Technological Adaptability: Growing Your Technical Skills

INSTRUCTORS:

Melonie McMichael
Senior Instructor, University of Colorado Colorado Springs and proprietor of the consulting firm Technodaptability

Technological Adaptability: Growing Your Technical Skills

9 August-13 September (Thursdays) | Asynchronous (Self-Paced)

Technological adaptability is the ability to learn technology quickly or deal with technological issues efficiently and with confidence. This course, designed for those who are somewhat comfortable with technology, will expand upon basic technical skills to provide a solid foundation for adaptability as a communicator continues to grow.

The course will include a review of sub-skills learned in Tech Adapt 1 while expanding those sub-skills. Using advanced Microsoft Word and PowerPoint as well as Adobe Creative Cloud products, participants will practice adaptability skills while creating portfolio-worthy documents. In the end, participants will be able to expand the skills section of their resumes while building skills for encountering any new technology.

The ideal participant for this workshop will be a student or a new communicator in the field who has a bit of technical knowledge. However, the course would be appropriate for anyone in our field that wants to brush up on their technical skills.

Session Descriptions

This week, we will review the basics of adaptability and will explore using a program to its maximum capacity. The exercise of the week will focus on advanced features in Microsoft Word while discussing common issues with long documents.

This week, we will review ways to find help while discussing how to work with a combination of programs. The exercise of the week uses PowerPoint and Audacity and will include a discussion of thinking outside the box when using technology.

This week, we will review terms and terminology while exploring how the organization and structure of software programs can help with adaptability. The exercise for the week will be creating a brochure in InDesign and will include a discussion of Adobe products as well as an overview of page layout programs.

This week, we will review transference while learning how to choose the right program for the job. Graphics in Illustrator will be the exercise of the week and will include a discussion of vector graphics.

This week, we will review troubleshooting skills while examining the best way to approach new versions. The exercise of the week will focus on Photoshop and will include a discussion of pixelated graphics.

This week, we will review technology verses software and a company’s logic while examining when to ask for outside help. Acrobat will be the exercise for the week and will include an introduction to the Portable Document Format.

Bio:

Having been in the field of technical communication for 25 years, Dr. Melonie McMichael has experience in both industry and academia. She worked as a technical communicator in Austin’s high-tech sector for over a decade, including multiple stints at AMD as well as contracting work for 3M and working as a lone writer for a small software company. She held multiple roles in the field that ranged from production through writing to print buying. In 2010, Melonie earned her PhD in Technical Communication and Rhetoric from Texas Tech University where she taught for five years. Since 2011, she has taught at the University of Colorado Colorado Springs in the Professional and Technical Writing emphasis. With over a decade’s worth of workplace experience and another decade teaching technical communication, she brings both scholarship and industry knowledge to the classroom.

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