Should I rely on the supplier of my laptop to teach me how to use it?

Wednesday, April 29th, 2009 | laptops

The extent to which you should rely on the supplier of your laptop for training depends on two things:

  • the nature of the supplier
  • the package that you purchased.

Some suppliers may have programmes in place where they provide basic training to teachers obtaining laptops from them.  When you purchase your laptop, you must enquire about the availability of training opportunities.

Many vendors are mere box-droppers; they sell you a computer and once you’ve taken the box and they have their money that is the end of the transaction.  In all fairness to these dealers, they do not profess to be more than computer sales outlets.  This is something that you have to keep in mind when you select a laptop dealer.

Hardware vendors usually know their product range very well, and even if they don’t provide formal training, they are a good source of information if you have any hardware – and even software – related questions.

Where training is provided, be aware of the fact that it would be generic training – it would probably not be geared towards teachers.  If you make use of such training, you may want to supplement it with some training that will show you how you, as a teacher, can use your laptop in the best way.

Choose a reputable dealer to supply your laptop.  That does not necessarily mean you must stick to the big, established companies.  There are many smaller ones who are giving excellent service.  In fact, you are more likely to get some training thrown into the bargain from a smaller outfit.  But be careful of the fly-by-night establishments, those vendors who suddenly appear from nowhere and make grand promises.  First check their references.  Ask around.  Get some feedback from other teachers before you select a dealer.

Should you rely solely on the supplier of your laptop to teach you how to use your machine?  No.  The dealer may make a contribution, but should not be viewed as your primary source of training.

Click here to find answers to more laptop related questions.

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1 Comment to Should I rely on the supplier of my laptop to teach me how to use it?

Brent Jones
Wednesday, 29 April, 2009

My experience in the USA is that you can expect very little training from vendors. However, you should insist on good support for technical problems.

Training can come from many sources and depends quite a bit on the learner. Some prefer classes, others one-to-one tutoring. Books are sometimes helpful and websites are quickly replacing print. Many users are like me; we prefer to simply dive in and try using things. I do admit that this works best for someone who likes technology and is unafraid of mistakes and works alone.

Don’t be afraid to try different ways to learn to use your laptop. But I would be surprised to see sellers of laptops providing very much training. Their profits are very slim now compared to 1981 when IBM first sold computers for $5000.

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