As many businesses move to a work-from-home (WFH) model during these uncertain times, deficiencies in technological literacy across teams are being revealed. From video conferencing to VPNs, remote servers and Slack message threads, the world of WFH may seem like a wild west to some.
Technological literacy is often defined as the ability to retrieve, assess, manage and communicate information in an effective, appropriate, responsible and creative manner. In a world where information is king and technology is ever-changing, becoming and staying technologically literate is an essential function to navigating life today.
Here are five ways to improve your technological literacy, and learn a few new skills along the way, all from the comfort of your couch or “home office”:
Actually learn Excel
Many of us may know the basics of Excel. But this unassuming tool is quite the powerhouse among the Microsoft Office product suite. Excel allows you to collect, track, manage and visualize data and information in a variety of ways. Impress everyone from clients to senior leadership by brushing up on the basics and learning a few advanced maneuvers. LinkedIn Learning offers a variety of options for refining your skills as do many free resources like YouTube and the Microsoft website.
Google like a pro
There exist a variety of tips and hacks that make finding and retrieving information from search engines easier. From the common (use quotation marks to search an exact word or phrase) to the more obscure (use the “~” symbol to return search results that use a synonym to one of the words in a phrase), you’ll become more efficient just by taking a few moments to learn these shortcuts. CNET and HubSpot offer a few tips to get you started.
Get to know the Google-verse
Google offers a variety of product and services useful for professionals across industries. Armed with just a Gmail address and password, users can access much of the Google-verse with only one login. Google Drive offers multiple products packaged within a cloud-based storage system, including Google Docs, Sheets, Slides and Forms. Many marketers are already familiar with Google Analytics, but may be less familiar with Google Tag Manager, Data Studio and Surveys.
Face your fears: learn to code
Read, read, read
The easiest way to improve your technological literacy is to simply read. Technology publications like CNET, TechCrunch and Engadget post valuable content about the latest and greatest in tech. Marketing professionals will love these news sites for the frequent updates on social media platforms, like algorithm changes and new features. For more longform writing and to better understand technology’s many roles and implications in our world, publications like Wired, The New York Times and The Atlantic have you covered.