Ten ways to get free online training


Date: 22 November 2010

This is a guest post from HP Business Answers. Check out our website, blog and Twitter feed. If you have a business IT question, why not ask our IT Agony Aunt for an expert answer? Training is a smart way to increase your productivity. However, training budgets are often the first thing you cut when times get tough. So, how can you use technology to reduce the cost of training or even get it free? Here are some tips.

  1. Free training from manufacturers. HP’s Online Learning Center has hundreds of free classes that are available to everyone, whether an HP customer or not. They include tutorials on PC security and maintenance, classes in online PR and using business applications.
  2. University courses. Apple’s iTunes University gives you free access to 350,000 films, videos and lectures from some of the world’s greatest institutions.
  3. Online teachers. Skype is a great tool for free internet phone and video conferencing. They have a directory of advice and service providers, including tutors and language teachers.
  4. Web conferencing. If you want to run training courses yourself, online webinars can be a way to reach people in different offices or people who are working from home, cutting the cost of room hire and travel. Check out my review of web, video and phone conferencing tools.
  5. LIFE City. HP sponsors LIFE, the Learning Initiative for Entrepreneurs. It contains interactive business simulations and other engaging tools for learning new business skills.
  6. Free language training. Have a look at LiveMocha, which gives you access to free online training courses and links you up with native speakers of your chosen language so you can practice.
  7. YouTube. If you need help with something practical, why not look on YouTube? The video site has thousands of how-to videos, such as how to defragment your hard drive in Windows 7.
  8. eBooks. There are free eBooks, guides and other documents on sites such as Issuu and Scribd. Also, check out my free eBook: 30 Days to Better Business Writing.
  9. Blogs. Sometimes a daylong training course is good. Sometimes a drip-feed of new ideas and insights is better. Sites like IT Donut and HP’s Business Answers (and its blog) can be helpful.
  10. Software companies. Don’t overlook the information in your software helpfiles and on manufacturers’ websites. For example, Microsoft has a big library of online training tools.

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