Vital Training: Mac Essentials

What could be more exciting than running a workshop on computer basics? Nothing! Today, I wrapped up a two day workshop that we called “Mac Essentials.” Five teachers attended, and we filled up the agenda ourselves between their questions and my thoughts. We covered all of the fundamental aspects of the Mac OS, such as the desktop, applications, documents, the dock, application menus, and the iLife suite.

In this age of social media and personal learning networks, it might seem antiquated to offer a workshop on computer basics. However, I suspect that most of our users have a working knowledge of their computer, not a thorough grounding. Users develop creative workarounds in place of right commands or tools. Today’s attendees expressed such gratitude for answering some very longstanding questions they had! We experienced a lot of “a-ha” moments when we covered keyboard shortcuts, PDF creation, and the Documents folder.

It remains a challenge to teach file server connections to beginning users. The fairly ordinary appearance of a network volume desktop icon does not reflect the conceptual leap of opening a window to another machine on the campus, location unknown! Perhaps the old Windows Explorer did the job better. A web browser certainly makes it clear that web pages are not on one’s computer.

What trainings do you offer your employees during the summer? How do you help your users both reinforce the basics and explore new tools?

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