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No Classroom Dummies | Mary Biever | One Writing Mother

No Classroom Dummies

One of the best investments a company can make is computer training of its employees. Training staff to make the best use of your computer investment can be the budget’s forgotten stepchild.

Companies sometimes pigeonhole or underestimate the abilities of their staff to use software well.

Once, before a corporate Access class began, students came in joking that the office computer “dummy” would hold them all back. I was asked how I would teach the class and help her too. Coworkers continued to joke when she entered the classroom.

After class began, I worked on a few issues with her.  For the first part of the class, she struggled to keep up with everyone else.

Everything changed when we started filters and queries.  For an entire hour, she was the first to suggest the best ways to find information quickly. 

How could someone like that suddenly show up everyone else in the room? She was not a digital native and needed help with a few basics.  When we hit filters and queries, she was in home turf. Her job required her to classify information and work through it methodically. Her years of experience shined in her classroom performance. 

She’s only one example why I refuse to believe anyone in my computer classes is a “dummy” incapable of learning.  Some take longer than others.  Yes, there are times I’ll tell someone where the spacebar is or that the shift key capitalizes.  I’ll explain the difference between the left and the right mouse buttons.

But I help them do more than that in class. I show them how using their software can make their jobs easier.  Whenever possible, we relate what we learn to practical applications.

What happened to the office designated dummy who blossomed into a filter query savant? By the next class, on her own, she had designed databases and queries that would make her job easier.

I’m glad her company trained her.  Now she can use a computer as a power tool to better do the job for which they hired her.

Computer dummies don’t come to my classes. The dummies are ones who never get trained or never make sure their staff is well trained on software they already have.

Smart companies and people are the ones who get as much training as they can. A little hard work and knowledge goes a long way.


One Response to “No Classroom Dummies”

  1. wayne mcevilly October 24, 2010 at 12:30 pm #

    O.K., I have just become a fan of the mind/consciousness which/who produces this writing / I love all things intelligence-permeated, and entertaining, and informative. No matter what the subject, these pages scintillate. Thank you very much. Wayne

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