The best part of buying a new tech gadget is that first hour after opening the box. Everything is sleek and shiny. Each feature has exciting possibilities. All you can think about are the many ways that your new device will make your life better. Then, the honeymoon phase is over, and you must realistically consider how this device fits into your average day. That part isn’t nearly as much fun, which is why many people end up using their new gadget as a very shiny, expensive paperweight.
So, how can the average user go new iPad owner to iPad master? Brett Burney, a legal and technical consultant, saw this as an opportunity to share his experience and help firms use technology more efficiently. He created "iPractice on an iPad," an online course focusing on using the iPad to its full potential in a legal environment. The course consists of short video ‘sections’, which are then grouped into Modules based on a specific topic (e.g. “Managing & Organizing Files”).
The videos sections are nicely edited and include graphics, diagrams, and tutorials of common operations in Burney's recommended apps. Each video also has a corresponding handout containing the key points of the video. These cheat-sheets made it much easier to retain the information in each video, which is helpful when the sections begin to build on prior knowledge.
Brett Burney clearly knows his audience well. He provides just enough information to ensure that viewers understand the reasoning behind his advice while keeping a quick pace to hold the viewer's interest. Important technical concepts are explained in detail, like what exactly it means to ‘store something in the cloud”. Burney highly recommends using cloud-based storage for legal documents and explains the security, ease-of-access, and productivity benefits associated with this choice.
During the course, Burney makes many recommendations about different platforms and tools to manage your documents, but he always provides several options. When discussing doc management and editing apps, he outlines six different options and then offers his personal preference. This gives him a lot of credibility – he’s done the research and considered the benefits and drawbacks of each solution, instead of just endorsing the program he knows best. This can make some of the tutorial sessions a bit on the long side (as each feature is shown in a few different programs), but at least it’s a comprehensive walkthrough. Overall, he covers what the tools can do, provides his insight into best practices, and leaves the final choice in the viewer's hands. This consultative approach allows one to ‘do it their way’ while still boosting their firm’s efficiency.
The later modules of the course move from the theory and into the practical use of these tools. During the ‘walkthrough’ sections, Burney displays the screen of his own tablet and demonstrates the key features of his recommended document management apps. Each new feature comes with a brief explanation of the real-world applications which brings the viewer to the main goal of the course: showing you time-saving, practical uses for your shiny new iPad.
Overall, the "iPractice on an iPad" course is thoroughly enjoyable, and it does provide many helpful tips for organizing files and improving efficiency. The easy-to-understand explanations of technical concepts, helpful tips for file organization, and clean presentation style made this a valuable experience.
For more info, Click to check out the "iPractice on an iPad" course or Brett Burney's consulting firm, Burney Consultants.
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