Students who wish to learn Photoshop or Illustrator now have options better than conducting a desperate Google search for high quality Adobe tutorials.

With licenses borrowed from Weigle Information Commons, Penn students can now access Lynda.com, an online training website, from any location on any machine for one day at a time. Currently, only four licenses are available for remote access, and further development will depend on student feedback.

Since 2009, Weigle Information Commons has offered access to Lynda.com to PennCard holders on library-owned computers. It has been popular in providing tutorials for Photoshop, Excel, InDesign and C , among other programs, for publications, T-shirt design, video projects and animations.

“Lynda makes it possible for us to help students with advanced questions, and support self-paced study,” said Anu Vedantham, director of Weigle Information Commons. “Personally, I find the quality of Lynda videos to be excellent. They are fast-paced and efficient. I use them to prepare to teach my workshops.”

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“If a student is preparing for an internship or job that requires specific software, Lynda can be a helpful place to start learning,” she added.

By reserving a Lynda license in this pilot project from the Weigle Information Commons website, students will be able to access Lynda.com from their own laptops, similar to booking a data booth or group study room.

Their individual accounts will be linked to their Penn email addresses, saving video watching history, bookmarks and preferences for each student so that students can pick up their progress each time they log in to their accounts.

“Lynda videos are mobile friendly, and also platform and version specific. They cover a variety of topics — including surprising ones like public speaking and project management,” said Vedantham. “Recently they began profiling documentary filmmakers.”

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“Often, online tutorials are either outdated or not that great, so Lynda is great for students who want to learn a new computer-related skill whether for class or on their own,” said Brandon Krieger, Chair of the Student Technology Advisory Board.

Vedantham said that she had been invited in the spring to a meeting of the SAS Student Technology Advisory board, where one student asked if Lynda could be made available from student-owned laptops and accessed remotely. She followed up with someone at Lynda.com and learned that it’s a common practice for libraries to lend Lynda Pro licenses through a managed user system.

The pilot was started after discussion among Information System & Computing, the Office of Software Licensing and Penn Libraries.

“I would tell students that they should give it a try if they have any interest in learning something like Excel or Photoshop or any other specialized piece of software,” said Krieger, “especially now that you can access Lynda from anywhere.”

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