For the past two years, we’ve done staff technology training called Baker’s Dozen, named so because there were 13 things to learn about. Now we’re taking this staff training and turning it into technology classes that you can do from any computer.
How it works: the classes are designed to be self-paced, so you can do them on your own schedule. If you have questions about any of the classes, you can post your question here as a comment, or you can ask at your local library.
- Music sharing. Dive into music sharing and discover a world of great new tunes!
- Blogging. Learn what a blog is and how create a great one.
- Privacy and avatars. We show you how to maintain your privacy and safety on the internet.
- Twitter. Have you ever tweeted? Want to try? Now’s your chance.
- Gmail. Find out how to get a free email account, then learn tips and tricks to make it sing.
- iGoogle. Not the same as Gmail! Find out what iGoogle is and what having an account can do for you.
- Cloud computing with Google Docs. Everybody’s talking about it. What’s it all about?
- Ebooks (Digital Downloads). The hot trend in libraryland! We cover the whos, whats, and hows of digital books.
- Flickr. Find out how to do more with your photos than you ever thought possible.
- Wikis. We all know Wikipedia, but there’s so much more than that.
- Skype. Want to talk to your cousin in Uzbekistan for free? Now you can!
- Online image editors. Fast, easy, and free ways to have fun with your photos online.
- Website construction. Learn the basics of building your own website and publishing it online.
There are four parts to each class:
- An introduction
- A presentation using a tool called Prezi. We’ll explain more about this when we get there.
- An exercise where you can actually start using what you just learned about. These are meant to be worked through while you’re reading them. If you don’t try the exercise and just read it, it will probably be not that easy to understand and also boring. Get in there and get your hands dirty! Or your feet wet! Or whatever metaphor you prefer!
- More information for the curious. You can think of this as an extra credit section: it’s interesting but not critical to the class.
And to help us demonstrate how you might use these technologies in your own life, we got three friends of the library to help out. Michael, Erin, and Sean have all agreed to test out the thirteen things or show how the things are currently working for them.
Meet Michael. Michael unfortunately just got laid off when his company closed its Tucson office last fall. Not only will he be using the 13 things to look for a job, he’s looking for cheap and easy ways to keep in touch with his family around the world.
Meet Erin. Erin is the owner of Yurt World, a small business here in Tucson dedicated to mobile housing options. She’s excited about finding new ways to use free technology to make her business more successful.
Meet Sean! Last but not least, Sean is a junior at UA majoring in art education. He agreed to be our bells and whistles tester--that is, he’s going to try out all the cool fancy stuff that these programs can do.
Everybody, this Michael, Erin, and Sean. Michael, Erin, and Sean, this is everybody. Thanks for helping us out, guys!
And thanks to all of you out there for giving this a try. We want to hear what you think, so please send us your comments on this blog. (If you’re not sure how to do that, look just below this post and click where it says “Enter your comment here.”)
Created by Jennifer Caldwell and Lisa Bunker, Pima County Public Library, Virtual Library Department, with artwork by Eric Murrietta, Shawn Flecken, and Lisa Bunker.
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