Ed Tech with Buzz Garwood: Why I Love Lynda (lynda.com review)

Written by Buzz Garwood

Here’s our Buzz Garwood’s review of Lynda.com, a serious contender in the video realm of educational technology. Buzz loves Lynda. Let him count the reasons why. And Lynda’s no spring chicken, either.

aNewDomain.net — You hear a lot about Khan Academy and other high-profile online education startups, but my heart lies with Lynda.com.

Lynda is no spring chicken. Lynda.com has been steadily growing its membership base for the last 17 years. It’s a formula that just works: Hire industry professionals who really know how to teach. As teachers like me know, the results are great.

Now, thanks to $103 million in new financing, Lynda.com plans to invest internationally and increase its already-large-content library with 400 new courses this year. They will also be granting stock options to employees — ownership is a great way to attract top talent — and they will be promoting their own brand through TV and radio commercials.

The Berklee College of Music, Princeton and Yale are among several higher education institutions I know about that already incorporate Lynda.com‘s tutorials into their curriculae. K-12 educators are finding many uses for this learning platform, too.

As for me, I first discovered Lynda.com a few years ago when I was learning HTML. This last year I used Lynda.com to supplement my own technology electives at the middle school where I teach. Lynda.com is the best teacher’s aid I’ve ever had.

Any time I have a few minutes to invest, I can refresh my own skills or learn something new. This is great for kids of all ages.

In the classroom, Joey might need help retouching a photo. Joachin seeks help designing a website. Breanna wants to record a song. Katie needs to create a spreadsheet. Javier wants to animate 3D graphics.

With a Lynda.com membership, I just queue up the appropriate lesson and immediately, my classroom is transformed.

Some educators are starting to flip their classrooms. That term — flip the classroom — refers to when teachers assign video instruction for the class period or for homework. This is opposed to lecturing for the entire period or assigning some other rote activity.

In a scenario like this, kids get freed up class time to ask questions about the videos they saw. They also get more time to practice their newly-acquired skills during class. Lynda.com‘s videos are a great complement to this new instructional model.

Check out this video, below. About 10 percent of Lynda’s material is available on YouTube. The video below was just uploaded today — it explains how to better understand user experience. (UX design as in what you need when you are creating a website. Like this one.)

Video source: Lynda.com YouTube Channel

In sum, I just love the heck out of Lynda. Instruction is concise. Each tutorial series is so well-planned.The detail and thought that goes into producing each video is apparent. From the onscreen slides to the words spoken by the instructor, each lesson is a well-crafted production.

I have no complaints about Lynda. Maybe that makes it more of an infatuation than love, but it’s being going on for a long time, and here’s why.

I love Lynda.com’s structure, especially. Its producers break each video down into bite-sized segments. Each segment varies in length depending on the depth and complexity of each topic. So you can learn in small doses if you want to.

Lynda.com keeps track of each member’s progress, another thing I love about it. You easily pick up where you left off without having to remember where you were in the series. The tab labeled My Courses shows a gray bar with a percentage to indicate how much is left in the course.

On Lynda.com, content is age-appropriate and suitable for kids in a real world school setting. Although YouTube and other video-sharing websites have some good content available, it’s usually hit-and-miss, especially when it comes to quality and the narrator’s word choice. Lynda.com is sterling in this regard.

And then there’s pricing. Pricing plans are available for individual, business, education and government institutions. Whether you’re a person that wants to pay month to month or you’re in charge of a school that wants to offer videos to everyone on campus, there is a solution for everyone here. What is not to love?

I also love that project files are available in Lynda.com. Any file the instructors use in their lessons are available for download. Learners are able to practice right along with the instructor in a teacher do-student do manner.

Best of all, as a teacher I get the distinct and all too unusual positive vibe that Lynda.com actually respects teachers as instructors — industry professionals who teach.

That shows. Lynda chooses experts in their respective fields who are also skilled teachers. This combination makes for an unbeatable and engaging learning experience.

I recommend Lynda.com as a great supplement to any educational program. Speaking as a middle school teacher, I’ve used content from Lynda.com with students as young as 12 years old with great success. Speaking as a software reviewer, I can tell you there’s a ton of bang for the buck here. The more skilled a person is the more employment opportunities will arise. Lynda.com offers a solid education that would cost thousands if taken at some four-year institutions.

Now that Lynda.com is growing with funding, and its content library is getting ever more enormous, there are more videos every week.

As I write this, Lynda.com boasts 1,908 courses in their online library. That’s over 99,055 video tutorials. That’s what I mean by bang for the buck.

And that’s why I love Lynda. Lynda.com, that is.

For aNewDomain.net ed tech, I’m Buzz Garwood. I’ll be back.