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In Pictures: Awesome Online Tech Tutorials

Web20Classroom Blog

InWhen you're using tech in the classroom, even if it's as simple as formatting a Word doc, tech support can overtake any lesson you're trying to teach. It's even worse when you need just as much help as your students.


Here are some tutorial resources that can keep you and your students on the right track.


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In my role as a District Instructional Technologist, I am responsible for the technology training for our central office staff and school-based administrator trainings. I love my job, but sometimes it can be frustrating trying to meet the needs of everyone.


I find myself in a constant search for for ways to give teachers instruction that they can do on their own or in groups, together. These are not meant to replace the face-to-face training that I do or the other resources I create. They are merely there to provide that additional information some teachers/staff need.

 

In the past, I have blogged about TechEase.This is a great training resource out of the University of South Florida that provides teachers with basic information on how to do everything from burning CD's to using email to hardware/software troubleshooting. While I love this site, I needed something easy to follow and understand to help give teachers a leg up on specific software they use in their classroom.

 

Thankfully, I found a website that does exactly that: In Picture.  According to their website, the In Pictures project was created as a research project for the U.S. Department of Education, with the ultimate goal of providing easy to use computer tutorials to students and adults with learning disabilities.

 

What It Offers

The site contains tutorials for:

  • All major Microsoft Office Products like Word, Excel, Publisher, Power Point and Access, both the 2003 version and the 2007 version.
  • Open Office programs, creating basic webpages, MySQL, Perl, and PHP basics.


In Picture Tutorial Approach

Their approach is what makes this site stand apart from all the others.  Quoting from their website:

Where's the Snazzy Stuff? So where are the color screenshots? The cartoon characters? The video animations? We don't use these things, because our research showed us that:

 

  • The simpler, the better.

Tutorials should be as simple as possible. Multimedia animations may look nifty, but they can be hard to follow. That's why these

tutorials use static screenshots.

  • Black-and-white is better than color.

Color screenshots can create a "kaleidoscope" effect that makes it difficult to focus. Black-and-white doesn't. That's why these tutorials use black and white screenshots.

Below is an example snapshot of a tutorial on Microsoft PowerPoint.


In Pictures: Awesome Online Tech Tutorials

 

I have already had several people tell me that they learned more going through the tutorials on this site then in any previous workshops they had. They were able to move at their pace and work side-by-side in the program and the tutorial. The screenshots and wording make this very easy to follow.


Overall, this is a site that I will be sending teachers to for those refreshers they sometimes need, and hey, why not use it with students? Head on over to In Pictures and learn something new today!

 

What style of tutorials do you prefer? Share in the comments section below!

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