By Shawn Printy. Published April 25, 2011.

If you’re a faculty member at McKendree, you’ve probably heard of the e-Friday program. However, if you’re a student, you might not be too sure of what they are. According to IT director George Kriss, the e-Friday events are “28 minutes of training that doesn’t hurt.”

With technology advancing at a frantic pace, it’s difficult to keep up on all of the intricacies like home wireless, mobile devices, social media and networking, ‘cloud’ computing, and virus threats. The idea of the e-Friday program is to provide a quick, informational seminar that only takes less than half an hour out of a busy Friday.

The main goal of the e-Fridays is to get people’s basic tech competency up. For instance, Microsoft Word is such a big program. Most people will never use anything beyond the save, print, and font buttons, but there are a myriad of things that the program can do. Another important area of knowledge that is addressed is home computer care, such as teaching people to avoid viruses, scams, phishing, and other devious problems that inexperienced computer users can run into.

One of the recent programs was focused on cleaning out home desktops, which is essential to keeping your computer in good working order. Most people are hesitant to crack open their computer case and start messing around with all the wires, so an example desktop was brought in for a demonstration. Simple, hands on examples like this provide good learning opportunities for those who wouldn’t normally be so brave.

The program has been very successful so far, with an average of 25 people showing up, mostly faculty. Most of the material covered is geared towards older individuals who may not have grown up so immersed in computers as today’s generation, but e-Fridays are still open to students who would like to learn a few tips and tricks, or simply expand their knowledge about computers.

The e-Fridays are held every Friday at noon, in PAC 222, and despite being geared towards faculty, everyone is welcome (and encouraged) to attend.

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