Nexus 7 and Office 365

Why did I buy a tablet?

My requirements/objectives were

  • I wanted a better ebook reader, to facilitate study (with ability to listen to audio books and podcasts)
  • I wanted something with a bigger screen than my phone for email and simple document preparation
  • I wanted something smaller than my laptop to suit “one bag travel” as I do more travel for work (laptop is old, heavy and soon to be replaced)
  • I wanted something with a bigger screen than my phone for basic access to Office 365
  • All the cool kids have tablets and I wanted one too!
  • On a tight budget

So I wanted  a light work and study tool

Why not buy an Ipad?

Ipads are very, very nice. No argument at all.


Every small business decision is a compromise, governed by Cash Flow, Budget and like factors. In plain language, the Ipad was about $AUD 170 dearer. And I needed that $170 elsewhere. Continue reading “Nexus 7 and Office 365”

Changing Models of Learning Delivery – Opening Post

Last Sunday, I found this talk by Sugata Mitra, one aspect of which is the nature of the current western school model and how children can learn.  Sugata raises an alternative model for educating children, especially in poor communities, but applicable anywhere. After the video I am going to segue this post into training adults in office IT skills, but to get you thinking please watch and learn from Sugata first.  Please also read his TED profile and visit the links to more information there.

I think there is a good community service project in the IT training industry supporting the Hole-in-the-wall project. I will return to that thought in a future post.

While I don’t expect us to be setting up hole in the all learning PCs in the work environment (adults aren’t as adventurous as children – but is there a place for resources the inquiring minds can dive into?) there are strong parallels between the traditional classroom for children and conventional scheduled IT courses for adults in the workforce.

Now I’d if you are a trainer, or training provider I’d like you:

  1. Watch the above talk
  2. Go and sit under a tree and have a think.

I am working on a draft of a post about my take on changes taking place in the training marketplace and the shift to custom/ad hoc/on site training.

More Soon.

ITTS demise

Wasn’t sure what to say about this….

So I’ll find something positive:- about the people who were there Continue reading “ITTS demise”

Current Trainer Profile on-line

An updated trainer profile for Steven Knight (Me!) is now available for download




The True Value of Excel Training

A big part of what I do is Excel training particularly Intermediate, Advanced and custom courses. It is not unusual when you have just finished a demonstration or an exercise using a feature to hear a groan or a gasp from somewhere in the group, followed by comments like “I could have used this last week doing report x” or “This process will save me x hours every week” or “that will enable me to do a report I didn’t think we could do” .

As an aside, this is when you need the lesser known excel function =gobacktolastweek(1), where the argument or parameter is the number of weeks you need to go back in time, so you can use your new skill and save a bunch of time when you needed it. Continue reading “The True Value of Excel Training”

Enquiry or Inquiry form?

This question comes up routinely on Dreamweaver courses. Thanks to my much thumbed copy of Partridge’s  Usage and Abusage (Penguin Reference Books) I can report that:

Custom Courses

I am going to get a bit Tom Peters with this post, which will be a bunch of comments – use what you wish.

All on site courses are custom courses. If not we are missing an opportunity to give the client the tools they need to be solve problems that they have.

But to achieve a standardised (good) output on a non standard product requires extra preparation by all involved. Continue reading “Custom Courses”

What Makes a Successful Course Part 2

Still thinking about this, particularly for custom and on site courses,  as I try to develop a systematic process for a consistant standard of output  for my business  where every end product  is different.

To add to my earlier post on this topic, here are a few more factors that make a course work. Continue reading “What Makes a Successful Course Part 2”

What makes a successful course?

This post is in response to a question I was asked a few weeks back. This is an issue I have been grappling with as I revelop and refocus my business. I’ll refine this as other factors occur to me.

Factors that make  a success if right

Prior Intelligence

Particularly essential for custom and on site courses (many one site course are custom in some way), I find it very useful to be able to talk to the client once the sales/account staff have done their part.

  • Version of Software the client has or is getting
  • How the client uses or plans to use the software
  • Clients objectives, current problems etc.
  • If they can send a sample of what they are needing to do or problems they are having
  • Skill levels of the trainees in the group, any questions coming from them… Continue reading “What makes a successful course?”