Looking for new tools. Interview with Concha Roldán from Santillana.

We are with Concha Roldán, Global Manager for Digital Projects at Grupo Santillana and we would like to ask you about how Santillana is using Netex learningMaker tool. How did Santillana end up working with a tool such as Netex learningMaker?

Santillana has already experience in the creation of digital content for desktop computers and classrooms, mainly managed through the interactive whiteboard. With the arrival of tablets in the classroom, we can see the model is changing. Content previously used in computers and to be shown on interactive whiteboards were basically PDFs enriched with multimedia elements, but in an environment of tablets and multimedia devices this is not enough. Therefore, we came to the conclusion that we need completely digital content, detached from the book and better adapted to be consumed on a tablet. Content that we do not need to create “n” times depending on the devices in which it is going to be consumed. We wanted multi-support and multi-device content. And we found Netex’s tool, learningMaker, which suited us because of two reasons. First of all, it met this objective; besides, it was responsive design and it adapted the design to the content. On the other hand, it met another fundamental objective for us as a publishing house: it was usable for editors. That is, an easy-to-use tool for editors. Two objectives achieved. Technical knowledge in HTML5 is not required. There is no need for a code programmer. Any editor with a relatively simple training in the tool can create HTML5 with the tool.

Are you already working with Netex learningMaker? How has the use of the tool affected you?

Last year we had two big projects, specifically with Colombia and Brazil, and it was then when we started to gain experience. And this year we are going to extend the use of the tool to all Santillana LATAM countries. We are, so to speak, getting started. There are two basic working methods. One of them consists on starting from material on paper –from books which have been previously printed– and creating digital material from there, the digital version. The other method consists on creating paperless content and publishing it directly, without requiring previous support in paper

Focusing on the tool, which are the benefits you would highlight?

The first one, from the publishing point of view, is that you just need to create content once and it will be viewed on multiple devices: on PCs, tablets or smartphones.

From the creation point of view, the benefit is that it is a quite usable tool. High technical knowledge is not required to be able to create content. Besides, editors can preview immediately the content they are creating, allowing them to better control their work.

It is also interesting the standardisation of content from predefined templates. The editor simply has to provide content and the templates will adapt perfectly to any pedagogical model we design. It is not just a graphic image. They respond as well to specific didactics and navigability. And this changes depending on each country’s models. Netex learningMaker and the use of templates have given us that versatility. Moreover, HTML5 is the better implemented standard. We know that other standards are being used, such as epub, but we go for HTML5 as a support for educational content, Netex learningMaker output format.

Which is the scope of the use of learningMaker after the first projects?

This is the year for consolidation after the 2013 start. That is why our bet with Netex is to create, programme and adapt the templates we design graphically and pedagogically. We are also interested in Netex’s ability to create resources for adding to those templates. Our idea is to create our own digital titles by using learningMaker and to collaborate with Netex as a source of advice and resources for specific projects.

In our mutual relationship, we value that Netex offers us a comprehensive solution. You offer your own tool, provide us customised templates and when we need it you can also create resources and content for specific projects and give support for each of those aspects.

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