Saturday, May 11, 2013

Free Tech Resource of the Year: GCF LearnFree.org

Each year I like to think back on the best tech resources I have used and promoted.  Some years I can pick out a single favorite. Other years it is more difficult to narrow it down.  This year, there is a clear-cut winner. Judging by the wide-eyed and opened-mouth looks I get when showing this resource for the first time, there are many out there who have never heard of GCF Learnfree.org (http://www.gcflearnfree.org/) but I hope that by promoting it here, even more people will become aware of it. 

Where to begin.  I like to start by showing the "All Topics" page.  I'll admit.  I've always loved to overwhelm people at first, and the "All Topics" page is overwhelming.  But it shows that Learnfree.org has more than just computer/tech topics.  Over 250 free video tutorials posted on/from YouTube, and over 750 free lessons on a multitude of technology programs, including the entire Microsoft Office suite, Google Apps and Apple devices training.  Even a course called Facebook 101. 

The Money section alone is worthwhile in helping people to better manage their money and catch up on basics that they may have never learned in school.  That is why I like to refer to GCF LearnFree as a catch-up site (ketchup?).  Virtually anything you always wanted to learn (in some depth, too) but were afraid to ask your friends, this site has it...for free.  Career skills like resume writing are covered, and you can use the site to help brush up on your math skills. 

Learn (or re-learn) Microsoft Excel (various versions from 2002-2013), and you can even learn it from the convenience of multiple mobile apps.  At last count, there were seven different mobile apps to help you learn topics like Microsoft Access 2010 (which we probably all need a bit of help with), Word, Excel, PowerPoint, even Publisher 2010, as well as Vocabulary and Math.  The Publisher 2010 mobile app, for instance, has a download for Android, iBook and Kindle Fire.  The Excel app works on the iPad, Android, iPhone and Kindle Fire. 

How do we get all of this great, free online content?  GCFLearnFree.org is a program of Goodwill Industries of Eastern North Carolina, Inc., and all of their content is designed and produced in the GCF Global learning building in downtown Raleigh, North Carolina.

As you can see from the links provided above, this site is a one-stop learning buffet.  Check it out soon, and start learning through any of the various formats they have on the site: lessons, video tutorials, online courses, and stop by their blog for more great tips.

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