Learning new programs and apps can be a real challenge, particularly since the documentation which comes with most new products only helps me setup, but do not include tutorials on how to use them effectively. This is where a video instructor can be so helpful.
Noteboom Tutorials has recently emerged as a quality, no-nonsense educator of computer applications. Their growing list of topics covers iPads, iPhones and Macs. iPad tutorials include iOS 8 edition, Numbers for iOS, and Microsoft Office for iPad. iPhone tutorials include iPhone and iOS 8, Numbers for iOS, and iMovie for iPhone. Mac tutorials include OS X versions of Safari, Yosemite, Numbers, Pages, Keynote, iMovie (new and ’11), Final Cut Pro, iPhoto, FileMaker Pro, Mavericks, Bento and iDVD.
After becoming a member (we’ll come back to that below), using these tutorials is simple and straight-forward. Apple Pages is a popular application, so I’m using it as my illustration. Safari is the browser that I use to access these tutorials. After clicking on its tutorial title, I get a pretty picture with the phrase: “Start learning how to use Pages, Apple’s page layout and word processing app with Tutor for OS X Pages. This tutorial includes 65 easy-to-follow videos and covers all the major features of OS X Pages.” Below this lead-in is an outline showing the major categories (Introduction, Getting Around, Setting Up Your Document, Working with Text/Tables/Charts/Shapes/Media, Arranging and Layering Objects, and Sharing Options), under which appear individual lessons (see at right).
A click on the Introduction will bring up the video screen, and a click on its arrow will start the talking picture with the author describing what I’m about to see. At the end, the viewer will provide a clickable opportunity to either advance forward or go back to the last lesson (you can also click on Complete Lesson so you know later what you’ve seen). There is also a pop-up bar that allows me to pause, scan to any point, change volume or expand to full-screen (this is highly recommended, along with a headset, in order to make the experience more immersive).
The male voice (Dan Wassink) is clear and easy to understand. His video illustrations and pace are well done and focused with interesting techniques that guide the educational points skillfully. The length of each lesson is comfortably conducted about about 4-7 minutes each, and its easy to go back to review particular points, if needed. And, if the phone rings in the middle, its easy to pause and continue when needed. My only suggestion would be to have an “auto-continue” button that would move from lesson to lesson without extra clicks. Even as a daily user of Pages, I still learned some new information I hadn’t previously known.
If I stop part way through, the online application will remember what percentage of the whole tutorial has been completed. I can mark the whole tutorial as complete, remove it, and review what I’ve previously completed, or those in which I’m currently enrolled. Noteboom tutorials are also accessible on Twitter, Facebook or Pinterest where really cool (interesting) information can also be found (like the origin of the clover-leaf "command" symbol).
There are a variety of ways to acquire a Noteboom membership. First, at noteboomtutorials.com, they have a free Introductory Membership that gains instant access to the first five lessons of every tutorial on the site. This membership does not expire and when anyone signs up, they don’t ask for any payment information. It’s a great way to check out Notebook tutorials before purchasing. You can join as a Premium Member for as little at $5.00 (up to $8.00) per month with monthly, quarterly, or annual billing (there is a 7-day guarantee, and the ability to cancel at any time).
Apple user group members also have a special 33% savings by going to noteboomtutorials.com/mug. This is a quality Apple software tutorial video service which I highly recommend. Beth Wassink (the other half of this terrific team) has also provided a great tour and some compelling samples at the bottom of this page. Learning really can be both economical and entertaining with the right products . . . and this is one of them!