We have 100 teachers upgrading to Office 2007 and no budget for training – typical in education. I’ve been searching for free training resources on the web and have come up with lots of paid options or sketchy free options with lots of advertisement, until I stumbled upon GCFLearnFree.org.

GCF Learn Free is supported by the Goodwill Community Foundation, Inc. (GCF®) whose mission is “to create and provide education, employment, and life enrichment opportunities for people who desire to improve the quality of their lives”.

On the way to Comic-Con 2007 (layover in Phoen...
GCFLearnFree.org exists to serve the educational part of the GCF mission. They have created some of the best online learning programs, including videos and printable materials,  I’ve found anywhere – paid or free!  They offer two delivery methods – online self-paced or instructor-assisted self-paced that you can receive a Certificate of Completion or clock hours upon completion.   I tried out several videos for software I’ve been using for about 2 years now and found lots of great new information.  I’m going to take the time to complete several of their certificated classes for my own personal satisfaction and in case I decide to reenter the job market.
They note that over 700,000 learners from around the world have taken advantage of their free learning opportunities. Here are some of their testimonials.  They also offer a fun interactive map to see how far-reaching our program is today!

Is it really free?  YES! All they ask is that if you’ve benefited from their programs and you’re able to do so, that you make a tax-deductible donation to the GCF Community Foundation which funds the site.  Visit their donation page on Entango to make a secure contribution.  You do need a free account with them to access all of the classes but it also keeps track of what you’ve completed as well.

In addition to computer training, CCF Learn Free offers the following:

Everyday Life

Interactive lessons give you the opportunity to experience these daily challenges without real-world consequences:

  • FOOD: Measure, Mix, Bake, Grill Safety, Food Labels, Label Practice, Microwave
  • MONEY:  ATM, Deposit, Cash Back, Pay Debit, Vending Machine, Count Change, Stamp Values
  • WORK:  Time Sheet, Classifieds, Job Application
  • SHOPPING:  Grocery List, Check Your Receipt, Prescription, Grocery Shelves, Compare Labels
  • MAPS, PLANS & SCHEDULES:  Fire Plan, Bus Map, Subway Map, Count Pills, Phone Numbers, Time Practice, Telling Time
  • BILLS AND BUDGETING: Pay Bills, Tax Documents
  • HIV/AIDS interactive workbook

Math & Money

Having trouble with basic math, calculating percentages, or using fractions? There’s great info here about savings, interest, and credit as well.

  • Math Basics
  • Money Basics
  • 2008 Tax Credits

Compter Classes – The Basics (self-paced)

  • Computer Basics
  • Windows – 98, XP
  • Internet Basics
  • Email Basics
  • Internet Safety
  • Mozilla Firefox
  • Facebook 101

Using Office Software (self-paced)

  • Word – 2000, 2002, 2003, 2007
  • Excel – 2000, 2002, 2003, 2007
  • PowerPoint – 2000, 2002, 2003, 2007
  • Access – 2000, 2002, 2003, 2007
  • Office – 2000, 2002, 2003
  • OpenOffice.org – Writer, Calc, Impress
  • Outlook 2003
  • Publisher 2003

Exploring Life

Make the most of your professional and financial life with the new Work & Career Section <!–

Connect with GCF Learn Free online:  Twitter, Facebook, Blog (lots of interview assistance here)

  • Microsoft Office Add-ins Manager (ghacks.net)
  • Download Microsoft Office 2007 Service Pack 2 (labnol.org)
  • Office 2010 Screenshots Preview What’s to Come [Beta Beat] (lifehacker.com)
  • Project Milo Full Video: Awesome (blippitt.com)
  • Does OpenOffice have 11 million active U.S. users? (news.cnet.com)
  • Microsoft slings out Office 2010 technical preview (theregister.co.uk)
  • 3 Add-ins To Boost Your MS Word Experience (makeuseof.com)
  • Office 2010 test version leaks onto Web (news.cnet.com)
  • Can Computer Nerds Save Journalism? (time.com)
  • 4 Very Light Alternatives to Adobe Reader (makeuseof.com)