How many times have you been planning a training session and had a question about a particular program or piece of hardware? Or maybe you’ve been in the middle of training and one of your students raised an unusual—but important—question whose answer was a mystery. On those occasions, why not check out one of the most amazing repositories of facts and opinions on the Web—dejanews.com. As anybody who’s been to the site will attest, dejanews is a great place to find answers you won’t find anywhere else. And the best part? It’s absolutely free.
What’s in it for me?
For computer trainers, dejanews is the place to get the “word on the street,” or more appropriately, the “word on the Web.” You know, the “word on the Web is that application or that printer never has worked right.” Or, “word on the Web is that you have to jump through several hoops to get that video card working properly.”
You can get or post messages on the Web in individual discussion groups or usenet groups. However, dejanews helps you cut through the clutter by providing a search engine that locates threads from groups all over the Web. It’s kind of the Yahoo of discussion groups.
By browsing through the dejanews search results, you can find cool tips and tricks (or solutions to common problems) that you can use in your training sessions. For example, at the time of this writing, a dejanews search for wordperfect returned 4,680 matches originating from discussion groups all over the world. A search for canon returned 13,096 matches from the entire dejanews site. However, when I clicked through to the Computers & Tech section and searched for canon, I got a smaller list—4,294 matches—with the discussions limited primarily to computer topics.
Make it part of your training
Although dejanews is extremely well known among so-called serious computer users, you’ll probably find that a lot of your students haven’t heard of it. So, in addition to putting dejanews on your list of favorite sites, recommend it to your students—they’ll thank you for showing them the way.
If you’ve discovered a great site for technical information or training tips, please write and tell me about it. Follow this link to send me an e-mail.