Tag Archives: tips for teaching computer skills

Why Your Accounting Department Should Start Using Quickbooks

Why Your Accounting Department Should Start Using Quickbooks

People who have studied accounting understand the tedious and time-consuming effort needed to complete even a single financial statement. Not to mention the frustration of having to start over because of a single mistake, which can render an entire document useless. For businesses, using a robust and easy to use accounting software like QuickBooks is a great solution.

Why Your Accounting Department Should Start Using Quickbooks
Utilize Quickbooks to better manage the accounting in your business.

QuickBooks is the number one rated accounting software in the United States for a good reason. Here is a small selection of the reasons to start using QuickBooks:

  • QuickBooks can help accountants produce the same results in much less time compared to manual calculation. Better still, its speed means that new information can be incorporated into its financial statements as soon as it comes in, meaning that businesses will have up-to-date information for use in their decision-making processes at all times.
  • The chance of human error is reduced because QuickBooks can pull information straight from common business programs.
  • Considering the benefits of using QuickBooks, it is relatively inexpensive.
  • QuickBooks is scalable because it can continue providing businesses with the same benefits even as their operations expand and increase in number. At the same time, QuickBooks is versatile because it can be customized to meet the needs of organizations ranging from non-profits to retailers and manufacturers.
  • Given both the length of its existence and the number of its users, there can be no doubt that QuickBooks is reliable.
  • Learning to use QuickBooks is simple so as to minimize the disruption to businesses from switching over.

For more on QuickBooks, contact us at Labyrinth Learning.

Image Source: jannoon028 (freedigitalphotos)

computer literacy

Add Symbols With Alt Codes

At the most basic level, computer literacy means being able to navigate universally utilized software programs, such as the Microsoft Office Suite, knowing how to type in a reasonably quick manner (QWERTY style preferred!), and understanding how to use printers, scanners, and other basic computer accessories. Then there are the tricks that take your computer literacy to the next level; adding symbols with Alt codes is one example.

In a basic computer course, students learn to insert codes by using the editor feature of the program, scrolling to “insert” and then selecting the code they want to use. This is fine for the very occasional code, but what about the symbols you use on a regular basis? Perhaps you’re writing about a product that is trademarked™, you work with products or scenarios that are temperature specific°, or you incorporate foreign words that use accent symbols to enhance their pronunciación. In these cases, the Alt codes are your most efficient choices.

Keyboard short cuts
Source: Stock Exchange

To insert an Alt code (on Macs, use the Option key), you simply place the cursor where you want the symbol to appear, and then press Alt+Number Code. Voila! The symbol, or letter with an accent, will appear.

Here are some common examples:

  • Alt+0153 = ™
  • Alt+0162 = ¢
  • Alt+0169 = ©
  • Alt+0177 = ±
  • Alt+0225 = á
  • Alt+0233 = é
  • Alt+0237 = í
  • Alt+0243 = ó
  • Alt+0250 = ú
  • Alt+0241 = ñ

Visit Labyrinth Learning to review textbooks that will enhance your students’ computer literacy.

Advanced Excel Spreadsheet Functions You Need to Know

Every time students or employees take a course on Microsoft Excel 2013, they learn valuable skills that increase their efficiency. Some of these skills are simple, such as copying and transferring formulas from one spreadsheet to another. However, there are more advanced functions that make Excel even more valuable in the workplace.

Creating drop down lists. Using advanced spreadsheet functions, you can create a drop down list. Taking advantage of drop down lists limits the amount of entries that can be entered into a specific cell to a pre-determined list of entries, providing a higher level of quality control. It also saves time on data entry and prevents errors.

Source: Labyrinth Learning
Source: Labyrinth Learning

Conditional cell formatting
. We would wager most regular Excel users don’t know how to take advantage of this feature. Conditional formatting allows users to create specific formatting rules, depending on the information or data contained in the cell. For example, you may want number higher than 1000 to appear in bold, or negative dollar values to appear in red. Cells can have up to three different formatting conditions.

Goal Seek feature. Excel ‘s Goal Seek feature works in the opposite way of formulas. You enter the goal you are trying to attain, whether it be total retirement earnings, or determining what it would take to decrease your total business loan payments, Goal Seek will show you what’s required to get there.

Labyrinth Learning has a wide range of textbooks and learning tools to help your students and employees master introductory and advanced features in Microsoft Excel 2013.

The Hidden Benefits of LMS

Learning management systems (LMS) are becoming increasingly popular. From community college courses to corporate training programs, there are multiple benefits to using an LMS, including these 6 highlighted by the Training Zone:

  1. Comprehensive management. From email text reminders to full course management, a good learning management system takes a holistic approach, including sign-in sheets and certification.Labyrinth_learning
  2. Simple reports. Your reporting shouldn’t have to be complex. Whether it’s remembering upcoming certificate expiration dates or handling compliance issues, an LMS should be set up so simple, easy-to-access reports are delivered right to a manager’s inbox.
  3. Department training expenses. At a single glance, managers should be able to see which funds are being allocated to each department to better facilitate the training budget.
  4. Meet your regulatory requirements. Regulations and compliance continue to become ever more complicated. An LMS can help to eliminate human error. Even complex healthcare and financial industry regulations and compliance can be managed using a good LMS.
  5. Empower Employees. No need to schedule mass training sessions or a month of Saturdays to keep certifications, training, and compliance up-to-date. Your employees can navigate the LMS on their own clock in order to meet deadlines and keep their education and training current.
  6. Say goodbye to IT nightmares. A good LMS will be web-based or hosted by the LMS provider, meaning you can allocate costly IT management costs elsewhere.

Is your institution using a Learning Management System? Browse Labyrinth Learning’s selection of learning solutions that easily integrate with your LMS.

Senior man working on laptop computer

Computer Literacy Essential for Job Seekers

Senior man working on laptop computerMany adult students take classes to improve computer literacy in an effort to boost their resume power. What many job seekers don’t realize is that, in most cases, you have to be computer literate just to find or apply for jobs.

With so much hiring being done through computers these days, computers have become a necessity when seeking employment. New applicants must have the skills necessary to send and reply to emails, create cover letters, and craft professional resumes to wow their potential employers.

Computer literacy courses are a growing field of study and many people are flocking to these courses in hopes of gaining the right skills to find a better job. Begin your computer literacy course with a proven lesson plan and training program like those available at Labyrinth Learning.

You’ll find software and training books in basic computing to teach students how to effectively use programs in the Microsoft Office suite such as Word, Excel, Outlook, and PowerPoint, all of which are used on a day-to-day basis in businesses around the country.
Contact the professionals at Labyrinth Leaning to help you determine the right products for your new class today.

Image: shutterstock.com

Online Tools for Teachers

Are you beginning to feel like your attention to course management, such as creating assessments, analyzing student performance, and updating grade books, is taking away from the guy
thing you love best – teaching? Here at Labyrinth Learning we love teaching too, which is why we have spent the last two decades creating one-of-a-kind online tools for teachers. Shop our eLab products and experience the most innovative and engaging course management system (CMS) on the market.

Our textbooks are geared towards students at every level of computer and software literacy, and dozens of them are enabled to work with our eLab skills evaluation tool.

  • Hands-on assessments: Whether you choose to use our pre-built assessments or prefer to customize your own, you and your students will receive immediate feedback on their computer literacy, which materials need reinforcing, and how much students have improved their skills through the duration of the course. Individual and group progress can be analyzed in seconds.
  • Grade Books. Keeping track of grades has never been easier because our CMS does it for you. eLab CMS is a tool that complements our textbooks and provides automated grading and online training tools as a supplemental component for courses. (It is not an online course.) Students use their individual license keys and work online. All completed work and test scores will be deposited right into your grade book.
  • Communication. Students who need specialized help and training have a direct communication line with you, which keeps your teaching time relevant and on point.

For more information on how online tools for teachers will enhance your classroom experience, visit Labyrinth Learning and register to view our online catalog.

computer lab

How to Gauge Computer Skills

computer labAsking a student to assess his/her own computer literacy is virtually impossible. Yet teachers need a method to assess which online computer class is appropriate for students’ skill levels, how well they are assimilating new concepts, and how far they have advanced by the end of the course. Labyrinth Learning’s new computer literacy evaluation tool provides educators and institutions with that vital information.

Use Computer Literacy Testing for Accurate Assessments

The new eLab Skills Evaluation Tool (SET) is a fast, affordable, and accurate method for assessing students’ computer skills. Plus, the system prepares students for testing methods which may be used when they are ready to enter the career force.

  • Comprehensive questions. The literacy testing program provides students with a wide range of questions related to general and specific computer concepts. Teachers can use pre-fabricated tests or create their own.
  • Flexible testing methods. Do you prefer to test students before they enter your class? Would you rather use the test as a way to assess learning growth at the end of a course? Teachers can make the test available to students from virtually any online computer at a time that works for them. Reports are generated immediately so students and teachers receive instant accurate feedback.
  • Proven Platform. Labyrinth Learning has created innovative, engaging, and effective online learning tools for over two decades.

eLab’s SET will help you evaluate your students in order to connect them with the course that best fits their skill level. Contact Labyrinth Learning and ask how SET can benefit your classroom.

Image: Shutterstock.com

Instructing ESL Students on Computer Skills

Instructing ESL students requires extra special attention and the right curriculum. Immersed students pick up new vocabulary and language concepts easily when these concepts are presented using a variety of visual and interactive learning mediums. That’s why Labyrinth Learning’s Welcome to Computers for ESL Students, 3rd Edition, is such a wonderful teaching tool.

Instructing ESL Students with Welcome to Computers for ESL Students

Experts in the field of second language acquisition know exactly what works for ESL students: visuals, interactive materials which reinforce new concepts, multi-media presentations, and 1-59136-197-4_140x179interactive learning opportunities. By using multiple senses, ESL students are able to absorb new words and phrases with less effort. Labyrinth Learning utilizes the most forward thinking ESL instruction theory to develop multi-media based learning tools which will keep ESL students moving successfully through their coursework.

Effective ESL instruction elements include:

  • Step-by-step guided instruction at an intermediate CASAS reading level
  • Practical fill-in-the-blank exercises, opportunities for reflection, group learning activities, and more
  • Picture dictionaries and verb definitions
  • Real-life hands-on practice skill and conversation builders
  • Student workbook to reinforce new materials and supplement internet work
  • A work readiness skills website link, WebSims, online assessments and other internet-based learning resources
  • Instructor Support Materials both online and via DVD (registered instructors only)

Your ESL students will enjoy our courses designed especially for students to develop practical and employable computer skills. Contact Labyrinth Learning to learn more about how Welcome to Computers for ESL Students will take your ESL computer classes to the next level.

Online Learning Time Management: Staying on Track

Online learning is well-known as a rewarding, successful, and effective alternative for students who may otherwise have conflicting schedules with their professional and personal life, or who may be unable to commute.

The discipline needed to succeed in any academic setting is even more crucial when you’re learning online, though, despite the formal classroom space and unstructured hours. The secret to success in online learning is to build your establish good work habits so that you can easily to meet the goals of your online coursework.

Same place, same time.

Each day, act as if you had to commute to a classroom.Pick the same time each day that is convenient for you to check in, online, with your class. This will enable you to see if the instructor has changed anything on the syllabus, with that week’s assignment, or if there was any problem with what you recently submitted. Set aside a specific block of time for this work — schedule it on your online calendar with a reminder, if needed — and you’ll avoid wasting valuable time throughout the day constantly checking in to see if any of your peers responded to your classroom postings or what’s new. That time can be better spent reading necessary materials offline and completing your assignments. Block time for these tasks too, by the way.

Online learning can be a wonderful solution to the challenges of attending a typical brick-and-mortar academic environment present – as long as you manage your time online and offline.

Are you currently an online teacher or student? If so, we’re interested in your experience and would appreciate your feedback in the comments section below.

Image: ncc


Computer Keyboarding Tips (or a Refresher Course for Sloppy Typists)

typingSloppy typing has a huge impact on your speed, making you far less productive than you could be with good practice. It is easy to fall into bad habits over time without even being aware you are doing so. Following the computer keyboarding tips below will help you improve your skills to help you use your computer with ease.

  • While two-finger typing can be adequate for those who are not spending a lot of time at the computer, touch typing with all 10 fingers will increase your speed to levels you could never reach by omitting the other eight fingers. If your hands are not in the correct position, you will never learn to touch type properly and other computer keyboarding tips are redundant. A number of online typing tutorials can help you learn ten-finger typing.
  • Place the fingers of your left hand over the keys “A” to “F” while your right hand covers “J” to “;”. Your hands move only very slightly to enable your fingers to reach the nearest keys. Your right thumb is responsible for the space bar. After you have learned the correct movement, you will be able to type without ever looking at your hands.
  • The combination keys were created to save you time and make commands simpler to execute. For example, the “Shift” key when used in conjunction with letter keys provides the vital function of creating capital letters. When used along with the “Function” or “Ctrl” key, you are able to command you computer to execute yet more functions. Take a few minutes to learn some shortcuts you may not have been aware of previously, but only learn the ones you’re bound to use frequently; otherwise you’ll spend time looking up rarely used functions again and again.

Do you know of any additional typing tips? If so, share them in the comments section below.

Image: everystockphoto