Its good to be back, we started off strong and went off in the wrong direction. We opened an office in Bridgeport, CT but struggled with keeping our offices open, train and right blog post. So we decided to make some changes and we will focus more on our blogging and web and print tutorials rather than on the day to day struggles at our office.
So sorry for the delay and we will keep you posted!
It has been a while since I last posted. The reason behind the slow post has been work in the background. In 2013 Toro Media Group opened its first training school for Adobe software in Bridgeport CT. We handled a promotional video for The Veteran’s Art Foundation and we developed new logos for two new companies in NY and Atlanta, so we have been quite busy.
On the downside business has been slow at the school. Our goal while noble has not come to fruition. Bridgeport, CT is a city on the East Coast with its share of problems. In the past few years the city has seen a rise in crime, poverty and corruption in city government. The city is located in one of the wealthiest counties in the United States, Fairfield county but Bridgeport has not benefitted from its parental relationship despite being the most populated city in the state of CT. While only an hour away from NYC, its reputation is still stigmatize by poverty, high crime and corruption.
As a business we thought that this would be a great place to open a school and help the younger generation learn marketable skills that could propel them to bigger things and suitable employment in design and programming.
Currently we are still building on our business model and hope that we can persuade our young ones to get off the streets and learn marketable skills. While we do handle for profit jobs, the money made is poured into the school. We purchase ready made curriculums and all the instructors are trained and certified in the Adobe and Microsoft products.
The reality is that the resources needed far outweight the money that we get from our for profit projects. There is still the utility cost and the cost of books, paper and software that can be quite expensive and for that reason we thought it best to use older licensed copies of CS4 suite as the platform for design, also our computers are running the minimum requirements using XP. Truthfully that is not bad, the key is to learn the software and we have done a remarkable job of training children who have created nice pieces given the limitations of our facilities.
If you interested in helping or would like to donate computers and software, or even your time, please contact Eric Toro at (347) 931-7300 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Below is a snapshot of our training facility.
Take care and keep in touch.
Today’s learning is far different than when I went to school but I like the instant access the web has given us today for learning and grasping new technologies. With that in mind there are now a number of websites that you can sign up on and learn programming languages or even take business courses. These new ways can even be a factor in developing a skilled workforce from within your organization.
The following ones are great for entrepreneurs, business owners, front and back office personnel:
- Udemy – They provide online learning for a number of different things from the arts to the humanities and everything in between. As far as learning is concerned it seems to be the most well-rounded set of offerings available on the web to date for continuous learners and it includes both paid and free courses.
- Udacity – Mostly programming courses, very structured and intense, this site is currently offering a very limited set of courses but very intense and definitely for those who want or yearn higher level learning, not just the standard web development stuff, comes with homework and quizzes.
- Gurushare – You can learn some of the older school technology here, like Crystal Reports XI and FreeMind, two programs that I use for business but it lacks many of the new applications and while I like it personally, I am not sure that it can sustain itself amidst all the other platforms for learning that are being develop and that are supported by stronger and younger communities.
These are great for learners of all ages and literacy levels:
- Khan Academy – This is the grand daddy of the learning sites, Khan Academy site has one of the strongest communities available, it is free and the video lessons are used by brick and mortar schools all over the country. Lessons can be viewed on YouTube and iTunes alike and they can also be downloaded for later viewing using a Bit Torrent client. Their official Bit Torrent client is utorrent which can be downloaded for free (Check for system requirements, but as of this post, only available for windows). Mostly used by schools but math and knowledge of concepts will benefit you, no matter where you find yourself.
- GCFLearnFree – This is probably one of the oldest ones on the web and probably still one of the most well-rounded ones in the whole bunch. The Goodwill Community Foundation, has one mission and that is to make people employable, so I give this site thumbs-up for their mission statement and the combination of text/images and videos makes this one of the most user friendly sites for all ages as well as for most literacy levels available. This site also includes learning social media and can be viewed on mobile devices as well.
There are many other learning sites out there, some are worth a look others are not. Google or use the Bing search engine to seek out free learning sites and take a look at the different ones available, many follow similar styles of training others are almost nothing but text and images.
There are plenty of paid sites available which do offer good training but before you make the investment in time or money, check out the free ones first. What I learn is that online learning while good does not work for everyone, but before you make a monetary investment try it out for free first and that way you can determine if this type of learning works out best for you.
Keep in mind that if you are an employer, this could be a viable option for your employees. Many have laptops and can easily access these during their lunch hour. You can also set up rooms where after work they can logged in and take courses to increase their productivity, increase their skill levels and help them to qualify for higher paying positions within your organization.
About a year ago I started a self-hosted WordPress site for my firm. The problem was that most of the books that I got were not very intuitive. I would fumble through the WordPress Documentation which in itself was written well but in a plain vanilla way. So it made retaining information hard since there was a lack of visuals and footnotes for references. Then came Head First WordPress which was a great book for a guy like me a business marketer/graphic designer who does not have a lot of experience working with CMS (Content Management Systems) or Blogging Software.
Head First WordPress is designed to help you learn concepts and ideas fast and shows you visually what you need to do. The book designed is intentional because the layout is designed to stimulate your mind into learning new concepts and retaining them as well. I enjoyed the book because as you see in my blog I was able to implement many of the concepts that I learned into my blog. In fact this book is my WordPress Bible.
I would recommend this book for business people, creative people for anybody that really needs to learn WordPress easy and yet not be bored in learning a technical subject. I like the book because it was easy to grasp and it made learning fun especially with the visuals which helps reinforce certain concepts that you need to understand when it comes to stylesheets and other HTML markup language. As a business marketer it just makes my job that much easier, as a graphic designer with a coding background, I am glad that I do not have to labor over code like I use to some years back. So if you need a good WordPress book, I say get the Head First WordPress from O’Reilly and learn how to be a WordPress rockstar!
The Head First Series is published and distributed by O’Reilly Media.