• How-To: Make the Best of Online Tutorials

    Read time (bolded)- 2 minutes

    Read time (comprehensive)- 8 minutes

    So you want to learn something new? Maybe learn how to play the guitar, crochet a sweater, or design web pages? Well, instead of attending college courses to that take time out of your already busy schedule, try using freely available (as in, no cost) resources on the web.

    With just one click, you can find a plethora of online tutorials and how-to websites that can teach you just about anything. This may surprise you, but the first go-to site for learning new things is YouTube.com. You might ask: but isn’t YouTube where people go to check out goofy videos of people falling on their faces? Not entirely – YouTube provides users a platform to share and post videos, and that includes learning/training tutorials. YouTube’s massive collection of training videos on nearly any topic should keep you busy for a while. Simply type in what you want to know or key phrases to narrow down your search in the search box. Presto! You’ve just figured how to tie a tie, or bake a wedding cake.

    For the more tech-savvy, Tutsplus.com is a great site to venture into. Tutsplus offers users software-specific tutorials on Adobe photoshop, Illustrator, Final Cut Pro, Reason, Logic and even audio recording software like Pro Tools 8. Tutsplus provides step-by-step processes for all things digital. The tutorials can be much like a web article with easy-to-follow key points highlighted and bulleted throughout. These articles often include photos and videos to help the learning process. Use the medium that helps you learn best.

    You could also do a plain old Google search, however that may not yield the result you want, and could bombard your search with things you don’t need or want to know. If you do use Google as your means of search, be specific in your key phrases. For example, if you want to find instructions on how to change your oil pan, don’t just search for “oil pan.” Instead, search for “how to change an oil pan in a 1998 Volkswagen Golf” – see how much more specific that is?

    Here’s a list of the most popular online tutorial sites:

    The best way to use these online tools is to choose the way you learn best. If you prefer to watch a video, watch the video straight through or at least long enough know whether the instructor knows what he or she is talking about. You want to be sure that the video you have chosen is the most effective for your learning speed, style, and hits all the points you want to know.

    Make sure you support the hard-working, knowledgable people who are making these videos! Like and leave comments for them if you found a particular tutorial helpful!

    Whatever you choose to learn and whichever site you choose to learn it from, just know there’s a free way to learn anything new. You have no excuse to sit in from of the television thinking, I’m so bored. Hit the net and learn something new…right now!


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