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August 24th, 2010

You know the old saw about people using only 10% of their brainpower? It’s total rubbish say leading scientists. There is a similar statement about people using software, though, that really is true. Whether it’s Adobe Photoshop or InDesign, or Microsoft Word or Excel, people really do use only about 10% of the available tools. Think about it: Why else are there “light” versions like Photoshop Elements? There are two answers, actually: (1) Because people don’t need all the power offered by the full-boat programs and (2) people don’t know how to use most of the tools anyway.

Tailored training on the job

We’ve blogged a few times over the past year on employee training, but never mentioned one of the most important decisions to make concerning it: Who needs to know what, and why? Even when you decide to train, say, six of your computer artists on some iMac rentals – which will save thousands on the cost of those name-brand two-day seminars – you need a very specific curriculum for each individual employee/student. The first of several determinants for the participants is this: Do they need to know the entire toolbox, or can they get by with 10%?

Your managers that run departments where computers are used – for print, Web, audio, video, post-production, special effects, whatever – will know what each computer artist needs to contribute and, thus, needs to know. One junior staffer may be tasked with converting still photos from a digital camera’s raw RGB files to CMYK for eventual printing, perhaps after the senior artist uses them in a layout. The junior member of the team does not need full Photoshop training for  this, just a decent introduction to color space and the appropriate menus and tools in the software.

In addition, a senior staffer may have gotten past the 10% threshold but still needs some training in tweaking printing press profiles. A comprehensive and overlapping curriculum can be devised to take each of these artists, and their colleagues of whatever number, where they need to go skill-wise. The veteran artists on staff, along with management, can teach the courses with the help of a touchscreen LCD monitor rentals at the front of the room. The teacher should have an iMac available, too, to take advantage of some great built-in features of Mac’s OS X.

Mac OS X for desktop sharing

iMac Rental with OS X It probably is true that most Mac users only use about 10% of OS X’s incredible power. For several years OS X has been making desktop sharing easier, until it now takes just a few moments to set up. Sharing desktops means the teacher can take control of the students’ computer rentals from her own computer, demonstrating procedures in real-life and real-time. With this technology, students can interact with the teacher directly and accelerate the learning process, whether it’s focused on Final Cut Pro (which has its own kind of sharing) or some other potent application.

Summary: Make a chart of the skills that need to be imparted to each employee, see where they overlap and devise the curriculum to be progressive. With a room, some Macs, desktop sharing enabled and a big-screen display in place, you’re on your way to a better trained staff.  Contact an experienced Account Executive (or head to our online Quick Rental Quote form) and let us know what training obstacle we can help you knock down!

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