MicroAssist Newsletter | October 2011

Survey Shows Need for More Instructor-Led Training

A recent survey administered by MicroAssist to their local Austin community has provided some remarkable data points for considering the importance of training in the workforce. Preliminary responses overwhelmingly show a continued need for traditional, hands-on training, led by an expert instructor.
 
One of the more interesting pieces of information garnered from the survey is a seeming contradiction between how people define their career growth goals, and what training they feel is most needed to get to the next step in their career. A large majority, over 60%, of respondents identify most with career growth goals and learning objectives that are self-defined, compared to objectives that are defined by their company, a professional association, or the open job market. However, when asked what training is most needed, the same group of people rated industry standard processes/methodologies or certifications as the most important.
 
When coupled with the responses that show people learn the best when they are guided by an expert, it shows something very important: that many people are not aware of what they do not know. Maslow refers to this as unconscious ignorance, in his Four Stages of Learning. One of the biggest needs for expert instructors is to guide the learning process from unconscious ignorance, through the second stage of conscious ignorance (recognizing there’s something that needs to be learned) to the third stage of conscious capability (that the capability can be demonstrated when actively focusing). 
 
This concept shows up on classroom responses as well. A common answer given when asked if the training will help their job is: “I can now perform the same tasks I’ve been doing for years in a fraction of the time by using skills I did not even know existed.”
 
With the industry moving more towards E-Learning, it seems that it is more important than ever to continue to invest in traditional skills training led by experts. While E-Learning provides great tools for disseminating information to large, geographically diverse groups of people, it will not replace the need for interactive, live learning with an expert guide.


What are you missing in Office 2010?

 

Microsoft Office 2010 offers flexible and powerful new ways to deliver your best work. Create standout reports and presentations with tools that help you capture your ideas more creatively. Stay connected to your projects, even when you’re away from your computer. Work efficiently with others by sharing, editing, and reviewing files at the same time—even across geographies and time zones. With Office 2010, you’re in control, getting things done and producing amazing results however and wherever you work best.

Word 2010

Microsoft Word 2010 offers the best of all worlds: enhanced features to create professional-quality documents, easier ways to work together with people, and almost-anywhere access to your files. Designed to give you the finest document-formatting tools, Word 2010 also helps you easily organize and write your documents more efficiently, and stay within reach so you can capture your best ideas whenever and wherever they occur.
 
Save time and simplify your work. Find your way with the improved Navigation Pane and Find tools. These new enhancements make it easier than ever to browse, search, and even reorganize document content right from a single, easy-to-use pane.
 
Recover draft versions of files that you closed without saving. The version recovery feature is just one of the many new features available from the new Microsoft Office Backstage view. Backstage view replaces the traditional File menu in all Office 2010 applications to provide a centralized, organized space for all document management tasks.
 
Easily customize the improved Ribbon to make the commands you need most accessible. Create custom tabs or even customize built-in tabs.
 
Work together more successfully. If you work with others on documents and projects, Word 2010 has the tools you need. Using new co-authoring capabilities, you can now edit the same document, at the same time, as other team members in other locations. If you work for a company running SharePoint 2010, this functionality can be used within the firewall. You can even view presence information that shows the availability of other authors. If you're at a small company or use Word 2010 for your home work, you can take advantage of co-authoring features through Windows Live. All you need is a free Windows Live ID to simultaneously edit documents with others.

PowerPoint 2010

PowerPoint 2010 gives you more ways to create and share dynamic presentations with your audience than ever before. Exciting new audio and visual capabilities help you tell a crisp, cinematic story that's as easy to create as it is powerful to watch. 
 
Create extraordinary presentations. PowerPoint 2010 delivers new and improved tools to add power to your presentations. Embed and edit video from within PowerPoint. Now you can add fades, formatting effects, bookmark scenes, and trim videos to give your presentations a professional multimedia experience. And since the embedded videos become part of your PowerPoint presentation, you don't have to manage additional files when sharing with others.
 
Use new and improved picture editing tools - including versatile artistic effects and advanced correction, color, and cropping tools - to fine-tune every picture in your presentation to look its absolute best.
 
Add dynamic 3-D slide transitions and more realistic animation effects to grab your audience's attention.
 
Manage presentations with tools that save time and simplify your work. It's much easier to create and manage presentations when you can work the way you want.
 
Compress video and audio in your presentation to reduce file size for easy sharing and improved playback performance. The option to compress media is just one of many new features available from the new Microsoft Office Backstage view.
 
Easily customize the improved Ribbon to make the commands you need most accessible. Create custom tabs or even customize built-in tabs. With PowerPoint 2010, you’re in control.
 
Work together more successfully. If you are one of the many people who work with others on presentations and projects, PowerPoint 2010 is the perfect tool for you.
 
Broadcast your slide show to people in other locations, whether or not they have PowerPoint installed. Create a video of your presentation—including your transitions, animations, narration, and timings—to share with virtually anyone, any time after your live broadcast. Use new co-authoring capabilities to edit the same presentation, at the same time, with people in different locations. If you work for a company running SharePoint 2010, this functionality can be used within the firewall. You can even view presence information that shows the availability of other authors. If you're at a small company or use Word 2010 for your home work, you can take advantage of co-authoring features through Windows Live. All you need is a free Windows Live ID to simultaneously edit presentations with others.
 



The journey from Instructor Led Training (ILT) to Web-Based Training (WBT) is fraught with challenges, but it is undoubtedly a journey worth making. We at MicroAssist would like to serve as your guide. Join us for Part Four of Great Voyages: ILT to WBT, and have lunch on us while Linda Warren takes you through the essentials of moving from "Sage on the Stage" to "Guide on the Side".
 
Part Five: Land Ho! The Final Steps
 November 9, 2011 • Austin, Texas
Microsoft Technology Center
  • Usability and accessibility
  • Accessibility basics
  • Testing and tools
  • Usability considerations
 
This is the final installment of Great Voyages: ILT to WBT in Austin! Catch part four, Flying Colors in Houston in November. To see more of Linda's work, visit the E-Learning section of our website.
 


Adobe Acrobat Tip: Touch Up Text


Did you know you can touch up text in a PDF with Adobe Acrobat?
 
Simply select the TouchUp Text tool from the Advanced Editing toolbar, or the Tools menu, and click the tool within the text you want to edit. The paragraph is surrounded by a bounding box.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Drag the I-beam pointer to select all or part of the paragraph, or position the I-beam within the text you want to edit.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Type the replacement text or add new text at the position of the I-beam pointer. Click outside the highlighted area to deselect the text.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
You can modify properties of new text as well as text already in the document, including the following:
  • Font and font size
  • Fill and stroke options
  • Font embedding and subsetting
  • Spacing between words and characters
  • Baseline adjustments
If you're ready to learn more, attend our next Adobe Acrobat class. Join MicroAssist for a seven hour session and learn to use Adobe Acrobat 9.0 to make your information more portable, accessible, and useful to meet the needs of your target audience. You will:
  • Explore the Adobe Acrobat 9.0 Professional interface
  • Create PDF documents using Microsoft applications, the print command, from web pages, using email applications, a