What Would Ed Do?

At Intellezy, we take pride in the solid Instructional Design of our content. It’s why we strive to work with some of the top trainers in the industry. We are a team of educators, and our focus is on creating quality short-segment videos that are going to help our students retain the information they learn.  

We recently received an email from a user describing how helpful an Excel course by Ed McCrae was, which is not unusual fan mail for us. However, what really got us excited was how the user stated their whole team is now asking themselves “What Would Ed Do?” when they are stumped in Excel.  The user’s team at this particular company made a connection with Ed as he was teaching because the learners could see his facial expressions, gestures, and voice because Ed never left the screen. He was with them throughout the whole duration of the course, just as a live instructor would be. Now, it begs the question would this have happened with a typical eLearning course with the screenshot and voiceover? Maybe… but I doubt it. Our brains are wired for face-to-face communication; the information flows better when you see the other person speaking because you see how they are conveying the information.  Video in general is booming, both in the marketing and education space, because our brains consume the information easier and faster than reading text. Additionally, our brains remember 95% of the information given in video compared to only 10% when the information is given in text.

As you know, there are thousands of eLearning courses to choose from, and we at Intellezy know your time is valuable. If you are in a corporate setting, we also know you have about 20 minutes of your work week to devote to training, so make it count. Choose training that will make a lasting impression and help you retain the information. Choose training that is up to date with your applications, and that provides projects and exercise files that mimic live situations. Choose Intellezy and soon you’ll be asking yourself, “What Would Ed Do?” 

Exciting New Partnership Announcement for Intellezy & GO1

We are thrilled to announce we have teamed up with GO1 to help distribute Intellezy content globally. GO1 is an established leader in online learning and education, covering areas such as South Africa, Vietnam, Malaysia and The United Kingdom. Intellezy is an award-winning content provider delivering relevant content on Microsoft Office, Office 365, Adobe IT and Business Skills needs.

GO1 is your one-stop training solutions and eLearning resource. Giving the users the ability to curate content combined with choosing from an ongoing growing library of courses, GO1 has you covered.

Click here to learn more about how GO1 and Intellezy can benefit your organization!

Intellezy vs Live Training – Round 1

by John Dukarski-French, Senior Project Manager   

First off, in full disclosure, I’ve worked at Intellezy for the last few years. I have been spoiled from a training and development standpoint (and others) since I walked in the door. Not only because we provide training on a lot of the topics and software that I want to learn, but because we have a steadfast culture of personal growth and development that runs from the top to the bottom of our organization. I’ve worked in this industry for the last decade, and far too often, I have observed, and been a part of, different training and educational organizations that do not take the investment in training and developing their own employees seriously. That is not the case here at Intellezy.

I recently decided to take a certification preparation course on the PMP (Project Management Professional) exam. I work as a project manager (among other things) and wanted to see how difficult and time-consuming it would be to prep for and take the PMP exam. Spoiler alert: It is A LOT of work and time. I had exhausted all of the Project Management courses Intellezy had currently offered, so I took a PMP Certification course with one of our partners. I will say the content and the instructor were exceptional, but throughout the Monday through Friday 9:00 AM – 5:30 PM live course (which was hard to work into my schedule…it took months), I found myself constantly thinking about and missing Intellezy’s course format.

As I sat through our partner’s PMP course, I had to wait for the slower learners to catch up on the presented material, and due to that, our instructor had to rush through other content that I needed. I think of myself as intelligent and quick on the uptake, but at times throughout the course, I struggled to keep up and truly understand the content before we moved on because of the pace we had to keep to put us back on schedule. While the course was recorded and put in the system for review after each day, there was no way I was going to sift through 8+ hours of a recording for the area I needed. At that, the parts I really needed were not taught in depth anyway due to the aforementioned time constraints.

Again, my experience overall with my PMP course was not in itself bad. It was a good experience, but it is no longer my preferred method after experiencing Intellezy’s course format.

On the Intellezy platform, I am able to access the course or specific video topic I want. I can also do this quickly, whenever and wherever I need it. I do it at my own pace and can re-watch content I do not understand or fast forward through content I already know. I also like being able to come back to the content later when I realize my brain is just “done” or has learned all it wants to before fatigue sets in and I do not retain anything further.

This is just my opinion, and I know it will be different for everyone. However, if you do want to try out Intellezy and our format free for 10 days (with no credit card number required), you can do so by navigating to http://www.intellezy.com/subscriptions and choosing our 10 Day Free Trial.

Lastly, let’s talk about Price. Since I took the class with one of our partners, it was free for me. Otherwise the course would have been well over a thousand dollars. You can get access to the Intellezy Full Library for $99.95 for a full year or $14.95 per month. Reach out to us any time if you have questions at info@intellezy.com or call us at 781-295-1410.

The Ever-Changing Office 365 Suite

If you’ve ever used Office 365, you know that it changes quite frequently. One day you might log in and see that instead of going to the app launcher and clicking on Calendar to see you appointments for that day, suddenly it’s gone! Instead you have to go to Outlook now to get the calendar. 

 

And now more changes are coming. This article below from CNN details some of these forthcoming changes, such as an improved Outlook search function or changes to the Ribbon.

 

http://money.cnn.com/2018/06/13/technology/microsoft-office-365-changes/index.html

 

At Intellezy, we strive to keep our videos as up-to-date as possible on Office 365. We update our videos at a minimum every 6 months, and sooner than that if a big change rolls out.

 

Here’s an example of a new video we added to reflect a change in 365. OneNote Online added a feature called immersive reader, which allows you to have your text read aloud to you.

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jp4GT_8WAVM

New Course Release: American Sign Language

There are between 250,000 to 500,000 native speakers of American Sign Language (ASL), which is the primary sign language of deaf communities in the US and Canada. (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/American_Sign_Language).

Intellezy has just released a course with over 2 hours of videos to help you learn ASL. This course will give you an overview of the origins of the language, the alphabet and fingerspelling, colors, animals, foods and drinks, family signs, feelings, professions, verbs and key nouns. There will also be opportunities for practicing vocabulary and sentences. At the end of the course, students will be able to demonstrate a short story in ASL.

Here is a sample from our ASL course on the signs for animals:

https://youtu.be/nyw1Rd4bNTk

The Importance of a Lab Environment

When you are learning a new technical skill, being able to practice in a simulated lab environment can be enormously helpful.

Microsoft offers an array of free hands-on lab environments:

https://www.microsoft.com/handsonlabs

Here you’ll find instructor-led labs and self-paced labs to help sharpen your skills on topics such as Azure Data Migration Services or SQL Server.

Other companies, such as Oracle (http://www.oracle.com/technetwork/systems/hands-on-labs/ovm-1908457.html) offer similar lab environments as well.

At Intellezy, we have a number of technical courses that can help you learn the skills you need to pass an exam. We just released a new course, Installation, Storage and Compute Windows Server 2016, which will help you prepare for Exam 70-740.

This course is designed to convey the knowledge and skills needed to work with Windows Server 2016. Key administrative responsibilities, such as implementing server images, planning and configuring storage solutions, and monitoring virtual machine installations will be covered.

Here is a sample from this course on installing and configuring server core:

https://youtu.be/3lEMNucsJpk

5 – OK 6 – Essential Skills for Trainers

Over the course of my 25+ years as a corporate trainer, I’ve taught thousands of classes.  Each class requires a slightly different combination of skills from my trainer’s grab bag of abilities. When I teach new trainers, I always start with an exercise where I ask them, “What skills do you think a good trainer possesses?” My goal is to help them begin to fill their bags.  The list is always VERY long and surprising for some. We look at the list and as a group decide which skills are essential to all trainers and which are unique only to some trainers. For instance, being funny is always on the list, but not ALL good trainers are funny. In fact, humor can go horribly wrong in a classroom, too.  After this exercise, the students have a better idea of their own unique assets – humor, compassion, flexibility, curiosity – and those that all good trainers must possess.  The core assets usually boil down to these critical five:

  1. Knowledge – This is a gimme, really.  At a baseline, every trainer should be steeped in their subject matter. Of course, sometimes we’re rushed into the classroom before we may feel ready, but making sure you know more than your audience is fundamental. You also will need to be comfortable with the training materials.  Know the flow of the outline, know what page number each section is on in the manual, and be sure to keep students apace with you in the materials.
  2. Ability to Say Things in Multiple Ways – Not every student is going to comprehend the material you are presenting in the same way. Count on needing more than one example for a concept or lesson. Additionally, count on needing to relay your information in more than one manner. Some students will require a more elementary approach to a topic, and it’ll be up to you to switch up on the fly how you are presenting a topic and what examples you are using to illustrate it. The ability to adapt in the classroom is crucial.
  3. Strong Organizational Skills – The ability to organize the information you are presenting is crucial.  Not only does it mean as a trainer you won’t miss anything vital, organizing information in a logical, natural way will increase your students’ ability to understand the material. Being organized also allows you to expand or contract a lesson in the middle of the class, if needed.  Disorganization is the iceberg that will sink your class!             
  4. Time Management – As a new trainer, managing the clock might be the trickiest skill to master.  It’s part science and part art. As a trainer, when students ask questions we want to answer all of them as fully as we can, even if they are off topic.  A good trainer knows what questions to answer, what questions to table until later, and what questions to take fully offline. As a rule of thumb, if it’s not directly related to the topic at hand and you don’t have time to answer it, tell the inquiring student you’ll take it offline with them after the session ends.
  5. Establishing Credibility, Rapport, and Trust – You are not only the trainer of the material, but you are also the host of the event. One way to begin establishing rapport is by greeting each student as they arrive. Let them know they are welcome and you’re pleased they could take time out of their busy days to be there. Stating your credentials is important, but credibility builds with students when you effectively manage the class. Trust is built by encouraging students to explore and ask questions and then honoring those questions when they come.

There’s one skill that I would add to this list of essentials and it’s one that, despite how many times I’ve run this exercise, never is mentioned by my new trainers as something a good trainer possess.

  1. Humility – A good trainer is humble. What do I mean by that?  It’s easy for a trainer to feel like they are the smartest person in the room.  They possess the knowledge and are in charge of revealing it.  That’s heady stuff! While most trainers I’ve met don’t have ego trips about their roles, a trainer can be knocked off his or her game in a class if it’s discovered a student knows as much or more about the subject, or if a student has had a different experience with the material that allows them deeper or different insight, or if a student asks questions to which he or she doesn’t know the answer. When you enter each class with humility, and with the understanding that you are not only teacher but also student, these situations become positive experiences and not stress-inducing nightmares. You’re willingness to admit “I don’t know” and to be gracious and thankful for the opportunity to learn at the hands of your students will become one of the most essential skills you can possess as a trainer.