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What’s New in Connections

Author: Ken Charvoz/Monday, March 24, 2014/Categories: Course updates

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We are excited about the many updates we made to the curriculum in 2013. Some of our goals were:
  • Produce content for mobile devices
  • Update the most popular courses while eliminating duplication
  • Offer more short courses
  • Provide content in modules that can be offered either as standalone or mix and match courses.

Social media

Facebook 1 and 2 were revised, but prepare for a new look for the desktop browser version (some of you may already have it.) It’s coming… whenever Facebook decides to roll it out everywhere. Lots of changes on the pages side have hit business and organization pages pretty hard.

Facebook 2 has its own set of downloadable pictures for use by students. This new photo collection includes images sized for the Facebook profile header.

Twitter hasn’t been a popular course and is out of date. The old course will remain available for now, but will be moved to the Archive section of the Downloads page.

Mobile devices

 
iPad courses are proving to be extremely popular with classes filling up as soon as they are announced. The IOS 6 versions will remain on the Downloads page, but industry statistics show that users are adopting IOS 7 in historically rapid fashion.
 
New: Android Tablet Essentials is now available. The course focuses on the Nexus (made by Google) with the current Jelly Bean OS. 
 
Beginner’s Guide to the Cloud and Skype are also now available. iPhone for IOS 7 is in process.

Job related courses

The Complete Job Search - this course was completely updated with expert help from Michelle Simon, Employment/Career Specialist from Pima County Public Library n Tucson. This course is packed full of great career information. It is a shorter course than the old version, but focuses solely on the job search process.

Resumes and Cover Letters is a new course replacing Your Resume. This is a section taken from the updated The Complete Job Search. Resumes and cover letters go together like Coke and Snickers bars, and now they do in this short course.

General interest courses

Buying and Selling on eBay - a brand new version is available that focuses equally on both buying and selling – including using eBay as a business platform.

General computing and Windows

Windows 8.1 is available on the Downloads page! This course focuses on the new Metro UI part of 8.1.

The new Introduction to Computers is completely rewritten for Windows 7 and Office 2010. There are lots of new skill sets included.

Meet the Computer is brand new and replaces both the old course and Getting Acquainted with the Computer.

Safety First: Privacy and Security Online has been updated to include far more information on phishing, identity theft, secure URLs, and job scams.

Going Wireless: How to Use Wi-Fi got an update to reflect some new technologies and correct some inaccurate information.

Introduction to Email replaced the old Keeping Your Email Organized to reflect both the complete update to the course, and the fact that Introduction to Email is a comprehensive course that covers far more than organization. It features Gmail, but the processes are similar with all the popular email providers.

Spanish translations

The following Connections titles are now available in Spanish.

  • The Complete Job Search
  • Facebook 1 and 2
  • Windows 8.1
  • Meet the Computer
  • iPad 1 and 2

Industry news

Microsoft is already beginning to talk about Windows 9. Windows 8 turned out to have issues with performance and customer acceptance. It might be that Windows 8 is just something that those with options skip and wait for the next version.

Android is already working on the next version, called Kit Kat. I’m pretty down with that since it is on my top 3 list for fave candy bars.

Facebook is still rolling out the new desktop look to users. It’ll look and feel much more like the mobile versions you might be used to on your phone or tablet.

Plans for 2014

We are continuing to focus on emerging trends and the adoption of mobile devices, Chromebooks and mobile apps to support healthy living.

 

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Ken Charvoz
Ken Charvoz

Ken Charvoz

Ken is an accidental geek on (at least) his 5th career. Ken has written dozens of manuals and how-to’s as a blogger and the Managing Technology Editor for The OASIS Institute. Follow Ken on Twitter at @KenCharvoz Other posts by Ken Charvoz
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