Distance learning with e-careers

I recently bought a Groupon voucher for a company called e-Careers.  The deal cost me £79 and included training material for the Microsoft 70-680 course and several CompTIA courses.  At that price, I was very keen to snap up the deal.  However, it hasn’t exactly been plain sailing thus far…

I was told it would take 3 days for them to set me up with an account.  Fair enough, I’m sure this was a very popular deal so I obliged them.  3 days pass and sure enough I receive an email confirming account creation.  Eager to get learning, I signed in and opened up my account.  In true geek form, I was very excited to see what materials I was to be presented with.  The course without discount costs near to £1000 so I was confident I was on to something a kin to Trainsignal or CBT Nuggets…Oh how wrong I was…

For those who aren’t aware of Trainsignal or CBT Nuggets, they basically offer video driven learning content with the ability to follow along with tutorials via virtual machine.  Naturally I started with the 70-680 course as I am currently studying towards this particular Certificate.  I was pretty disappointed when the window finally opened and I was presented with a monotone speaking American with no personality, giving a Powerpoint driven presentation.  I find it almost impossible to learn anything this way as I have a short attention span.  This went on for several videos, in fact in the 3 hours of video content I did watch, I saw only 3 demonstrations.  Needless to say, I was delighted I hadn’t paid full price for this course.

OK, so the course material is of a poor standard, but what of the other features?

The course comes with a glossary based memory game where you match a glossary item with its definition.  You play against a computer of either beginner or expert skill level.  This was actually not so bad for the first game or so, as I was able to test my knowledge of things in an interactive way.  Maybe things were looking up…maybe not.

I had a look at some of the other additional content, like a printable version of the course content – basically a textpad version of the ppt narration.  All in all, a pretty disappointing experience.

Moving on from course content, I had a look at the exam papers.  Equally disappointing.  Questions that don’t make sense.  Questions with wrongly marked answers.  Questions that are far more complex than the learning material, basically one of the worst exam sims I have ever sampled…

I guess what I am trying to convey is that if something sounds too good to be true, it generally is.  I say generally rather than indefinitely because sometimes you do come across some gems.  Check out Professor Messer for example.  Video driven learning content containing some powerpoint slides but mainly made up of live demonstrations.  When it comes down to learning an OS, nothing beats hands on experience, and having someone show you exactly how to do something after teaching you the theory is pricesless.  And did I mention all of this is yours for FREE?

Check it out:

Professor Messer…

Finally got myself a smart phone, hello 2008!

Well, as much as it pains me to say I just got myself my very first smart phone. After holding out for so long, I finally decided that it was something I needed to do! I decided upon the Samsung Galaxy S II, a very nice piece of equipment. I’ve only had it for a week so i’m still getting used to all of the interesting new features I can use my phone for.

I was a bit hesitant when getting an Android phone as my mp3 player, Creative Zen Touch 2, was somewhat lacking. However, the Galaxy is everything the Zen touch wasn’t. I couldn’t be happier with it and highly recommend it to anyone considering buying themselves a smart phone. for a full review, check out the below site: