There is so much technology around these days that you almost have to be a self-starter to keep up with the changes and be able to teach yourself how to do things on your PC, Mac smartphone or with a web browser online. New versions of programs come out on a regular basis, and either at home or at work, you need to learn how to use them to further your artistic or business life in the office.
So how does one learn all this stuff in an efficient way? From my experience, it can help to take a class.
We all know Google can be amazing; simply Google a short description of what you need to learn or fix and there you go; lots of information. True, the responses can be hit or miss, and wading through accurate and inaccurate information is a given.
And I will work my way through a technical book or ebook once in a while to get a good baseline of what I need to learn and use. And then I keep the book around for later reference, too.
But if you need to really learn something computer-ish and can afford to take the time to learn it well, it could be time to take a class. You’ll work your way through the material and get the benefit of personal help from the instructor and the other students learning the same thing,
There are very good resources for learning technology, and a good place to look first is your local library. The public libraries in Missoula, Helena, Great Falls, Bozeman and Billings offer free computer classes. Call them or check their websites. If you’re not close to one of those cities, check the smaller library branches. They all offer beginning classes, yes, but can offer many offer classes, i.e. classes in Excel and other desktop programs all the way up to learning how to work with a website.
Many of those same towns also have adult education programs that take place at area high schools or two year colleges. Those programs can offer much more of a range of classes, the cost can be low, and the length and meeting times of the classes is such that you can fit them in.
And if you’re in an office, taking a class as an office group is a good break from the routine. There are a number of commercial businesses that teach computers and applications, and for an office group, that’s a better idea than a library class. Check your phonebook (yes, that’s the old way) or Google for companies in your city that teach computer skills.
Worst case, if you still want to learn on your own – or due to time or money, you have to – search YouTube for instructional videos. You can learn everything from WordPress to piano by watching thousands of free, high quality videos, if you’re willing to put up with a little bit of advertising sometimes.