a pre-packaged format where you log-on and the training is delivered in a structured step-by-step fashion, or you can have a more free-format style of delivery. From the trainee's perspective, taking a course at a virtual training center is just like browsing to another web site, or running a computer program..

This scenario describes the raison d'etre of IDEAS Co. Ltd. Our mission is to exploit the full potential of the INTERNET and Windows (95 and NT) to meet the training needs of the corporate and professional world in Trinidad and Tobago, and the Caribbean, as well as facilitate university, secondary school, primary school, pre-school, and adult-education programmes.

When the trainee visits the virtual training center he or she is actually using a computer program which contains the course material. Such a program is called "courseware". The courseware is installed on a computer called a server, which itself is part of a computer network. IDEAS Co. Ltd. develops the courseware based on the material provided by the Client. The Client may be an employer, a teacher, or a lecturer or their representatives. IDEAS Co.Ltd. may also install or modify the Client's server and/or network so that it can serve as a web site. If the Client prefers not to invest in the required web site hardware and system software but nevertheless wishes to provide training or educational material via the INTERNET, another option is that the Client can use IDEAS Co. Ltd 's server to deliver the courseware.

Alternatively, we can develop your training software so that it is distributed and administered over the INTERNET but run stand-alone on your PC, without the need for a web server. This approach may be more cost-effective if, for example, your content requires high bandwidth, or your telephone charges will be too high. A range of solutions is possible, that we can tailor to your situation, and which leverages your investment in a PC to its best use and maximum returns.

An employer who conducts in-house training, or anyone responsible for providing training or education, may wish to know how they will maintain control in such an environment. Actually, the Client's control can be built into the courseware itself during its design. The courseware can have such features as checking trainees' attendance, and keeping a database of trainees' progress or marks. Such facilities can even be invoked remotely.

When the potential Client meets with IDEAS Co. Ltd., we conduct a requirements analysis with them followed by a feasibility study. If the Client then requests that IDEAS Co. Ltd. design or host a virtual training center on their behalf, we develop a project management schedule and set a deadline for the project which is acceptable to the Client. We then work along with the person (or persons) appointed by the Client to provide the training content. The courseware is developed in phases including fortnightly walk-throughs with the Client's representatives thereby ensuring that the Client is thoroughly satisfied. A representative of the Client is trained in the full usage of the courseware, and the operations of the virtual training center. Full documentation on all software and hardware is provided. After installation, IDEAS Co. Ltd. maintains the virtual training center for a period of several months.

At IDEAS Co. Ltd. we believe that the computer will radically transform the education process. We wish to assist in providing the highest quality service to your trainees or students, by making this process available to you, the country's corporate and professional sector, and the educators of our region's future leaders.

Company Profile

The Board of Directors:

Richard P. Clarke Phd, MPhil, BSc REng MIFS

Anne-Marie Clarke LUATT

Calvin Stemley MSc, BSc

Gemma Stemley-Stapleton MA, BA, BSc

Jannet Rubie MA, BA, Dip. Ed.

Alisa Clarke BA

Patrick Clarke MA BA Dip. Ed.

Marian Clarke Dip. Ed.


CEO: Richard P. Clarke

Head Project Management and Design: Anne-Marie Clarke

Head Graphics Arts: Marian Clarke

Head Programming: Richard P. Clarke

Head Research: Alisa Clarke