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Introducing Self-Paced Advanced Technical Training with Pluralsight

Pluralsight is a leading provider of video-based online training with a focus on more technically oriented topics. And as part of the Pluralsight pilot program, Indiana University students, faculty and staff across the state can enjoy free access to Pluralsight training from January 1 – March 31! This is a no-risk opportunity for you to see if Pluralsight training is right for you.

You can use Pluralsight to grow your skills in software development, Business Intelligence, database and server administration, networking and much more.

We will ask everyone who gets an account to complete a brief survey at the end of the pilot period. Please commit to responding as this will enable us to assess the interest at IU.

To request a Pluralsight account, send an email to itpilot@iu.edu from your IU account.

If you have questions about this service, please contact us at itpilot@iu.edu.

New Topic Organization Makes it Easier to Find Training!

We’ve reorganized our training browser to make it easier for you to find the training you need. In addition to our Adobe and Microsoft shortcuts, which enable you to quickly find training on all Adobe and Microsoft software, we have now organized our topics into five top level groups:

  • Design & Media includes training on desktop publishing for print and digital formats, audio and video editing, graphics and animations, and web design.
  • IU Systems has training on IU systems such as Oncourse, eText, ePortfolio, Box, CRM/Talisma, IUIE, IUAnyWARE, Lync SIS, Unicom and WCMS; research computing resources including high performance computing, parallel programming, GIS, and Endnote; and statistical applications SAS and SPSS.
  • Productivity offers training on Microsoft Office, professional skills, basic skills, organizational tools like OneNote and Evernote, SharePoint, cloud computing and communication tools.
  • Technical Skills is where you will find our EdCert program listings and training on other advanced topics such as content management, databases, mobile computing, programming, and server and network administration.
  • Web Development includes training on various web development tools, web design and graphics, programming for the web, and social media.

Choose a topic at the left

 

 

 

 

 

topic photoshop

Delve into Photoshop’s tools with this collection of resources

Adobe Photoshop is a complex piece of software to tackle. If your goal is to become a Photoshop expert, plan on spending several years working at it. If you want to learn as little as you can to make it useful, I suggest you take our Photoshop CS6: The Basics workshop.  If and when you’re ready to go further, try the other workshops and webinars  that we offer.

Learning how to use Photoshop requires a hands-on approach, and once you’ve exhausted all of IT Training’s offerings, you’ll need to seek other learning resources. Luckily for you, the Internet is overflowing with free Photoshop tutorials. In this post, I share a few of them with you.

Photoshop is all about the tools. There are probably hundreds of them, and if you don’t know which tool to use for which task, you won’t be able to accomplish very much. That’s why I searched the Web for tutorials that really focus on Photoshop’s tools. It seems to me that learning what each tool can do is like learning the alphabet. Once you have the letters, you can build words, and then sentences, then paragraphs; you get the idea.

So without further ado, here are six tool-focused Photoshop tutorials. Click titles to view the tutorials.

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Have the Best Workshop Ever! – Part 2

In Part 1, I wrote about what happens at the beginning of an IT Training workshop. I advised you to make sure to check in with the assistant, and not log off of your computer. I also told you about the different options for viewing workshop materials.

Now that you’re all settled in at your seat, here are some more workshop taking tips.

1. Sit close enough to see.

Technology classroom

Sit close enough to see the screen.

If your distance vision isn’t that great, you’ll want to sit close to the front. The instructor demonstrates everything you’re supposed to do on his/her workstation, and it’s displayed on the screen at the front of the room so you can follow along. It’s also easier to get the assistant’s attention if you’re close to the front.

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Have the Best Workshop Ever!-Part 1

This is the first in a series of posts about getting the most out of your IT Training workshop experience. I’ve taught a few workshops, and assisted many. I’ve seen what works and what doesn’t work for our participants.  This post is about what you can do to start off on the right foot when you take an IT Training workshop.

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Choosing a Video Player in lyndaCampus

If you watched the lyndaCampus information video, or attended the Personalize your Learning with lynda.com Webinar, you know that you can choose your preferred video player for watching lynda content. If you’re not sure which player to use, keep reading.

There are four players available on lyndaCampus:  Flash, QuickTime Standard, QuickTime Custom, and Windows Media. You can choose a player (after you’ve logged in to lynda) by going to My Account and then Site Preferences. You’ll see a list of available players and their features. Just lick the radio button next to the player you want to use and click Update(more…)

Got Illustrator skills? Get more!

Adobe Illustrator CS6 is an awesome tool for making vector graphics. It’s probably the vector creation software of choice for most graphic designers and other professionals who create graphics for a living. Like all Adobe products, it’s packed with features, and comes with a steep learning curve.  I learned how to use Illustrator at a rudimentary level in two Indiana University IT Training Workshops, “Illustrator CS6: The Basics,” and “Adobe CS6: Pen Tool Basics.”  Now that I’m somewhat comfortable with the software, I practice on my own. My skills are improving a little, but if I’m going to become really good at Illustrator, I have to seek out some more training resources. (See the post I wrote  for the Tips Blog about taking the skills you learn in a workshop to the next level).

Random Illustrator objects.
Random Illustrator objects.

There are a lot of Illustrator tutorials out there.  I’ll share some of them with you now.

  1. Adobe Illustrator on Adobe TV. Learn the software from the source.
  2. Check the Adobe Illustrator Blog for more tutorials and tips.
  3. Vector Tuts+ has a lot of content including tutorials, articles, tips, and resources. Premium members can access features such as online courses and an ebook library.
  4. Astute Graphics’ blog has a quite a few free tutorials, tips, and tricks.
  5. Chris Spooner’s Spoon Graphics offers free Illustrator and Photoshop tutorials.  You can find more content on his Facebook  page too.
  6. An excellent source for technology training is lynda.com. Most lynda content is available  to paying subscribers only, but if you’re serious about learning, it’s probably worth the expense. IU students, facutly, and staff get lynda for free!

I think those are enough resources to get you (and me) started. I’m collecting Illustrator tutorial resources on Pearltrees, check there once in a while to see if anything new shows up.

Captivate 6 for Video Demos

One of the best ways to teach people about something is to show it to them. If you’re teaching about software, and you don’t have the luxury of having all of your students seated in a classroom, make a video demo.  There are lots of products on the market that you can use to create video demos.  Here’s a link to a blog post that describes five of them.

I’ve used TechSmith’s Camtasia Studio for several years, and I like it a lot, but IU’s agreement with Adobe makes Captivate 6 the more attractive option because I can get it for free. Camtasia used to be the obvious choice for making full motion video recordings of your screen. That’s what Camtasia is designed to do, and it does it well. Full motion recording in previous versions of Captivate was not the greatest. Full motion is better in Captivate 6, not perfect, but better. By the way, Captivate 6 doesn’t refer to full motion recording as full motion. It’s called Video Demo mode. You can begin your project by choosing the Video Demo option, or choose Video Demo when it’s time to start recording your screen.  The interface changes a little when you start the project in this mode. You can learn more about it in this  Adobe TV video.  Skip to 02:06 on the timeline. (more…)

The Workshop is over. Now what?

So you attended an IT Training workshop. Where do you go from here?

The Workshop Experience
We design IT Training Workshops  to teach you the essentials of a particular software program. We guide you trough a series of tasks to give you hands-on experience, and we provide an explanation of why certain tasks are done in certain ways. There is a whole lot of information crammed into that 3-hour slot. Unless you have a photographic memory, you’re not going to remember it all. Once you leave the classroom it’s up to you. You have to “use it, or lose it,” as they say.

What’s Next?
After the workshop, you have to ask yourself how proficient you  want to become with this software. If you don’t want to do anything beyond what we covered in the materials, you’re all set.  Just get to work on the task at hand and refer to the materials if needed. For many students, what they learned in those three hours is all they’ll ever need to know.
For those of you who want to complete tasks that are beyond the scope of the materials, or you want to become a true expert, you’ll have to take matters into your own hands. Here are some tips for taking your learning to the next level: (more…)

eLearning with Captivate 6

Adobe Captivate 6 is eLearning authoring software, and broadly speaking, eLearning is learning online or via some electronic device.  It’s a different experience than you would have sitting in a classroom and taking notes as a lecturer gives you information.  For some, the experience is better, and for others, it’s worse.  Whatever you think of it, it’s here, so why not get involved?  Here’s an  infographic  to give  you some insight about the trend in online education in the United States. It’s trending upward! Recently, IU announced a major new online learning initiative called IU Online.  Check out the press release to learn more.

So, back to Captivate 6. IU students, faculty, and staff can download it from IUware free of charge. You can’t beat that! Captivate 6 gives you features like:

  • Rapid eLearning content development
  • More effective collaboration
  • Interactive eLearning experiences
  • Rich multimedia to attract learners
  • Easy quizzing
  • Delivery virtually anywhere
  • Scoring, tracking, and reporting

You’re itching to learn all about this cool tool aren’t you? Luckily, IT Training has a Captivate 6: The Basics workshop planned.  It’s an online workshop (imagine that), scheduled for Tuesday, December 4th from 2:00 to 4:00 pm. In the meantime, go ahead and download Captivate 6 and start playing around with it. You can also find Captivate 6 training on lynda.com.

If you’re an educator you may be called upon to create some online learning content, so learn how to do it and impress your boss.  If you’re a student you can surely use Captivate to put together some pretty nifty class projects. There’s something for everyone, so start learning today.

 

Captivate 6 opening screen

Captivate 6 opening screen

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