Internet Training - Logistics

Russ Portrait

As you plan for my Internet training session, here are some details that must be worked out:

Scheduling the training. I work with several clients simultaneously who are always in various stages of scheduling classes. After my major clients have planned their year of training, I essentially commit my remaining dates on a "first come, first served" basis.  If some of my available dates look like a match for your schedule, you need to let me know, so I can put your name on that date. Otherwise, another client might request the same date. To contact me, my office number is 703-729-1757. Since I will probably be out teaching, you will get my voicemail - go ahead and leave a message. If you use email (russ@navigators.com), be sure to put "internet training" in the email's subject, so I have a chance to notice your email in my inbox. Once we have emailed a couple of times, I usually create an email filter that should automatically move your email into a "client folder" in my email program, where I will notice all your emails regardless of the email's subject.  

Training Style. Lecture/demo vs. Hands-on. All of my courses can be taught in a lecture/demo mode. In this style, I would be online, and my computer screen would be projected onto a large screen for all to see. I have taught audiences as large as 400, and I can easily provide a fast-paced, informative session that will make a lasting impact on your audience. If you have a very large amount of people to train, this is a way to get them all up to speed in a quick and economical manner.   

The Hidden Universes course can be taught either as a lecture/demo or in a hands-on mode. With the hands-on course, Hidden Universes becomes 2-days or 3-days  long, to provide time for the students to try each search technique. The class size would be limited based on your classroom setup with internet-connected computers. The choice of training style usually comes down to: total size of the audience, training facility capabilities, and budget constraints. With either training style, my courses are often rated as "the best" training session the student has ever had.

Training location. If your organization has no training facilities, I can locate and rent a suitable classroom/conference space near your location. If your organization plans to host the training in your own facility, here are the typical requirements to resolve:

  1. Hands-on Course - This method can only be used for Hidden Universes. Each student workstation would need internet access and a web browser. Adobe acrobat reader is also useful. The Instructor workstation would need the same capabilities as the student workstations, and also PowerPoint to display the course handouts.

  2. Lecture mode using your supplied computer and your Internet connection. This method could be used for Hidden Universes. Your computer would need to include: internet access, web browser, PowerPoint, adobe acrobat reader

  3. Lecture mode using my laptops connected to my Internet provider. Two of my courses must be taught using my own laptops (Cyber Security and Privacy, Tuning in the Internet's Communications Channels.) For these two classes, I have often connected to the Internet using dial-up. The training location would have to provide an analog phone line which is also known as POTS. The phone line can not be a digital phone line, as that would "fry" a laptop/modem within seconds. An analog phone line is usually the kind of line that a fax machine would use. You will need to talk to the telecom staff for your building, and confirm with them that we will be needing an analog phone line for use with a laptop's modem. I do travel with a 100 Foot length of phone line, which I have used to reach into adjacent rooms. I will need to be able to dial an outside local phone number for my own ISP. My ISP has phone numbers in almost every city in the world. This combination of my laptop and analog phone line can also be used to teach Hidden Universes in lecture mode. Instead of an analog phone line, I can also connect my laptop to my cell phone via USB cable, and use my phone's broadband data capabilities. This assumes the training location allows personal cell phones, and receives a strong Verizon signal. For training in other countries, I have also purchased broadband USB thumb drives from local telecom companies.

  4. Lecture mode using my laptop on your high-speed connection. My laptops are equipped with Ethernet ports, and wifi can be enabled. Most work environments do not permit guest laptops to join onto the local network, but this option may be appropriate for a hotel venue, or if you have a "stand-alone" network approved for guests.

Internet Filters: If we will be using your internet connection, you need to confirm if there are any kind of filters (such as Websense) that limit our surfing during the class. I have encountered some internet connections that were so heavily filtered we were unable to see a wide variety of websites. For example, in the hands-on Hidden Universes class, each student picks their own research topic. Topics could include a wide variety of topics related to the student's work. Some students' work is too sensitive for the classroom connection, so they might choose a hobby. We will also search for forums and blogs dedicated to the student's topics. If there are filters, it would be useful if most restrictions were temporarily removed with the exception of the pornography filter. 

Internet Usage Policies: If your organization has Internet usage policies, it would be helpful if I knew the details of such policies. I do not want to give students conflicting advice, and I can help reinforce your Internet usage policies during the class.

Display Screen: For each training scenario above, my instructor's workstation needs to be projected onto a big screen. I find that LCD or DLP projectors work best, projected onto a large screen, or even onto a white wall. The instructor's workstation only needs a modest screen resolution (e.g.1024x768) to provide a legible image to students. I know some organizations have purchased flat screen TVs, but I find they just don't have enough size for the details of a web page to be viewed at any kind of a distance in a classroom. Projectors really are the way to go.

Handouts.  My presentation handout will be available electronically for you to download/print and copy for each attendee. Most course handouts are about 70 pages of PowerPoint slides. The printouts can be 1 or 2 slides per page. If you prefere, I can print the handouts at a local fedex/kinkos for an additional cost ( about $5/handout in black and white, and $25/handout in color)

Getting to the Classroom:  I usually need the following details.  
 - Building address, directions, and room number for the training.  Please include a gate number if needed. 
 - A local point of contact and phone numbers. 
 - Visitor badge procedures. 
 - If I am bringing my own laptops, property passes if required.

Details about the room layout - I admit the following information may be specific, but you would be surprised at some of the training environments I have encountered.

  1. The Instructor computer, and I, both need to be in the front of the room, near the presentation screen. I have encountered some auditorium set-ups where the computer is in the back of the room, and the presenter would be on the stage with just the podium and a wireless mouse. This set-up would work fine for just flipping PowerPoint slides, but I will be live on the internet, typing, clicking on links, switching screens, etc. There is no way a wireless mouse, or a presentation "helper" would be able to support the rapid pace I like to keep.

  2. A chair - I do spend most of my presentation time standing, motioning to the screen, reaching out to the audience, etc. I often go two or three days in a row, standing the entire eight hours, since many auditoriums have just a podium on the stage with no chair. However, IF you do have a podium-height chair available, I will occasionally use it, and it will be much appreciated.

  3. Lighting - Some conference rooms were not designed with training in mind. See if you can turn off some of the lights that are shining (glaring) onto the presentation screen.  At some locations, we have climbed  up and removed the fluorescent bulbs that were completely washing-out the presentation screen.  Room windows and presentation screens usually do not mix well. If the room has windows, blinds are quite useful to eliminate the glare on the screen.

  4. Temperature - People generate heat (100 watts/person). The LCD projector generates a lot of heat. If you are planning an 8-hour lecture session for 30 people... try to reserve the conference room that holds 50 people (not 30 people). 

Timing of the training. Most clients run the classes from 8am to 4 pm. However the class can occur at whatever time matches your employee's schedules. I have taught classes at midnight, and on weekends.

I can also adjust the timing of the class to meet your requirements. For example, suppose you have 100 employees that need to take a 1-day class. There are several scenarios to train them:
- 100 students in an auditorium. Everyone is trained at the same time.
- 20 students  in a conference room or classroom (x 5 full days). This helps the organization that does not want to "lose" all 100 employees at the same time into a single class. I know it can be a challenge to send a large percentage of employees to the same class, when the "work" of the office must continue.
In both of these scenarios... each employee has to dedicate an entire day for taking the class. But suppose the employees have other daily commitments?
I could split the "1-day class" into smaller "segments" For example, split a 1-day class into 5 equal segments and schedule it as follows:
 - Day 1 = "segment #1" taught  repeatedly:  8:00-9:20, 9:30-10:50, 11:00-12:20, 1:00-2:20, 2:30-3:50
 - Day 2 = "segment #2" taught  repeatedly:  8:00-9:20, 9:30-10:50, 11:00-12:20, 1:00-2:20, 2:30-3:50
 - etc. etc.
Students could sign-up for the time slot that fits with their schedule that particular day. I could then teach the five segments on either five consecutive days, or over the span of several weeks (1 day/week or 1 day/month). The employees eventually receive a full day's worth of training, but only lose a small amount of time each day or week or month. This solves the classic problem of employees who are "too busy" or "too important" to dedicate a full day to training.

Segments also enable you to make the course whatever length of time is really required. Why should a course have to be exactly "1 day" or "2 days" long? Maybe the course needs to be only 4.5 hours long (delivered in 3 segments). Even very short courses can be delivered this way. For example, suppose the security awareness group wanted just my "persona issues"  topic to be taught to everyone with an Internet connection. Rather than students having to take my entire 1-day Security & Privacy course, I could teach just the "persona issues" topic repeatedly throughout an entire day. If your 100 employees happen to work in 50 different locations in 15 time zones, I can also deliver the course segments via a computer-based format for local viewing.  


Russ Haynal -  Internet Instructor and Speaker

Contact me at 703-729-1757 or  Russ 'at' navigators.com  
If you use email (russ@navigators.com), be sure to put "internet training" in the email's subject, so I have a chance to notice your email in my inbox. Once we have emailed a couple of times, I usually create an email filter that should automatically move your email into a "client folder" in my email program, where I will notice all your emails regardless of the email's subject.  
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