What is the point? The point is that we’re all time-starved and probably lack a bit in the patience department as well. We need to get up to speed quickly and, hopefully, with a minimum amount of pain. Unfortunately, this need for speed leaves us only nibbling around the edges of what any sophisticated program can do. If you are like most of us, you probably learn just enough to use the features you absolutely need and never bother to dig in any deeper. When you need to do something you haven’t done before, you poke around in the menus again until you discover or stumble upon the commands you need.
I think we’ve all felt like we’re missing out on the real power of programs like Microsoft Office, or Adobe Dreamweaver and Photoshop. How about Web design using CSS and HTML? Oh, yeah. Those subjects are a mile deep and we just scratch around the surface.
Well, why not take a course? Not a bad idea if you enjoy classwork and have, say, six months to really get into a subject. That worked great when we were students instead of, you know, business people with, you know, obligations. There are always the manuals to peruse. Poke around at Barnes & Noble some Saturday and you’ll come out lugging enough books to curve your spine. Will you read them? Fat chance. You might start, but after passing out in an hour or two, you’ll go back to looking things up as you need them. It’s always easier to interrupt a knowledgeable colleague with “just one more little question.” If you are especially lucky, they won’t spin their head around with that Exorcist face and snarl, “RTFM!” That’s “Read The Fine Manual”, for you uninitiated. Or, something like that.
Oh, yes, there is the help function that is built into every program these days. It’s there so the manufacturers can avoid the publishing expense of all those fine manuals and also claim that help is just a click away. Right. Has anyone actually been helped by a help tab in the last 20 years? I’ve found that Internet searches come up with real help a lot faster and more thorough than a program help function. Even so, if you can’t find something quickly and have to plow through the forums, it’s going to be awhile before you get the answer.
Is there anything better? How about being shown how things work instead of just reading print on the page? That’s the idea behind LearniTAnytime. What they’ve done is create a library of video modules for a wide variety of design subjects and software applications that you’re likely to use. Each topic in the video module takes 3 to 8 minutes. The entire module takes a couple of hours to complete including “try it yourself” time interspersed with the instruction. You can even make a course of study out of these by doing the suggested homework assignments.
I tried one of their sample videos on Dreamweaver, the gold standard for web page design. As I suspected, I knew only just the rudiments of even creating links using this program. In a matter of minutes, I saw several different approaches to link building that were more efficient that just hacking away at it, my default methodology. Admittedly, this is a pretty simple example. You should pick a few of the sample videos and see if you like the style and actually learn something.
What if you find that this is a lot better approach than what you’ve been doing for years? Then the thing to do is subscribe by the month to have access to the entire online video library. There are no DVDs or CD-ROMs to load in your computer. This is more like watching YouTube without the dramatic chipmunks or keyboard cats. It’s priced about what you pay for one of those premium movie channels and you might actually pick up enough skills for a better job by watching this. Interested? learn more and watch sample IT training videos now.