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Thursday Apr 18, 2013

Give your Training a Webinar or Video

You already know of our amazing screencast tool that enables you to create video tutorials within minutes, but what about that webinar or video you want to add to your course?

Well, it’s easy to add videos and webinars in KeyStone OnDemand.

1. Go to the homepage, and click on Add New. Then click Video/Webinar.


2. You now need to give your video/webinar a name and description. Then you can choose to either upload, record or embed your video/webinar.

 

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Monday Nov 28, 2011

Dude, get that guy some training

By Deanna Reynolds

I was recently doing some random Internet searching…for work. I always like to see what the popular bloggers and other trainers are offering up in terms of Office 2010 productivity tips. I actually don’t recommend doing a search like that unless you have a lot of time on your hands which I would assume you wouldn’t if you’re looking for ways to be more productive. But, I digress.

During my search for “Office 2010 Productivity Tips” I encountered an article aptly titled, “Your Top 5 Time Saving Productivity Tips with Microsoft Office?” Ooohhh. I felt a little rush of excitement at what that article might add to my life. Sounds promising, doesn’t it?

Prepare to be disappointed.

I was shocked to see just one thing: “Copy & Paste.” Aw man. Copy & Paste? That’s your big productivity tip? Copy & Paste? Seriously? My 80-yr old grandmother could make up something better than that. I won’t reveal the name of the site that I found this on, but suffice it to say their tagline is “Be Productive, Stop Procrastinating.”


 


Oy vey.

Recent reports estimate that 8.6 million people are currently using Office 2010. Can you imagine if their biggest productivity tip was “copy and paste.” And, then it hits me. That’s why we create training. If, when asked the question, “What are your top five time saving productivity tips with Microsoft Office?” your only response is, “Uh, copy and paste” run, don’t walk, to your nearest training course and sit yourself down prepared to learn.

In fact, Microsoft Office 2010 was designed around the very concept of increasing user productivity. In a recent interview, Jennifer Heard, a Microsoft VP, was quoted as saying, “…we've spent billions and billions of dollars researching how users work, how they leverage the technology, and really how they can improve the work they do every day, because it's about increasing productivity and having the ability to expose information in a way that makes sense to the user.#” I’m certain the folks at Microsoft would be horrified to think that “copy and paste” was their greatest achievement in increasing productivity.

I’m sure you’re waiting for me to tell you how I would have answered that now infamous question. I’ll tell you…

Q.    What are your top five time saving productivity tips with Microsoft Office?

A.    I’m so glad you asked. Office 2010 is leaps and bounds beyond previous Office releases. Admittedly, there is some down time when users first make the switch. After all, the Ribbon does take some getting used to. But, after a couple of months, most users find they are able to do their tasks faster as many features are now available in fewer clicks. I’ve actually seen that down time drop to two weeks if the new version release is timed with targeted, scenario-based training.

But, there are some key product enhancements that really work the way people now work. If I had to pick my top 5, in no particular order, they would be:

  1. 1. Customizable Ribbon Tabs: In Office 2010, you can customize the existing Ribbon tabs and even create your own. My favorite place to start is by checking out the options in any program under the “Commands Not in the Ribbon” category. That’s where the hidden gold lies. To see this in action, from any Office program, choose File> Options. Then, select Customize Ribbon in the left Navigation Pane. Finally, under Choose commands from, click the drop-down arrow and choose Commands Not in the Ribbon. Often, you’ll find commands you used in previous versions of Office that you haven’t been able to find on the default Ribbon. Then, add those to any new or existing Ribbon tab. Heaven.
  2. 2. Enhanced Photo & Video Editing: Word and PowerPoint always did a fairly decent job of integrating images into their files. But, in 2010, even graphic artists have to be impressed with the available editing options. For both videos and image, you can apply artistic effects, reflections, shadows and more. And, for images, you can remove entire backgrounds. It’s madness and it’s very cool. Plus, it saves me the step of having to sending these edits through a graphic person.
  3. 3. Better Integration with SharePoint: Office 2010 offers most consistent and reliable integration with SharePoint allowing more efficient document collaboration across project teams.
  4. 4. Simultaneous Document Editing: That’s right. In Office 2010, two can people can work on the same document at the same time. Just be sure to watch the Status bar – it will tell you who is currently working on the document and what they are doing.
  5. 5. Broadcast Your Slide Shows: This one is specific to PowerPoint, but it’s powerful. In PowerPoint 2010, you can set up a free account and stream your presentations live, online to up to 50 people at the same time. The limitations to this feature are minimal (like, you can’t stream a video and it doesn’t include a conference call connection). But, the benefits far outweigh any feature limitations. To try this feature out, enlist the help of a friend and hit the Broadcast Slide Show option on the Slide Show tab in PowerPoint. The program will walk you through a quick set up process and in a matter of minutes you’ll have a link you can share with your friend.


So, that’s it. That’s my Top 5, and that's why training is so important. Whether it's for Office or your app, training is vital to be more productive.

 

Sources

Microsoft introduces products in Dominican Republic http://www.dominicantoday.com/dr/technology/2010/5/14/35708/Microsoft-introduces-products-in-Dominican-Republic

Jennifer Heard – VP Microsoft, Productivity Enhancements Office 2010 http://www.thebusinessmakers.com/episodes/shows/2010/november-2010/episode-286/jennifer-heard.html

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Monday Nov 07, 2011

Easy Office 2010 shortcuts you must know

Are you clicking and clicking and clicking? Time, time and more time.

Here at the office, there are many shortcuts that we use on a daily basis, but these are the top ten most used Office 2010 keyboard shortcuts we apply. You may already be using them, but if you’re not, you need to. You don’t realize how time consuming it is to constantly right click and find your solution or navigate the ribbon to copy your text until you take a small amount of time to memorize and apply shortcuts like these for Office 2010.


        PC         Mac

1.   Copy          Control + C      Command + C
2.   Paste         Control + V       Command + V
3.   Undo          Control + Z       Command + Z
4.   Redo          Control + Y       Command + Y
5.   Bold            Control + B      Command + B
6.   Italicize       Control + I        Command + I
7.   Save           Control + S      Command + S
8.   Find            Control + F       Command + F
9.   Print            Control + P      Command + P
10. Select All    Control + A       Command + A

These Office 2010 shortcuts are sure to help you if you have not been using them. These are particularly easy to use and apply because they all start with the same key and have one letter.

While this is a great start, understanding more features in Office 2010 and the various ways to use the tools encourages speedy work and effective use of time. This is why we are so passionate about educating users in Office 2010. There are so many features and tools in Office 2010 that can go unnoticed until someone shows you how to use them.

Our Office 2010 Training provides full text and video for each topic, including printable KeyNotes and instant-on video, all available in real-time search. Click here to learn more.

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Monday Oct 31, 2011

Tricks of the trade: Things your trainer never told you

By Deanna Reynolds

Here at KeyStone, we have relationships with the best trainers in the business. These people operate at
a high level of energy with a true passion for both the software and sharing their knowledge with you
(or, really, anyone who will listen).

So, we asked them:

Q. What are your absolute favorite, jaw-dropping, applause-rendering, show-
stopping tricks that bring the house every time you share them in your
classroom?

We were not disappointed with the answers and we don’t think you’ll be either.


Our first tip is from Nona, a trainer residing in Virginia, USA. Nona writes:


“The standard "Select All" key doesn't work the way you think it does. Experienced Windows users know
that Ctrl-A is the shortcut key that selects everything in a window or document; the A in Ctrl-A stands
for All. Ctrl-A works this way in every application you can find—except Excel. When you press Ctrl-A in
a worksheet with data in it, you select the current region (that is, all connected cells), not the whole
worksheet. But wait—if you immediately press Ctrl-A a second time, you select the entire worksheet—
unless the worksheet contains a table, in which case your second press of Ctrl-A will select the current
region and the summary rows (typically the headers) of the current table. And if your second Ctrl-A
selects the current table and its summary rows, then you'll need to press Ctrl-A a third time to select the
entire worksheet.”

Our next tip comes from Nicole, a trainer residing in Germany. Nicole writes:

“In PowerPoint 2010 you can now get rid of the background or better “cut out a picture “ as you are
used to doing in Photoshop or Corel Draw. But what is great that you don´t need to click around the face
anymore to cut the background out…you simply need to just draw a line into the area you no longer
need. I really love this new feature in 2010.”

Nicole also likes to show her students how to quickly pin documents they use on a regular basis to the
File tab, on their Recent Documents list. She offers that by just right-clicking any document shown in
the list, you can choose “Pin to list” to always keep the selected document at the top of the Recent
Documents list regardless of the last time it was accessed.

Our final tip is from Alva, a trainer residing in California, USA. Alva shares:

“I absolutely enjoy creating formulas in [Excel’s] Name Manager. [That way] students can use the name
provided for the formula to further manipulate their data in Excel.

Alva’s right on target with this tip. Excel 2010 now allows you to name tables, ranges, cells, and formulas

for future reference. This works fabulously on larger spreadsheets as a name seems far easier to
remember than a complex list of cell addresses and/or ranges.

I wish I could fit all of our trainer’s tips into this article. They are so full of great advice. We would love to hear your tips as well; send us a message

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Friday Oct 28, 2011

Five ways to engage online learners (from an online learner)

Here are five simple suggestions for you when you start building your course:

1. Present with personality. If the instructor is not interested in the course, how can you expect your learners to be interested?

2. Answer all common questions. Especially if you are forming a course on software training, you need to think of all possible questions when going through a step. Answer those questions, to keep the attention of your learners. Your learners will be looking at the course, thinking of questions as you are teaching, so answer them without having them asked.


3. If you are teaching a course with a powerpoint presentation, don’t just read off the slides. Provide your users with additional information. Why should they listen to you if you are just going to say exactly what the slide says? In some cases, this may work, but in most instances, you can re-word what is on the slide or provide an example for better understanding.

4. Share the basics but throw in some detail. While the basics are important for the beginner, keep the learner engaged by throwing in one detail or example of what they will be able to achieve upon completion of the course. Show them this course is worth paying attention to.

5. Understand your audience. Sometimes courses include too much detail or go too fast for online learners. It can be easy to assume your learners understand you when you cannot physically see their reactions. Be sure to understand your main audience. If, however, the course is targeted towards advanced users, then go for the detailed and high-level tutorial. If your learners are new to the subject matter, be sure to guide them to understanding. Just because you know the information and learned it easily, it does not necessarily mean the information will be as easy for your learners to digest.

These may seem basic, but sometimes going back to the basics is just what you need. At KeyStone OnDemand, we are always looking to help our customers who are creating custom courses for their organization using our platform.

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