How we build content for cloud technology training at Cloud Academy

Cloud technology training at Cloud Academy: We only create content relevant to cloud computing training. But, as I often tell people, within that narrow focus, we go wide, and we go deep. We are platform agnostic, which means we provide educational materials across all of the major platforms – Amazon Web Services, Microsoft Azure, Google Cloud – as well as on DevOps, cloud technology training in general, and tools relevant to building and maintaining your data in the cloud.
In addition to the breadth of content, we offer, we also look to meet the needs of users at every level of cloud expertise. Our content is developed with specific users in mind, from individuals who are considering a career change, or businesses that are thinking of moving to “the cloud” and want to understand what that means, to those actively working in the field and looking to expand their skills. We are creating content for teams that need to keep their knowledge up to date in this fast-moving field, as well as for those working to get  certification training on AWS, Azure or Google Cloud. Our narrow, cloud technology training only focus gives us the ability to meet the broad needs of the market, and to be the best at it.

Our Approach for Cloud Technology Training

This gives you a sense of what we cover, and for whom. We also have a unique approach in terms of how we think about our content. Everyone who comes to Cloud Academy lands on our page with a specific objective in mind. Whether it’s making sure that their data is secure in the cloud, or learning about the cloud in general or how to use a specific service, our users are goal oriented.
Every piece of educational content that we create is focused on a clear objective: What should the user be able to do once they’ve completed this course, lab or quiz? This is pretty standard for educational materials. Our content team is made up of subject matter experts across the cloud technologies who have solid experience working, architecting and deploying for the real world.
In designing cloud technology training content such as courses and quizzes, we always start from the assumption that our users’ time is valuable and that we are successful when we can help someone make the best possible use of their time. This doesn’t always mean being as fast as possible; instead, it means that we want to provide you with everything you need to be successful, so you don’t have to build and rebuild.
To achieve this, our cloud technology training content has three components: courses, quizzes, and hands-on labs.  Then, we bring them all together in our learning paths.

Cloud technology training courses at Cloud Academy

Each of our courses is made up of a series of video lectures and typically lasts 60-90 minutes. While we always strive to be as efficient as possible with our users’ time, sometimes a course is shorter or longer because the content objectives dictate more or less material.
Our subject matter experts create each course with the needs of today’s student in mind, relying on their own expertise, as well as the most up-to-date information and best practices. Every course provides the theoretical context for the topic at hand, as well as demos of working in the technology, tool or platform where relevant.
My favorite aspect of our courses is seeing the personality and expertise of our instructors shine through the content. I always appreciate when Ben Lambert tells me how he approaches a particular challenge after explaining all the options, when Andy Larkin manages to get me fired up as I prepare to take a cloud certification exam, or when Eric Magalhães somehow manages to work a Star Wars reference into his courses (successfully, a surprising amount of the time). In these moments, I forget that I’m watching from behind a screen and instead, I’m in the room with them getting a personalized lesson, just for me.

Hands-On Labs and cloud technology training

That sense of personalized learning extends to our hands-on labs, which allow students to use the technologies and tools without having an account. We refer to the hands-on labs asa safe space to fail” which means that if you do something you didn’t intend to while building something in a lab, it won’t cost you or your company thousands of dollars. You get a chance to get your hands dirty, to try things out, maybe even to familiarize yourself with a platform’s interface if you’re just starting out, and in the process, you’re able to learn by doing.
As with our courses, all of our hands-on labs are built starting from a learning objective, and will provide you with step-by-step instructions that are as detailed as the level of the lab requires – the more advanced, the less hand holding a student receives. However, no matter how advanced the labs are, the goal is always to prepare a user to complete the task on their own, outside the lab environment once they have successfully completed it in the lab.
Quizzes
Our quizzes aren’t just an assessment tool, although they are a powerful way for our users to understand what they already know, and where they should spend additional time studying. What makes Cloud Academy quizzes especially powerful and effective is the fact that they are as much a tool for learning as the courses and hands-on labs.
Each question includes a detailed explanation of why an answer is correct, as well as a link to documentation that enables the study-mode quiz taker to extend their learning. Again, our goal is to help users be as efficient as possible – to help them achieve their goals in the cloud – and nothing demonstrates this as perfectly as the quizzes. Seeing the correct answer  and understanding why it’s correct provides useful learning; having direct access to additional documentation to dive deeper solidifies your knowledge.
Learning Paths
Our focus on goals extends to and culminates with how we build our learning paths. Sometimes our users really are just focused on getting up to speed on a specific service, but more often,  their needs are more complex. Our users have real-world challenges that they need to assess in order to make decisions, and then design and deploy a solution that meets their business needs. Our learning paths are created with a focus on the real world: We include scenarios that users will recognize , and provide the information that working in the field requires.
Each learning path on Cloud Academy is made up of a curated set of courses, quizzes, and hands-on labs that are designed and assembled to help users achieve their goals. We bring together the content to provide context for making decisions and choices, tools for understanding how to implement those choices, and feedback to give our users the confidence that they are ready to do so.
Conclusion
Our goal at Cloud Academy is to enable our users to achieve their goals in their cloud technology training path, whether it’s a new or expanded career, building a more efficient and effective business, or solving a particular problem at hand. We develop all of our educational materials with our users and their goals in mind, and we work to keep our content up to date as the technologies evolve.

Written by

Bessie is the Head of Content at Cloud Academy, which means she lives at the intersection of content, technology, and education. She is passionate about helping people achieve their goals through learning, using Excel to solve any challenge, the Warriors, food, and her family.

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