Tag Archives: learn

Where do You get Your Information?

When you need to learn about something, where do you turn? Dan sent me the following email:

Many people use the Web for learning new things and broadening their experience, but I’ve gotta be honest… I’m a total junkie for learning more about anything interesting (even if I’ve never heard of it before). Chris’s operation has helped me get my tech fix most of the time, but I continuously explore new sources for learning. I thought I might share some of what I’ve learned.

Here is Dan’s Top Five List of Free General Information Resources

  • Media Websites A lot of radio and TV stations are starting to put their content online. I don’t always have time to listen to NPR when its broadcast live, but the local talk radio station here has links to all the podcast versions of their programs. Of course, some people have become averse to old media, but for many they’re still a good source of current events and information.
  • Video and Podcast Websites Holding up the cutting edge of media creation, websites like Chris’s are VERY useful for specific interests (Chris is one of the best examples). There are individually run sites (like GeekBriefTV or Robert Krampf) which provide a stream of useful and specific information. There are also group sites (like Revision3 or KoldCast) that offer a collection of sources in one place.
  • YouTube and Google Video Everyone uses YouTube and Google, and there’s a surprising amount of useful and educational information available. Google video tends to have longer videos like full documentaries BUT the ‘@Google’ presentations are also fantastic sources of information. Check that YouTube channel out if you’re interested in learning more.
  • iTunes U Released recently, the iTunes store now has a section of entirely free courses and lectures from a variety of sources. I haven’t explored this source very much yet, but it has a great deal of potential.
  • The Ted Talks This source really is in a league of its own. The TED conference is an incredible compilation of knowledge from an unprecedented number of areas and experts. The talks range from shockingly informative to down-right awe-inspiring. There are lots of areas to choose from and they’re great to send to friends that you know would be interested.

How Do you Teach People about Hardware and Software?

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One of our community members writes: “Hey Chris, jthermane24 from the chat room. Here are my top tips for helping those who are “technically challenged” to learn.”

  • Be calm and talk slow. Seniors and the technological illiterate will NOT know all the shortcuts that we geeks know and live by. Most likely, it will take them three times as long to do the simple tasks that we can do in five seconds. Talking slow and loudly (for seniors) will make this process much easer for them and less stressful for you. Be prepared to explain the same thing multiple times. This will mostly apply to seniors because they often have problems hearing. So always talk VERY slow.
  • Having a preprepared list of steps to read from will make the process of teaching easier. Just type them or even write them up. It will make the speed of the session go so much faster, because you won’t have to sit there and stare at the screen with that blank stare that we get when we forget stuff.
  • When you are done showing the “student” what they asked you to teach them, ask them to use their computer to make a step-by-step instruction manual. Use the print screen button to take a screen capture of each page as you show them again how to do whatever they asked. Keep a text document running in the background, and then just copy each screen capture into the document. After you have finished the task, use the simple drawing tools to circle the icons, drop down lists, or whatever they have to click on for that step. Put each picture on its own page and include text (use at least 20 size font).
  • Now with new technology, there is the ability to screen record. Simply install a simple screen recording software (such as CamStuido) and record the steps to a video file… then embed your voice over it.


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