Most of us have at least picked up a copy of one of the "for Dummies" books. A lot of them are actually quite good, although they tend to be of limited utility for the sorts of folks who read ZDNet blogs. However, the people for whom they do come in handy are the same people who come to us day in and day out with any number of questions that drive us to varying degrees of inebriation. You know the type...They're nice enough, but they really don't have a clue.
"My mom's computer keeps getting pop-ups; how do I get rid of them." "My students told me I should switch to Foxfire, or Firefox, or something like that. What are they talking about?" "What operating system am I using? I don't know...I think I have Office." "My son says I have a trojan. What should I do?" "What kind of antivirus is good?" "What is this Linux thing?"
The questions go on and on. While they might get old after a while, they point to a clear need for training and basic literacy among our students and staff. To that end, I'm beginning a new series of posts throughout the summer that will give folks a basic training toolkit. We should all be ready to address training needs in the fall and hopefully this will provide a starting point.
I'll be addressing browsers, application installation, operating systems (including a Linux primer), OpenOffice, and security and malware, among other topics. Feel free to talk back below with any suggestions. Keep in mind that these articles should address basic training needs of the users we support, both directly and indirectly (directly being students and staff, indirectly being parents and community members who invariably seek you out with questions, since you're an easily accessible computer guy (or girl).
Happy training and enjoy your summer!