After 6 years of on-site trainings in companies, organizations, schools and universities, last month I spent some time considering some other options for education, including online and multimedia options as well.
One of the modern options today for trainings and seminars are the webinars. There are few platforms where you could attend to a mass event where one talks with a screen shared. It's pretty nice actually, but I don't find the platforms mature enough yet (especially with me and my Flash conflicts by default).
Another great option is the video lessons. We do prepare video tutorials for our top priority product at the moment, but I'm quite sure they could be applied in the trainings as well. I did a pros and cons list and that option actually went at the bottom of my list. Why? Because video tutorials are a mentoring material with no option for feedback or questions during the video. This is the greatest benefit of the real life training - attendance guarantees you (usually) the ability to ask and receive adequate answers from an expert. This opportunity doesn't exist in the video recording. Also, technologies get updated in months so these videos has to be rerecorded again and again. The latest drawback is the copyright - as this is my job I would like to sell it in some way but we all know what piracy is all about - torrents and P2Ps could put an end on that initiative if someone uploads the videos. Probably some flash mechanism could protect it in an online platform like the webinars, who knows, but I vote 'No' here.
So basically a client of mine from another country contacted me for a personal training. He has a full-time job and he is an independent consultant so he is unable (and doesn't need) to hire a training hall and call me to teach a training. So I prepared an offer with the database training program to be trained via Skype or other video and voice sharing online technology. I am able to present my presentation slides on my screen and switch to Eclipse to run and alter demos while he is able to follow this real time and communicate this through the network in a real voice conversation. If he has the need to show something, he could share screen as well and I am able to check his examples and homeworks.
So that's the deal. Feel free to check this new option here for Java/DB/other trainings - prepared program packages or custom trainings if necessary.