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Resources for basic computer literacy training

  • 1.  Resources for basic computer literacy training

    Posted Jul 28, 2017 13:40
    Hi all--

    Do you have any favorite training videos, webinars, etc aimed at
    cultivating computer literacy/basic skills in computer-use basics?

    I have a client with some staff members who struggle with things like
    knowing where they are saving files, understanding the difference
    between local storage and uploading files to a web-based system. We are
    looking for a lightweight way to offer support to these staff. Their
    jobs are not primarily about computer work but there are some things
    they need become more proficient at to effectively follow org filing
    practices, etc.

    (Apologies for cross-posting but I wanted to make sure I am asking
    thoroughly.)

    Thanks in advance for anything you have to offer!

    -LJ

    --
    Lisa Jervis
    Principal
    Information Ecology: Strategic technology for progressive organizations
    https://iecology.org/

    My pronouns are she/her.

    Want to send me encrypted email? My public key is available at https://ecl.gy/lj-gpg.
    2020 Nonprofit Technology Conference Logo  w/ Baltimore Skyline


  • 2.  RE: Resources for basic computer literacy training

    Posted Jul 31, 2017 10:32
    I bet some of the folks from the Digital Inclusion Fellowship (https://www.nten.org/major-initiatives/dif/) and Digital Inclusion online group (http://community.nten.org/digital-inclusion) might have ideas--I hope they chime in. Also, bat signal for @Leana Mayzlina @Drew Pizzolato, and @Emily Weinberg.

    ------------------------------
    Bethany Lister
    Community Engagement Manager
    Nonprofit Technology Network
    bethany@nten.org
    ------------------------------

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  • 3.  RE: Resources for basic computer literacy training

    Posted Aug 01, 2017 15:07

    One of my fondest sayings if from a book on adult training: 'Telling isn't Teaching and Listening isn't Learning'. I've trained for well over two decades and one thing I know is the delivery is more important than the content. I do a lot of training for seniors and it's important to let them guide your delivery and pace. If we can be ok that no one person in the class will get it all but it's more important for them to 'get something well than receive a lot of information and leave overwhelmed'. So this definitely goes along with understanding what they want to learn. There's nothing wrong with having a set structured class but be willing to deviate and go off script, slow down or whatever is needed for the audience you find yourself in front of.

     

    I think almost anyone can teach the 'mechanics of technology' but few understand enough adult learning methodology to make the learning stick.

     

    Margo Scurry

    Digital Inclusion Specialist

    Digital Inclusion 4 All
    mscurrywork@gmail.com

    704.277.5605

     




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  • 4.  RE: Resources for basic computer literacy training

    Posted Jul 31, 2017 11:24

    Hello Lisa,


    I will weigh in here in an opinionated way if you don't mind. The one skill that the staff members can be taught is in line with "Teach a man to fish..." model. The staff can be taught to find out what they need to know. YouTube videos, for example, can explain practically ANYTHING. Each person knows how they learn best. Do they need a quick-and-dirty solution to an immediate issue (YouTube or Google "how to...") or would they prefer a Lynda-type program with modules and study guides?

    In my experience, tech learning is ongoing and any time studied is quickly lost if the skills are not put into practice quickly and on a regular basis. It will also be helpful to show staff how bulletin boards exist "out there" to answer any specific issues that arise, if only the question is phrased correctly and respectfully and allowed the wait of a few days.

    In essence, instead of setting up a learning program for staff, I would let THEM decide what they need to learn and how they want to learn it. This, I think will be a savings of time and money and further empower the staff.

    Hope this helps!



    ------------------------------
    Ariel Jensen-Vargas
    MPA Nonprofit Management candidate
    Marxe School of Public and International Affairs, Baruch College
    Queens, NY
    ------------------------------

    2020 Nonprofit Technology Conference Logo  w/ Baltimore Skyline


  • 5.  RE: Resources for basic computer literacy training

    Posted Jul 31, 2017 12:28
    Thanks, @Bethany Lister for tagging us!  And I agree that the Digital Inclusion community is a great place to post this as well.

    A personal favorite that comes to mind for your request is GCFLearnFree.  They have tutorials on all kinds of tools that might be relevant for your staff, including Windows, Chrome, Safari, Google Docs, Microsoft Office, etc.  It's also all free, so you wouldn't have to worry about cost.

    I would also suggest checking out the Digital Inclusion Fellowship Toolkit that NTEN created last year, with the input of our Fellows.  This toolkit has strategies, ideas, and links for how to teach digital literacy.  While some of the information is more geared towards a digital literacy program for the general public, lots of the resources could also be used for staff.

    Good luck and if you have more questions about digital literacy tools, I definitely suggest you post them to the Digital Inclusion community.

    Best,
    Leana

    ------------------------------
    Leana Mayzlina
    Senior Digital Inclusion Manager
    Nonprofit Technology Network
    Portland, OR
    ------------------------------

    2020 Nonprofit Technology Conference Logo  w/ Baltimore Skyline


  • 6.  RE: Resources for basic computer literacy training

    Posted Jul 31, 2017 14:44
    Lisa,

    I did training similar to what you describe when I was Administrative Specialist in an IT department several years ago. We had access to Skillsoft (http://www.skillsoft.com/) through our national office, so I used that and did "blended learning" as lunchtime workshops for those who needed help. I'm not sure of the cost, and there are probably other good online training programs available, but I learned some important lessons in doing the workshops:
    • People who are not comfortable with computers are even more uncomfortable doing training on computers. While those of us in the IT department were excited, the non-techies were afraid they might accidentally "do something" in training that would affect their real computers (for the worse).
    • Having a real person available to teach the workshops was key. Honestly, it didn't have to be me; almost anyone with some computer skills could do it.
    • In line with what Ariel wrote, it's important to give people the skills they need and can use. As I worked in the IT department, I scoured our User Support database for questions and problems related to Microsoft Office, e-mail, and other basic tasks that everyone, techie or not, needed. Then I selected those skill sections from the available online training for my blended workshops. Attendance went up and User Support requests went down, at least on the skills I'd taught.
    I hope this helps you in planning your training,

    Karen




    2020 Nonprofit Technology Conference Logo  w/ Baltimore Skyline


  • 7.  RE: Resources for basic computer literacy training

    Posted Jul 31, 2017 15:20
    I'd reiterate what a few others have already said, only train on skills that people will use right away. In the sense of teaching humans skills, neither old or new dogs learns any new tricks without a clear sense of how it benefits them, and an opportunity to put the training to use in a very near time frame. 

    Most other training scenarios make whomever mandated such training feel like they've done their part while the people in the training mostly leave frustrated and annoyed. 



    2020 Nonprofit Technology Conference Logo  w/ Baltimore Skyline


  • 8.  RE: Resources for basic computer literacy training

    Posted Jul 31, 2017 17:12
    Hi there Lisa,

    I typically do alot of vetting by searching Forums and watching videos on YouTube (FREE).
    If I find a useful video, then I follow the person or entity that posted the video. 
    Chances are, they will present the information consistently.

    Another recommend is to go directly to the creator of the application and/or OS. 
    I've found useful material there.

    For fee based resources, Lynda.com and Udemy.com have always been reliable.

    If your client requests a "classroom" type of training - I'd check out LearnIT!

    Eliza

    Eliza Barrios
    IT Technical Support
    Wikimedia Foundation
    IRC: xelizabx

    "Imagine a world in which every single human being can freely share in the sum of all knowledge. That's our commitment." 



    2020 Nonprofit Technology Conference Logo  w/ Baltimore Skyline


  • 9.  RE: Resources for basic computer literacy training

    Posted Aug 01, 2017 07:16
    Though it sounds like an aggressive approach may be more than you need, here are a few things I did when I had a large staff that needed to have certain digital skills to be successful in their roles:

    We identified the specific skills they MUST know, things they SHOULD know, and things COULD know. For the MUSTS, we provided resources and support - and we were clear they were mandatory skills. For the SHOULDS, we identified early adopters and asked for their assistance to train others, and for the COULDS, we asked those with strong digital skills to try out new resources to determine if they were appropriate for everyone to learn.

    The lists were helpful because they were clear and folks knew they could obtain training - AND that I would base part of their evaluation on their ability to use them.  The lists changed as we moved skills from one to another as we got folks trained. The key was to be clear about what we expected, provide training, and evaluate staff based on the list. The key: Expectation, Training, Evaluation.

    Another recommendation - training needs to be differentiated. Not everyone needs the 101 version, so do some matching of staff with strong skills with those who need assistance and make it part of your in-house professional development. Praise early adopters for their leadership as well as those who master new skills.

    I discovered that the trainings online are good for some, but not all learners. One of the unique ways we trained staff - "Bagels and Laptops" - was particularly creative and quite successful. Once a week we did a volunteer early morning training. I purchased coffee and bagels and one of our skilled staff would hold a tutorial on the use of a particular resource. We sat around a table and learned together. For the cost of coffee and bagels, we were able to provide a leadership opportunity for skilled staff and a learning opportunity for others. The incredible popularity of Bagels and Laptops was a pleasant surprise.

    For very complex software (and we had some!), we developed a system to ensure we had an "in house expert". In lieu of having a consultant come in to train staff, I would send a staff member OUT to be fully trained. As an in-house expert, he/she provided the training to the staff, but he/she could also answer everyday questions and run Bagels and Laptops sessions. In other words, we did not have to reach out to a consultant for every question or problem with the software.

    Finally, make the adoption of the necessary skills a group effort. In order to successful as an organization, we need EVERYONE to have these skills, so how can we work collaboratively to ensure we are all working effectively and efficiently?

    And I did not fail to provide a poor evaluation to those who did not meet the expectations. Once that happened, folks took the expectations quite seriously.

    I hope that is helpful to you!

    Best,
    Deb



    ------------------------------
    Deb Socia
    Executive Director
    Next Century Cities
    Washington, DC
    ------------------------------

    2020 Nonprofit Technology Conference Logo  w/ Baltimore Skyline


  • 10.  RE: Resources for basic computer literacy training

    Posted Aug 01, 2017 12:49

    Thanks SO MUCH everyone who responded! I will be checking out all these links.

    And I will be using some of these other tips, esp the must/should/could framework, in situations when I am designing a real training program (now the situation in this case!).


    On 8/1/17 4:16 AM, Deb Socia via NTEN: The Nonprofit Technology Network wrote:
    Though it sounds like an aggressive approach may be more than you need, here are a few things I did when I had a large staff that needed to have... -posted to the "Discuss" community

    Discuss

    Re: Resources for basic computer literacy training
    Reply to Group Reply to Sender
    Deb Socia
    Aug 1, 2017 7:16 AM
    Deb Socia
    Though it sounds like an aggressive approach may be more than you need, here are a few things I did when I had a large staff that needed to have certain digital skills to be successful in their roles:

    We identified the specific skills they MUST know, things they SHOULD know, and things COULD know. For the MUSTS, we provided resources and support - and we were clear they were mandatory skills. For the SHOULDS, we identified early adopters and asked for their assistance to train others, and for the COULDS, we asked those with strong digital skills to try out new resources to determine if they were appropriate for everyone to learn.

    The lists were helpful because they were clear and folks knew they could obtain training - AND that I would base part of their evaluation on their ability to use them.  The lists changed as we moved skills from one to another as we got folks trained. The key was to be clear about what we expected, provide training, and evaluate staff based on the list. The key: Expectation, Training, Evaluation

    Another recommendation - training needs to be differentiated. Not everyone needs the 101 version, so do some matching of staff with strong skills with those who need assistance and make it part of your in-house professional development. Praise early adopters for their leadership as well as those who master new skills. 

    I discovered that the trainings online are good for some, but not all learners. One of the unique ways we trained staff - "Bagels and Laptops" - was particularly creative and quite successful. Once a week we did a volunteer early morning training. I purchased coffee and bagels and one of our skilled staff would hold a tutorial on the use of a particular resource. We sat around a table and learned together. For the cost of coffee and bagels, we were able to provide a leadership opportunity for skilled staff and a learning opportunity for others. The incredible popularity of Bagels and Laptops was a pleasant surprise. 

    For very complex software (and we had some!), we developed a system to ensure we had an "in house expert". In lieu of having a consultant come in to train staff, I would send a staff member OUT to be fully trained. As an in-house expert, he/she provided the training to the staff, but he/she could also answer everyday questions and run Bagels and Laptops sessions. In other words, we did not have to reach out to a consultant for every question or problem with the software. 

    Finally, make the adoption of the necessary skills a group effort. In order to successful as an organization, we need EVERYONE to have these skills, so how can we work collaboratively to ensure we are all working effectively and efficiently? 

    And I did not fail to provide a poor evaluation to those who did not meet the expectations. Once that happened, folks took the expectations quite seriously. 

    I hope that is helpful to you!

    Best,
    Deb



    ------------------------------
    Deb Socia
    Executive Director
    Next Century Cities
    Washington, DC
    ------------------------------
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    --  Lisa Jervis Principal Information Ecology: Strategic technology for progressive organizations https://iecology.org/  My pronouns are she/her.  Want to send me encrypted email? My public key is available at https://ecl.gy/lj-gpg. 



    2020 Nonprofit Technology Conference Logo  w/ Baltimore Skyline


  • 11.  RE: Resources for basic computer literacy training

    Posted Aug 01, 2017 12:58
    In addition to using existing training and resources to learn the concepts, I would suggest making a document for specifics for this org. Documentation with screenshots and complete details on how the org files documents - what drives and folders are used.  The document can be used for future staff.  It's a good reference for staff to use when they are stuck.

    ------------------------------
    Emily Weinberg
    Organizer of Digital Inclusion Online Community

    ------------------------------

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  • 12.  RE: Resources for basic computer literacy training

    Posted Aug 04, 2017 19:43
    Hi, Lisa! One resource I haven't seen mentioned in the thread yet (though I could have missed it) is DigitalLearn.org. There are modules on cloud storage and Word (with a lesson on saving). Hope that helps!

    ------------------------------
    Liza J Dyer, CVA
    Program Coordinator, Volunteer Services
    Multnomah County Library
    Portland, OR
    Pronouns: she/her
    ------------------------------

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  • 13.  RE: Resources for basic computer literacy training

    Posted Aug 07, 2017 16:06
    That's really great thank you. 

     Does anyone know of any good resources like this in Spanish? 

    We have our own curriculum that we use but nothing online. 

    Maegan

    --


    Maegan E. Ortiz
    Executive Director
    Instituto de Educacion Popular del Sur de California (IDEPSCA)
    1565 W. 14th St
    Los Angeles, CA, 90015
    ph 213)252 2952 x15



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  • 14.  RE: Resources for basic computer literacy training

    Posted Aug 08, 2017 16:14
    Maegan,

    Digitallearn.org has many of the modules (if not all) in Spanish as well. There is an option to switch languages in the upper left corner of the window. GCFLearnFree also has good learning resources in Spanish and Portuguese, they are a little harder to find, here is the link: Help and Support: Other Languages.

    Drew

    ------------------------------
    Drew Pizzolato
    Digital Inclusion Campaign Manager
    Nonprofit Technology Network
    Portland, OR
    calendly.com/ntendrew
    ------------------------------

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  • 15.  RE: Resources for basic computer literacy training

    Posted Aug 11, 2017 11:28
    This is a great thread, sorry to not have said so earlier!

    I thought of it today when chatting with @Jason Shim about his approach to teaching -- not so much assigning reading materials as teaching "learning how to learn." (Jason, you're welcome to stick your oar in here). The truth of the matter is that many of us are fighting "imposter syndrome" when truly the way to continue to learn in this profession is by keeping abreast of trends and picking what we need out of learning which may be designed for for-profit organizations. Just another way that technology is turning legacy systems on their head.

    ------------------------------
    Ariel Jensen-Vargas
    MPA Nonprofit Management candidate
    Marxe School of Public and International Affairs, Baruch College
    Queens, NY
    ------------------------------

    2020 Nonprofit Technology Conference Logo  w/ Baltimore Skyline