Occupational Hazard

While my employment does not require my budding skills as an instructional technologist, the fact that I know how to use these programs does come in handy. For instance, I'm in the process of making something in Photoshop that we'll use with the client base, and the combination of Uncle Sam's 'I want YOU' and one of our staff on a sign with an appropriate message is making all of us giggle.

In meetings, we've talked about issues that crop up, and I suggest a way to work with it (basically, creating simple training materials for the clients) and one of the team wants to run with this. She asked today what programs could be used for this purpose and I ticked off the six I've used, that I've got two available on my laptop and that we can access two of the others without too much effort, through the employer server. I could see the ideas churning and hope that this means we'll be making web content soon. :)

At the same time, I'm being trained on software suites that my employer has contracted. One does not have a systematic way of learning in that the developer never created training modules for a product that is pretty elaborate. My boss asked me to block out time on her calendar for her to show me the features I should know, now that I have access (finally!). Even using my web sleuthing skills did not net much, except that I enrolled in the developer's listserv on training issues.

The other product is quite impressive. It looks like the implementation team at this corporation polled their existing customers and asked "If you could have the perfect software suite, what features would it have?" and it came up with this incredible software. The glitches thus far have been user error (and I was on the receiving end of a user error this morning, but knew exactly what was happening.)

Even more impressive is the depth of training webinars the company has provided. They really invest themselves in providing the information to successfully use these tools. Originally, it didn't look like I'd even be using it, but last week my department realized that it should be part of my role to utilize it.

So, I'm watching the webinars. And thanks to my experience in class, I'm critiquing them. I will say that a functional assessment nets that they've really understood their user base, their skill set and their needs. The execution could be finessed.

It's pretty funny when I looked at the first webinar and tried to suss out which program was used, and then by the third one, could identify what was used (even though the average end user doesn't know this-these products are seamlessly integrated into presentations). The one they used only allows for single take audio at the same time that you're capturing the screen images.

I made a coworker laugh that I could identify all of this and wonder if I'll end up critiquing for the rest of my life...


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