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Information Technology Courses Go On line

Information Technology Courses Go On line

The new Air Force Computer Based Training initiative will provide more than 1,000 information technology courses available on-line to every Air Force member -- active duty, Guard and Reserve -- as well as civilian employees. Users must first register from a .mil location, but can then access the course while at work, home or on temporary duty. (Air Force image). By Dr. Tim Mucklow, Air Force Communications Agency, June 26, 2000.

Scott Air Force Base, Ill. (AFPN) -- Education enables people to respond to challenges by preparing them for the future. The Air Force has taken initiatives to deliver training and education more quickly, to more people, for fewer dollars. Air Force people now have access to more than 1,000 Information Technology courses on line, thanks to the opening of the Air Force Computer Based Training System's Central Site.

While at work, on temporary duty, or at home, military members and civilians can take courses on their computers in such areas as specialized technical skills, basic business applications, software programming and world wide web administration. Examples of courses are UNIX, Windows NT, Oracle, Microsoft Office and Netscape Navigator.

The Computer Based Training Initiative 2000 uses the CBT System to help the workforce deal with rapidly changing technology to conduct daily business.

Phase one of the program established the central site, hosted by the Defense Information Systems Agency. It includes an IT course software library, help desk, user registration service and metrics collection capability.

Phase two, now under way, will place courseware and software at base-level network control centers to minimize Internet traffic between users and the central site.

All users can access courses through the central site now. After phase two, on-base users will access courses through their local NCC, using locally-staged courseware and utility software. Off-base users will continue to access courses through the central site, and can either take the courses on line or download them to their PCs. Users must first register from a computer with a ".gov" or ".mil" address, and then get a password to connect from any terminal with Internet access.

Progress reports on user metrics will be maintained at the central site, with local data being passed during off-peak hours. Force planners will use metrics to track proficiency progress and manage their programs.

The Air Force CBT System provides training that meets the knowledge-level requirements for certifying network professionals explained in AF Instruction 33-115, Volume 2, Licensing Network Users and Certifying Network Professionals. Air Education and Training Command is exploring ways to integrate CBT into curricula to get the most value from in-residence training programs.

Proprietary software is needed to take courses in either download or liveplay modes. Users should check with their local workgroup manager for a customized version. The software can also be downloaded from the central site's "Getting Started Off Base" option, in the Courseware menu.

The CBT System uses SmartForce (formerly CBT Systems, Inc.) commercial off-the-shelf courseware. It offers flexible, adaptable training in the face of growing TDY costs and decreases in funding for in-residence training.

The CBT System is managed by the Air Force Communications Agency's Training Management Branch at Scott AFB. This branch was created to manage the CBTs and to investigate other training possibilities.

"One of our primary goals ... is to find innovative ways of providing better, faster and cheaper service to the Air Force," said retired Lt. Gen. William J. Donahue, then commander of the Air Force Communications and Information Center, and Air Force director of Communications and Information, at the virtual ribbon-cutting for the central site. "This is a prime example of how we are doing it."

AFCA looked at warfighter requirements and developed a solution to provide cost-effective IT training whenever and wherever needed for a customer base of more than 500,000 users.

More information is available at the AFCA CBT homepage or by contacting the AFCA Training Management Branch, DSN 576-2815 or (618) 256-2815.

 

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Directeur de la publication : Joël-François Dumont
Comité de rédaction : Jacques de Lestapis, Hugues Dumont, François de Vries (Bruxelles), Hans-Ulrich Helfer (Suisse), Michael Hellerforth (Allemagne).
Comité militaire : VAE Guy Labouérie (†), GAA François Mermet (2S), CF Patrice Théry (Asie).

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