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View Poll Results: Which computer applications do you use?
word processors 9 90.00%
spreadsheets 5 50.00%
presentations 5 50.00%
database management 2 20.00%
communication 8 80.00%
desktop publishing 2 20.00%
project management 0 0%
others 4 40.00%
Multiple Choice Poll. Voters: 10. You may not vote on this poll


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Old Jun 25, 2008, 05:10 PM   #1
jesgear
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Default Computer Applications

On starting my new job, I was surprised to learn of the demand for training in computer applications. I'm self-taught in using word processing and spreadsheet programs and I always believed that everybody also knew how to use them. But we're very busy in teaching people even basic skills in such programs.

Which got me wondering how many BLinkers use such applications and in which situations you use them. What are your thoughts about these programs? What advice do you have for me in training people on their use?

Our classes are almost exclusively Microsoft-based, so I'm listing mainly their programs, but if you use similar applications by other companies, which do you use and why? I'm very interested in reading your comments.

word processing (Word, WordPerfect)
spreadsheets (Excel, Numbers)
presentations (PowerPoint, Keynote, Impress)
database management (Access, Base, Approach)
communication (Outlook, Entourage)
desktop publishing (Publisher)
project management (Project)
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Old Jun 25, 2008, 05:52 PM   #2
hibgal
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I'm actually a person who has gone through a course in computer applications! It's almost 15 years ago though and I was sent there by our local employment agency as they had no clue what to do with me when I rejoined the work force after my years off with a small child. Amazing as it seems, I still benefit from it and it's clear that such courses can help people use these programs more efficiently. Anyone can probably by trial and error learn enough skills to use these programs but will be hard put to use them fully or as they're designed to be used.

Since I'm a writer I use Word almost daily. I find it a useful basic word processing application although some of the auto correction features tend to drive me nuts. I dislike macros and hardly ever use them.

I use Excel for budgeting and to keep track of my book collection. It's in Excel that I've had most use of my course as this program is by no means intuitive! To get the full benefit of it you need to be taught the best way. Not that it's wrong to improvise, yet being aware of how the program works, its abilities and its limitations, makes life for the operator easier.

I use Access some and here you really need help to make the most of it, especially if you're expected to build databases yourself! It's a science of its own and has many more facets than just learning how to use the program itself.

I think just about everyone has used Outlook and although not my email agent of choice, is quite basic and easy to learn.

I've created a lot in Publisher, like it for it's many good features, many of which are buried and need a good teacher to excavate the possibilities! I've made commercial publications in this program and find it robust and good at what it does. Unless you're willing to spend $$$ on a professional application Publisher should most probably suffice.

I have no experience with the presentation or project tools, sorry. I've never been able to warm up to PowePoint and stay away from such presentations when I can!

HTH.
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Old Jun 25, 2008, 06:58 PM   #3
The New AimeeAndBeatles
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I've used them all at one point or another.

Self-taught mostly, but I found a few college course books at yard sales and from when mom took a computer course.

I once fixed the school computers in junior high schools, They couldnt figure out why the internet was down, and I was in office (lunch break), the technician unavailable, I go "Lemme try it."
"You're just a kid,"
"No lemme try it,"
and I fixed it.
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Old Jun 25, 2008, 07:20 PM   #4
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I use everything you listed (usually Microsoft) except project management software. Plus I use graphics programs (mostly Photoshop and Illustrator) and GIS/mapping programs (ArcView, ArcGIS, Surfer, Streets & Trips) on almost a daily basis. All self-taught. I am also the network administrator at my office, also self-taught but I often wish I had some actual training.
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Old Jun 26, 2008, 02:58 AM   #5
Magill
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I know and have used a few of those you've named. But at my current job, out of your list, I use MS Outlook. Where I spend the majority of my day, I use the company's own claim paying systems. Yes, there are two different ones. I suppose I should have checked "other" as well.
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Old Jun 26, 2008, 06:33 AM   #6
oldbeatlechick
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All my home computer skills are self taught. The main ones I use are Microsoft word processor functions and communication! I have been shown how to use excel, but can't get on with that! I have used Powerpoint once but no need for it at the moment! I have taught a lot of friends basic computer skills! I also use paintshop pro and conversion programmes for music files courtesy of hubby's teaching!

At work we have different computer programmes that I am proficient in using. These are for medical information and for using the machines that disinfect the endoscopes we use! I have had to teach new staff members how to use these applications.
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Old Jun 26, 2008, 07:48 AM   #7
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I pretty much know how to use Word and Outlook. I work at a school, but the students I work with use the computers as rewards or part of their therapy so they just use it for games.

I used Excel a couple times in school, but dont now.

Jes, are you offering to teach us?
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Old Jun 26, 2008, 09:03 AM   #8
The New AimeeAndBeatles
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She probably wants someone to teach the people who need train.
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Old Jun 26, 2008, 09:51 AM   #9
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It is nice if you can get a course as software often has options you may not have even thought of. But the basics are always easily mastered at any rate.

I use Word all the time... very often to even compose my emails as sometimes it's easier to edit them there rather than in some of the email software apps. I just love the options you have there doing searches, replacements, even the spell check (which you know I need, jes, for typos!)

Excel is used more at work for me as I'm always doing spreadsheets & need to report numbers to my boss often. However, I do use it at home to keep some records. It's been very handy. I'm a numbers girl anyway, so it's one of my faves. I just crunch crunch crunch in there. I love how I can use the tab features to make other spreadsheets & tie them all together so if I change something more detail on one spreadsheet, it will auto update the main level spreadsheet, etc.

Powerpoint is one I only use at work when I need to do a presentation. Well I guess I do use it to view other's presentations as well. hee hee! It's used here nearly every day as well during our conference calls. We do so many projects here that it's the best way for us to get a visual on where we stand as far as deadlines.

I haven't used Access as much lately, but used to use it more. Same with Project.

Of course, Outlook is used here at work for email. I like that I can set up rules to have email delivered to specific folders so my inbox doesn't get too cluttered. It's great for inviting people to meetings & everything, too. You can even send an RSVP through it & that really helps those of us with a lot of meetings.

Unfortunately I don't really have experience with Publisher. It just hasn't come up, I guess. Hmmm, but you never know!
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Old Jun 26, 2008, 10:17 AM   #10
thecaitycat
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I got a crash course in computer applications by working in a hospital social work office when I was 19. I already knew my way around web design, but now I can do all sorts of other administrative tasks. Yay!
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Old Jun 27, 2008, 02:06 AM   #11
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I might use more than just Word but I have not trained myself to.
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Old Jun 27, 2008, 03:30 PM   #12
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I'm an accountant so I spend my entire day in Excel spreadsheets. I've been trying to teach myself VBA so I can write marcos in excel but haven't had much luck. My VBA for Dummies book didn't help me much. I used Word a lot in college for writing papers, but don't find much need for it now. We use Lotus Notes at work for email.
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Old Jun 28, 2008, 10:35 AM   #13
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I'm impressed when people say they're self-taught. I encourage all my students to take full advantage of the Help feature that every program offers. I also strongly encourage (and even demand) that they practice what they learned in class. Along with practicing goes experimenting with all the tools provided by applications; I explain that the programs can't be broken (but I warn that documents could be ruined, so experiment on a blank dummy file )
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Old Jun 28, 2008, 10:38 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mccartneyluvr View Post
Jes, are you offering to teach us?
Well, our classes are pretty expensive, in my simple opinion. But I offer free gum
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Old Jun 28, 2008, 10:40 AM   #15
jesgear
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Asha View Post
I just love the options you have there doing searches, replacements, even the spell check (which you know I need, jes, for typos!)
You didn't capitalize the "J" in my name
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