AN OVERVIEW OF COMPUTER COURSES JUNE, JULY & AUGUST

originally published in the 2013 Summer Issue

Because of the difficulty of drilling down into online calendars for schedules, Learning Curves has just picked one course area to survey this year: computers. For an overview of other course offerings go to our web site www.learning-curves.ca and look for the Summer 2012 issue, also the 2011 and 2010 one. Or go to our www.learning-curves.org click on Metro Toronto Neighbourhoods on the home page, then Studying in the summer. For distance education look under Where to Study on the home page for Distance Education Online.


It is important to scan last year’s summer issue and/or the articles referenced as there is a wide variety of courses other than computer courses. You will get an idea of what is available, and then you can phone or use the internet to find out what is being offered this summer.


We are constantly in need of upgrading our computer skills. Sometimes I think lifelong learning means taking computer courses for life.


Centennial College

416-289-5207


Centennial publishes schedules in their calendars. So by scanning it is easy to see they offer courses in week long Boot Camps; over eight Sundays or Saturdays; a full weekend, and some weeknights starting in June and July. Thank you Centennial.


Week long Boot Camps offer A+ plus July 8-12 and CCNA July 15-26. All day for eight Sundays in a row you can take basics in Micro-Soft applications. Then on weeknights you can do Word Advanced from July 3 to August 14th on Wednesdays, and similarly Excel Advanced on Thursdays and Access Advanced on Tuesdays.


Then to keep up to date with the newest, they offer these eight Sunday courses: Installing and Configuring Share Point, Share Point Administration 2 and so on starting July 7. For Sunday courses, there is also Developing Mobile Applications for Mobile Devices, and Testing Strategies.


Then there are weekend long courses in specialized areas like Network Security June 1-2,: Forensics July 13-14; Threats and Attacks June 8-9, Authentication June 15-16; Monitoring and Intrusion Detection July 6-7; Content Filtering, June 22-23. So by investing several weekends you can become the “go to” person at your company for Network Security There are also weekend courses in Unix/Linux Specializations in June such as Unix- Linux Operation for users June 1-2, Unix Systems Administration June 15-16; Unix-Linux Security June 22-23: Unix-Linux Installation July 6-7: Unix Shell Scripts June 8-9: Working with Linux Graphical User Interfaces July 13-14. By investing several weekends you might get a better job at a bigger company as a Unix-Linux system specialist.


Quality Assurance


On Saturdays for seven weeks in Software Quality Assurance and Testing, you can do Writing Testable Requirements July 6- Aug 17: Managing the Testing Process July 6- August 17, and Software Testing Automation Tools and Best Practices July 6-Aug 17. On Sundays in Mobile Apps Development and Testing there is Developing Mobile Applications for Mobile Devices, July 7-Aug 18; and Testing Strategies for Mobile Applications July 7- August 18th.


Auto Cad


For the techies there are courses in Auto Cad Module 1 starting July 3, Wednesdays, Module 2 starting July 2, Tuesdays, and Module 3 starting July 4 on Thursdays. Inventory Fundamentals Level 1 is offered starting July 2, Tuesdays: Level 2 starting July 3, Wednesdays, and Level 3 July 5 on Fridays.


Sheridan College

905- 845-9430


Similarly Sheridan publishes schedules. Be sure to call the Dean and thank her. They offer full weekend courses Sat/ Sun in Adobe Photoshop Fundamentals, June 15-16, and August 10-11; Photoshop for Digital Photography August 17-18h; Adobe Acrobat Pro Fundamentals June 22-23; Adobe Pro Premier Fundamentals, July 6-7; Adobe Dreamweaver Fundamentals July13-14: Adobe Flash Fundamentals July 20-21; Mobile WebSite Development Aug. 24-25.


They offer one day Saturday workshops in Excel Macros and VBA Level 1, July 20; then Level 2, Aug 10; then Level 3, August 17th.


For the techies there is Auto Cad Level 1 courses with 4 starts in July: a Tues/ Thurs. option for 10 session starting July 2 or 16th. There is a full day Saturday one on July 6 or July 2. Then there is Auto Cad Level 2, Mon/Wednesdays starting July 8 and a full day Saturday July 6 and Auto Cad Level 3, Tues/Thurs. starting July9.


Durham College


Durham’s summer offerings are largely through distance education. See section on Distance Education in 2012 Summer issue. . They do publish Schedules. Let the Dean know you appreciate this


George Brown College

416- 415-5000 Ext 2013


George Brown has stopped publishing schedules but they do put numerous highlighted boxes throughout the calendar titled Question about the following? Call etc. So I called. Like all front-line information people, J. was very helpful. So we would recommend calling the department numbers listed and asking. This is what I learned from J.


Office Applications.


In office applications there is Microsoft Word course starting June 12: Excel (Macros and VBA) 1 starting June 22 and Excel (Macros and VBA) 11 Data Analysis starting July 13 and Excel ( Macros and VBA) 111 Form Function starting July 27 ; Micro Software Access 11 starting Jul 13, Web Page 1 XHTML starting July 2: Web Page 111 CSS starting July 3; Microsoft Excel1 starting July 8 and the same night Microsoft Excel 11. There is something called SEO and Web Analytics starting July 8.


For those of us who are computer challenged there is Computer Literacy and Windows starting July 13.


For the photographers there is Digital Photography1 starting July 4 and July 8; Digital Photography 11 starting July 8 and Digital Photography 111 July 4. Know the basics then there is the Power of Light, starting July 6: Landscape, Wildlife and Travel Photo staring July 3 and a Sunday section staring July 7; Wedding Photography starting July 2: Adobe Photoshop Lightroom starting July 4 For Humber College and Seneca College you will have to do an internet search.


Toronto District School Board

416-338-4111


Good News! The Toronto District School Board is offering General Interest Courses in the evenings during their July term. Previously they were mostly offered in the daytime.


Evening courses are offered at Burhamthorpe, Central Technical School and Scarborough Centre for Alternative Studies. Overland Learning Centre still has day courses Northview Heights and Central Tech also have some day courses. You can go to www.learn4life.ca to see other courses or pick up a calendar at the libraries.


TDSB summer computer courses are 4 weeks long, the classes small 12-15. the topics elementary, the price under $100.


For the basics, try: Computer Applications for Everyday Life; Computer Skills for Workplace Proficiency: Upgrading: Servicing, Repairing; Internet and E-Mail; Microsoft Office Beginner; Microsoft Word/Excel Beginner; Photoshop-Beginner; Top Networking Websites, Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin; Web Design-Beginner.


For moving on from the basics try: Adobe Illustrator/Photoshop; Digital Music: Mastering Playlists; Digital Photo Album; InDesign; Microsoft Office Intermediate; Web Design Intermediate.


Universities


Using the class schedule bulletin for the G. Raymond Chang School of Continuing Education, at Ryerson University, are some professional level computer courses under Computer Science such as Data Structures, Introduction to Software Engineering, Computer Networks1 and Introduction to Python all starting June 24, then there is Mathematical Modelling Introduction to MATLAB on June 5.


Career Colleges


Career Colleges run year-round, and have continuous intake. Many offer computer classes like those advertised in the issue. Access Business College. Business and Technical Institute and Durham Business and Computer College. For others go to Ontario Association of Career Colleges web site. www.oacc.on.ca


Community Programs


Community programs like Skills for Change or Working Women run year round and have continuous intake. For others go to www.211Toronto.org Select Employment, Education and Training, then select Vocational Training. 

Learning in the Summer 2013- Learners speak up now to get Schedule Overviews

Summer is not a down time for learning. Since 2010, Learning Curves has compiled a Learning in the Summer overview for our readers so they know that summer does not have to be a down time for Learning. You can find these back issues on www.learning-curves.org.


But every year doing this has gotten harder. Many of the colleges have stopped publishing schedules, that is, the date, the day of the week, and the time of day. Seneca has stopped publishing a course calendar altogether—going completely online. Although many start dates are in May, some have start dates in June, July and even August. So seeing the schedules for the spring term would be helpful. For these start dates, there are not as many courses so you have to scan the schedules to identify them.


Scanning versus Drilling Down


Adults like to flip through a print calendar looking for courses that fit into their busy lives: a night they don’t have to work or have easy access to a baby sitter, a start date that doesn’t conflict with a year end or seasonal busy times or their kids’ activity schedules. Printed schedules are a big help in this search.


Drilling down in a website from the program area, to a course title, then to the schedule, to then find it is not offered at a convenient time or day or start date, then coming back up and drilling down again until you find a convenient course is too much like your work day—online all the time—and time-consuming.


The colleges put the schedules online because they want to save print costs; also the information online can be kept up to date and accurate though there are promotional costs in driving adults to your web site. Seneca bought billboards all over Toronto to do just that when they went to an online calendar only. Moreover, if not maintained, websites can be just as out of date as print material.


A Schedule Scanning Model


There is a better way to publicize summer courses. The G. Raymond Chang School of Continuing Education at first went to a totally online calendar. Front line staff and students complained. We assume sales dropped as people gave up trying to find courses on the website. So now they publish a Class Schedule Bulletin that lists only course titles with their schedules. If you want a course description, you can go online where you get more up to date information. Printing costs are reasonable and the students get a printed schedule to scan.


Readers, if you want schedules printed, let the school know. Ask to speak to the Dean of Continuing Education, or the Program Head, the ones who make the decisions about calendars and budgets. Don’t complain to the front line staff. If the schedule is published call those deans and program heads and thank them.

Toronto, Canada