Welcome to Day Seven of Digital January. Under the spotlight today is lynda.com, an online IT training library which will help you with the key software tools that every student or teacher need to be able to use.
What does it do?
In years gone by, Dundee University provided training for staff and students in the use of Microsoft products such as Word and Excel, in using Powerpoint and Email, and many other important software tools. These days, many of these kind of tools are used much earlier in the process of education, and are often part of the core set of skills which staff and students require to function effectively.
Training on these kind of resources is available via website, YouTube videos and even good old-fashioned training manuals. Lynda.com is a library of high-quality video-based training in a wide range of software applications and creative skills - from programming a computer using languages such as Java through to personal marketing using tools such as LinkedIn...and even how to play the banjo!
Video training provided by Lynda.com is broken down into short bite-sized pieces of learning. For instance, if you wished to learn how to design a web page using HTML you could watch a brief 20-minute overview, or jump to a specific 5-minute section looking at a particular aspect of HTML programming...or, you could set aside a day to undertake the full six-hour training programme. There are even Learning paths which allow you to develop a set of career skills in a particular topic or product, containing several days or weeks of material.
When would you use it?
These days, if we want to learn something - a process or a skill - we often choose to learn by video. YouTube has become particularly popular as a learning environment in recent years, and among all the pop videos and the 'Epic Fail' compilations there is some really good material to assist with training. The problem often encountered, however, is that sometimes the content goes out of date and focuses on an older version of something - perhaps different enough to make it hard to follow in a newer version of the software you're wanting to learn about. Lynda.com, however, is always up-to-date, always high-quality and always authoritative.
Here's an example of something quite basic from lynda.com on troubleshooting common PC problems - click here to watch (you will need to login using your University details). It's two hours' long, but you'll immediately get a feel for how well-produced and engaging it is.
You can see that this particular presentation has subtitled text for people with hearing difficulties, and can even be downloaded and watched at times of your choosing without needing a web connection.
Lynda.com is particularly helpful for anyone involved in Computing or in Engineering, but also for anyone who just wants effective training in the use of modern-day applications. There are training videos on such essential topics as LinkedIn, Facebook, presentation skills, study skills and time management, so it most definitely isn't just for tech-minded individuals.
How do you access it?
Lynda.com is available via the Library & Learning Centre homepage - click here to access the direct link to Lynda.com. Remember that you'll need your University login details to access anything via Lynda.com.
Where can you get help to use it?
Lynda.com is incredibly simple to navigate and use so you shouldn't need much help in using it, but if you're struggling to find it or to login to it contact the LLC by emailing email@example.com
What Digital Literacy skills will Lynda.com help you to develop?
The University of Dundee has a Digital Literacies Framework which sets out what sort of digital skills you should have, whether you're a student or a staff member. It's unlikely you'll have all the skills contained in the Framework (yet!), but this project can help you get started in developing some new ones. To see the Framework click here and click on Digital Literacies Framework at Dundee University to download a copy.
Using a video training library to learn a skill or a process is an aspect of DIMENSION 1 - Understand and engage in Digital practices as outlined in the Framework.
COME BACK TOMORROW AND THROUGHOUT JANUARY TO LEARN MORE ABOUT GOING DIGITAL