ITS Training Services wants to make sure Penn State students have plenty of opportunities to learn technologies that can help them be successful in their coursework and beyond.

  • Training on commonly used technologies
  • Provided by a professional technology trainer
  • Fits into student course schedules

Technology is often thought of as a tool that inherently improves efficiency and productivity, but the truth is technology only functions as well as a person’s ability to use it. Chris Lucas, director of ITS Training Services, wants to make sure Penn State students have plenty of opportunities to learn technologies that can help them be successful in their coursework and beyond.

One of the ways the ITS training unit is trying to make this possible is by sending technology training experts into academic courses to provide instruction on commonly used technologies. This service is called Training on Demand, and, according to Lucas, is designed to help relieve faculty of the burden of having to be experts in every technology their students will need to use.

The training, which is provided upon request by a faculty member or instructor, typically consists of an overview of a software application that can fit into one or two class sessions, depending on the need. “We have many repeat users of this service,” said Lucas, “and they seem to be very happy with it.”

Ken Yednock, senior lecturer, advertising/public relations, said, “I have been most pleased with the ITS trainer who helped with my classes on Photoshop and InDesign. It is great to have this resource available for our students and to enhance our class experiences.”

Not only does learning about these technologies help students in their course work at Penn State, but it also prepares them for the future by providing skills they will be able to use in their careers after graduating.

“People might assume that students are naturally technology savvy because they grew up with technology. They’re known as the ‘Millennial’ Generation. But even though they’re using cell phones and Facebook, we can’t assume they know how to use tools like Excel or PowerPoint or even Photoshop—tools they might need to use in their future careers,” said Lucas.

John Beale, senior lecturer in the College of Communications said, “Training on Demand has offered my freshmen students an excellent introduction to the Blogs at Penn State. Scheduling a session is convenient and the students appreciate the hands-on approach of the trainer.”

While additional learning options exist for Penn State students, such as free video tutorials through online training provider lynda.com, Lucas said, “The goal of the Training on Demand service is to provide students with another option for learning the technology skills needed to successfully complete their course work. They [students] also have the opportunity to ask the trainer specific questions related to using the technologies in the Penn State environment,” he said.

Training on Demand is available at no cost to Penn State faculty and instructors upon request. Details, request guidelines, and a list of available topics are available at http://its.psu.edu/training/ondemand/. After reviewing the guidelines, begin the request process by contacting the ITS Training Services training coordinator at 814-863-9522 or ITSTraining@psu.edu.

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