The ways to learn have changed/evolved over recent years and as a result of the current situation this is likely to have a bigger effect – the options for learning, therefore, need to be increased. A lot of people now want to learn Excel at/from home.

People like me, aged 40+, we’ve been through a lot of change over the years. We’ve seen technology change drastically over a short period of time. When I went to school there were no mobile phones, no personal computers/laptops/tablets, a floppy disc was literally floppy until they encased it in the plastic cases we’re more used to seeing (there are some nowadays who will say “what’s a floppy disc?”) the save button on MS Office – that’s what a floppy disc looked like…

I got my first computer in early 2000 after I’d finished working abroad, it was a bulky CRT monitor and a tower with a dial-up modem that meant my parents couldn’t use the house phone whilst I was on the internet, I was limited to maybe an hour at a time for that reason, oh how things have changed…

I remember signing up to do the CLAIT qualification in the late 1990s which meant getting myself to college a couple of days a week to sit in a classroom and learn. Early in 2000 I signed up to do a Certificate in Computer Applications and then I went on to do the Diploma in Computer Applications – these were City & Guilds qualifications and meant going to an IT suite as such where you could book your time/computer before attending. There were people of all ages attending and quite often I would be sat next to someone who could use a little bit of help, we usually had to put our hand up for the next available floor walking tutor to help, so I would help where I could.

Nowadays people can do long-distance training where they log in to an application/system and do their work there, more often than not it’s virtual and you never meet your ‘tutor’. I’ve done a couple of qualifications this way now. Learning from home is the way forward.

Things have changed still…You can now learn pretty much anything from watching some of the many videos available on YouTube or specific websites, I learned some of my coding skills this way.

Everything is available at the touch of a button, TVs, lights and heating all have smart technology to talk through the internet and can be managed through your phone – I remember having just 4 TV channels to watch and that was it, plus we only had one TV in the house, we thought we’d won the pools when Channel 5 came out and we got cable TV in the living room…

People’s lives have gotten busier, gone are the days when they would sign up for an evening class and head out the door for a few hours to sit in a classroom-type environment, people want to learn but want to do it their way, at a time that suits them. With all the technology available and the speed at which it can be accessed, it makes sense to adjust the ways people can learn new skills yet again.


This is something I’ve considered for a long time, I mean yes it’s something I would look at doing myself if I wanted to learn something new. Sometimes for those of us that are shy, being in a classroom can be daunting. I was always the quiet one who was afraid to put my hand up to answer a question as it would mean raising my voice so everyone could hear, and then if I got the answer wrong I’d feel silly and embarrassed and I would wilt into the corner making a mental note not to put myself on the spot again. No one should feel like that and it shouldn’t stop you from learning….

When I decided my strengths are in Excel and IT I thought ok, how can I deliver a training course or workshop that caters for everyone? Why offer just one way of learning and leave it set in stone with no flexibility? Life nowadays is all about flexibility. So I created my first ever workshop on budgeting/money management and delivered it to a small group of women setting up in business, a few people had cancelled coming to the workshop so it was smaller than expected. This was great for me as I never really considered myself over clever when it came to Excel but all of a sudden people had questions and I had the answers to give them.

It built my confidence and also made me realise that there are a lot of people out there that don’t have the skills that I pretty much take for granted. 

I wanted to deliver another training session but I also wanted to think outside the box a little bit, people had cancelled the previous workshop because life got in the way. So I decided I would create shorter 30-minute sessions of my workshops and I would deliver these via webinar at various times and days. This meant I could cater to most people, those that had young children and only had evenings free, those that wanted to learn whilst the children were at school but didn’t want to leave the house and those that are out working full-time during the day and many more scenarios.

I didn’t want anyone feeling silly asking questions and feeling like they should know more than they did, so I set up a FREE 30-minute webinar, showing people the Excel ribbon, pointing out what most of the tabs did, where they’d find the most commonly used functions and also what they did.

My first session of this went really well and I got some great feedback – they could hear everything I said clearly, they could see where my mouse cursor was going and the best bit was they felt they’d learned something new, understood Excel a little better and they didn’t even have to leave home to do it… All of this was like music to my ears, finally, I felt like I’d created something that people could get on board with.

Now all my training is delivered as digital downloads, so you can learn Excel from home – it’s available 24/7 when you need it, so no more waiting for the right week or time…


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