Online Strategies - Onsite training to help people use the Internet more efficiently and effectively.
   What's Special                 

Course content is developed based on the experience levels of the audience. Courses are designed to be effective even when attendees in the same course have a wide range of levels of Internet experience.

Length of Courses: The length of courses is determined by the client’s needs. Most Online Strategies courses are presented as either a half-day or full-day course, depending upon the amount of detail and content desired and whether the course is presented in “hands-on” (computer lab) format or in lecture/demo format.
Format: Because of the enhanced learning potential, a “hands-on” (computer lab) format is recommended for all courses. It is recognized, however, that this is not always possible, and each course can be presented in a lecture/demo format as well.
Supporting Materials: For all courses, attendees are provided with a detailed booklet and also a Web page including links for all sites covered.


CUSTOMIZED COURSES

The majority of courses given by Online Strategies are designed “from scratch”, based on an assessment of client needs, covering specific topics selected by the client, and designed to accommodate the particular needs, backgrounds, and experience levels of the attendees.


PRE-DESIGNED (BUT MODIFIABLE) COURSES

The following are some of the courses offered by Online Strategies. Even these courses, however, would typically be “customized” for the specific client. Individual parts of each of the following courses might be considered as “modules” that can be selected, deleted, or modified to meet your training needs. Click on the name of the course for a description.

Google to the Fullest New!
Alerts: Tools and Techniques for Automated Delivery of What’s New on the Web  New!
People on the Web: What's There About Them and How to Get to It. New!
Searching Google Earth New!
Alternative Search Engines

Web 2.0 - A User's Guide
Internet for Beginners
Using the Internet Effectively
OSINT on the Internet: Exploiting Internet Resources for Open Source Intelligence
Working Smarter on the Internet
Getting the Most from Search Engines: Advanced Internet Research
Beyond Google: Why You Need to know About Other Search Engines
News on the Internet
Navigating The Multi-Media, Multi-Format Web
Using the Internet to Help Understand Countries and Cultures
Making Use of Discussion Groups, Blogs, Podcasts, and Similar Internet Resources
Conquering Online Information Overload:
          Personal Information Management Techniques and Resources
Training the Internet Trainer


 

Google to the Fullest  New!

The vast majority of Google users, even researchers who use Google professionally, do not take full advantage of Google’s research potential. This course is intended to provide attendees with the knowledge and experience to much more fully utilize Google’s full research potential.

This course will look in depth at Google as a search tool - for both generalized “webpage” search” and specialized content and topics (images, video, blogs, etc.), with emphasis on “academic” and professional research applications. Throughout, attention will be paid to Google’s potential for personalizing the tools. It will also examine associated tools provided by Google that may have incidental but occasional use by researchers as a means of improving their efficiency and productivity. These latter tools will be covered rather briefly, but with enough depth so that attendees will be at least aware of the tool and its general functions and potential applicability.

A large portion of this course will be “hands-on”, with attendees exploring and experimenting with the tools that are being covered at that point in the course. In addition, there will be frequent “exercises” where attendees will be given a specific recommended exercise aimed at their becoming acquainted with specific aspects of what was just covered.

Alerts: Tools and Techniques for Automated Delivery of What’s New on the Web

In the 21st Century, there is no excuse for not knowing “what’s happening”. This hands-on course explores the many tools and methods available for monitoring and keeping up-to-date on what is happening with regard to news, events, research, issues, etc. As well as alerts and RSS feeds purposely created by websites, the course will closely examine website monitoring software that allows one to be immediately notified when any specific website or webpage changes. Tools and resources will be examined in terms of their content, coverage, features, ease-of-use, and delivery methods, and in the context of the individual, specialized needs of each attendee. Emphasis will be placed on choosing the right tools for filtering content in order to attain the appropriate balance between exhaustivity and precision.

People on the Web: What's There About Them and How to Get to It.

The Web is a tremendous resource for quickly finding both basic, typical, information about people and also for finding more obscure, esoteric, and sometimes surprising information. It examines special techniques of use in general search engines such as Google, and a variety of other resources, including social networking and other “Deep Web" sites. It also addresses tools specifically designed for research on people, including “people search engines” such as Pipl. ZabaSearch, Spokeo and others. The half-day course covers sources for easily finding people in the news (including “local” newspapers), biographical databases, resource guides for people searching, and public records sources, both those that are free and where to go if you are willing to pay.(This can also be taught as a full-day course with hands-on included.)

Searching Google Earth    New!

Besides just fascinating images, Google Earth contains extensive associated subject content that is useful in the research context. However, it’s not necessarily easy to find. After a quick overview of the range of useful content on Google Earth (from content provided directly by Google and its affiliates, to the Google Earth Community, to the public at large), this presentation will examine the ways to easily get to what you need, including using the search and browse options pre-embedded in Google Earth, filetype searching in Google for KML and KMZ files, searching the Google Community website and blogs.

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Alternative Search Engines, Alternative Content    New!

As all information professionals know, research does not equate to Google. Not only are there alternative general search engines beyond Google (and beyond Yahoo! and Ask and Live), there is an abundance of specialized search engines for specialized content. These can be used to search for images, videos, blogs, forums, podcasts, people, and a variety of user-generated content. Your results can be categorized, clustered, or displayed graphically. There are huge search opportunities on the web – not just webpages and not just Google. Come find out about the alternatives that await you (often with exotic names such as Omgili, Cuil, Blinkx, Silobreaker, Zuula, and Quintura).

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Web 2.0: A Users’ Guide    

It is time to separate out the hype regarding “Web 2.0” and get down to “What is it really”? and “What can it do for me?” After a brief look at the technical side, including the terminology, etc., this workshop focuses on what Web 2.0 is really about, “ the user,” and looks at the central facets of Web 2.0, including participation, publication, social software, sharing, “the Web as platform,” and more. It is filled with examples of Web 2.0 in action, including some things you may already be using but just didn’t realize it, plus things you should be planning to use, as well as a look at where Web 2.0 is headed. Attendees will be introduced to how even non-programmers can actually create such things as "mashups".

Internet for Beginners

This course is designed for those who have no, or only the slightest, experience with the Internet. It covers basic terminology, understanding how to use a browser effectively, and how to move around within sites and between sites. It also provides a quick introduction to how to locate sites of interest, including the basics of using search engines, such as Google. Attendees will be introduced to two dozen or more sites that are either ones every Internet user should know about or are representative of the variety of Internet resources available. The only prerequisite is the ability to use a keyboard and mouse.

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Using the Internet Effectively

This course emphasizes the variety of useful content available on the Internet and the techniques and strategies for effectively and efficiently finding answers there. Topics covered include reference sites, Web directories and resource guides, search engines, research strategies, news, and audio/video searching. Techniques and sources for finding news and information on companies, people, and countries is included. Attendees will leave the course with a much better understanding of what is on the Internet and how to easily and quickly get to that information. Depending upon your particular needs, this course can also include a very basic introductory segment for those with very little (or no) Internet experience.

OSINT on the Internet: Exploiting Internet Resources for Open Source Intelligence

This workshop will bring attendees up-to-date on the current capabilities of Internet search engines and other Internet tools and resources that are vital in the OSINT context. Particularly in search engines, there is constant change and enhancements. This course will provide a practical look at the current features and content of these tools, with emphasis on what is new and techniques for efficiently and effectively exploiting these resources. In addition to the general "Web page" search capabilities of the search engines, the course will cover developments in news searching (including free alerting services, and newer channels such as weblogs, RSS feeds, and Podcasts), image searching, audio and video searching, and searching of discussion groups. Web search visualization tools and the range of other OSINT-related resources will also be addressed.
(Click here to see the webpage for this course.)

Working Smarter on the Internet

Working Smarter on the Internet consists of a number of modules that can be included or excluded according to your particular situation and needs. These modules include:

The Web Research Strategies
Web Research Tools I - Directories, Portals,
Resource Guides
Web Research Tools II - Search Engines
News Resources on the Internet
Searching for Images and Other Media
Searching for Information on People
Accessing The "Invisible Web"
Creating a Personal Web Page
Getting Information from Internet
Newsgroups and Mailing Lists
Language Issues and the Internet
Issues for Internet Users (Copyright, Privacy, Security, etc.)
Keeping Up-to-Date on Internet Resources and Tools


Getting the Most from Search Engines: Advanced Internet Research

Search engines are powerful tools that provide access to an amazing array of useful material now on the Web ---So why don't you always find what you need? It's because search engines vary considerably in capabilities, content, and quality of retrieval. This workshop will focus on what you need to know about search engines in order to use them most effectively to achieve the results they need. To better understand why you get vastly different results from different engines, the course will briefly examine how engines work. Search features will be covered and the major engines will be profiled and compared. The utility of meta-search engines, and why you should not get too excited about them, will also be examined. Attendees should leave this workshop with increased confidence that they are getting the most from these valuable tools.                                                   

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Beyond Google: Why You Need to Know About Other Search Engines

Though Google may seem to have "cornered the market" for many search engine users, for the professional who does more than just casual research, knowing about, and using, other search engines is essential. This workshop will cover why this is so, and what things in particular about other search engines need to be known.

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News on the Internet

Without a doubt, one of the richest categories of Internet resources is "News". The richness, though, also provides a challenge in terms of understanding and sorting out the kinds of resources for different purposes and different contexts. This workshop will look at how to locate and most efficiently use the range of news resources and services, including: newspapers, radio and TV websites, audio and video news, news wires, magazines, journals, news aggregation and search services,Weblogs, podcasts, RSS feeds, free alerting services, news tickers, etc. If what appears in the news, or has appeared in the news is relevant to your work, you should find this workshop extremely helpful.

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Navigating The Multi-Media, Multi-Format Web

Among current Web trends, one of the most significant and exciting is the growing importance, quantity, and searchability of non-HTML content. This includes video, audio, and images, plus a number of other non-HTML formats such as RSS/XML and other file types. This course will explore the importance, availability, and searchability of such content and provides attendees with skills, techniques and tricks for most effectively accessing it. Attendees will also gain an understanding of the increasing role of RSS, speech recognition, and other technologies in providing extensive metadata, searchable transcripts, improved relevance, and other valuable features that can accompany these resources.

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Using the Internet to Help Understand Countries and Cultures

The aim of this course is to provide awareness of, and facility in using, the broad range of resources on the Internet that are of use in understanding the background, cultures, traditions, daily life, and issues for any particular country. Attendees will examine: tools such as country guides and encyclopedias that provide general background; media sites such as newspapers and radio stations for local news and opinions; language tools such as dictionaries and translation sites (and their limitations); and discussion groups for gathering perspectives and opinions. Attendees will learn how to locate sites that provide, for any county, valuable information on cultures, traditions, religions, politics, economics, the arts, history, the military, cuisine, etc. Internet resources will be examined that will be helpful in performing professional duties and also those that can help make daily life easier and enjoyable.

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Making Use of Discussion Groups, Blogs, Podcasts, and Similar Internet Resources

Discussion groups ("Groups," "newsgroups," "mailing lists," "forums," etc.) and related “interactive” and “personal” websites are a very valuable resource in a variety of contexts, especially for "keeping an ear to the ground" regarding what people in any place are saying about almost any topic. Content of these groups ranges from scholarly exchanges on politics, economics, terrorism, etc., to less scholarly comments. To mine these resources without wasting time, however, is a challenge. This course will look at ways you can most efficiently and effectively find what is relevant and valuable, and often essential.

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Conquering Online Information Overload:
Personal Information Management Techniques and Resources

Between the daily deluge of email, the wealth of Internet resources, and the ringing telephone, even well-organized professionals usually have an information overload problem. This workshop will identify and help you break some bad information habits and learn some new good ones for dealing with the amount and variety of information that comes at you through your computer. It will identify some software resources and Internet techniques that will enable you to easily filter out information you don't need, identify and organize the things you do need to know, locate them again when you need them, and in general do your job more efficiently, effectively, and with less stress.

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Training the Internet Trainer

The workshop is designed for those who are involved in training others to make effective use the Internet. The objective of the session is to enhance expertise in planning and presenting Internet training sessions and programs. Starting with overviews of training basics such as adult learning characteristics, presentation skills and techniques, etc. it moves to how those can be best applied when teaching the Internet. Topics covered include: adult learning characteristics and modes, presentation skills, designing Internet training programs, developing objectives, selecting content/structure/format, equipment/facilities requirements, producing effective instructional materials, troubleshooting, and evaluating programs. Promoting and marketing Internet training programs will be also be addressed.

Examples of some other courses that have been presented by Online Strategies:

  • Finding Quick Answers to Basic Questions

  • Utilization of Internet Tools and Resourses for Open Source Intelligence

  • The Invisible Web: Finding Things Search Engines Won't Find

  • The Internet in the Classroom

  • Using the Web for Reference

  • Business Resources on the Web

  • Statistics on The Web:What is There and How to Get to It

  • Competitive Intelligence on the Web

  • Using the Web for Economics and Social Sciences Research

  • Pharmaceutical Resources on the Web

  • Using the Web for Executive Search

  • Using the  Web for Recruiting

  • Development Research on the Web

Examples of Course Web Pages:

Open Source Intelligence      Using the Web for Reference     News on the Internet   The Multimedia Web

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