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Camp Tech: The Fun, Practical Way to Learn Web and Digital Skills


Have you ever seen a beautiful picture in a magazine and thought, “if I had the right tools I could totally do that.” Have you been tasked with a project on the job and found yourself spending hours just trying to figure out how to get the software to work? Or maybe you thought, I have a great idea for a blog or a podcast but how do I even get started?

Camp Tech, a multi-subject technology training company, was started in Toronto in August of 2012 and in 4 short years has expanded to Ottawa and Vancouver. The company was founded by Avery Swartz, an expert in digital strategy and provides over 23 classes for beginners and novices alike.

“I own a boutique web design studio, working with small businesses and charities. I noticed that a lot of my clients were asking for tips on where they could learn digital skills so they could grow their organizations’ presence online, beyond the websites I was making for them.” says Swartz, “I did some research and found a lot of online training options, but no one was offering accessible, practical, in-person tech training in Toronto at that time. I decided to start that company, and that was the beginning of Camp Tech.”

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With regular workshops in all 3 cities covering topics like getting the most out of Google or learning how to use the full lineup of Adobe software, Camp Tech also does private and corporate training across the country. Workshops are capped at just 20 attendees which means that the instructor is more readily available to provide assistance and ensure you leave the course with all your questions answered. The instructors themselves are certified experts in a given subject and are typically approached directly to participate. This means you’re getting professionals who are currently working in the field and are up to date on the latest trends in their industry.

I’ve used InDesign for work without any formal training and thought I had a good handle on things. After taking Paul Kelly’s Desktop Publishing with InDesign class I learned better and easier ways to make the most of the program. Paul was an excellent teacher who made the class both informative and fun and you can tell that he really loves what he does.

I made a point of chatting with students in the class who had taken other Camp Tech courses and learned that Paul was a typical example of what to expect from the school’s instructors. The class size was small with a mix of men and women of various ages and experience levels. Some were veterans of Camp Tech while others, like myself, were attending for the first time. Everyone left feeling more knowledgeable and confident. If you’re looking to learn something new, or even just brush up on your skills, Camp Tech is worth looking into.

Here are 5 Camp Tech Classes Worth Checking Out in Toronto:

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Desktop Publishing with InDesign by Paul Kelly

Adobe Certified Expert instructor Paul Kelly will teach you how to make a double-sided postcard using InDesign. You’ll discover how to bring in graphics, format text, and export a PDF file that’s ready to send to the printer. After this fun and interactive class, you’ll be able to produce your own professional-quality print material. Starting out in traditional film and photography, Paul has been teaching for over 20 years and has been an Adobe Certified Expert in Photoshop, Illustrator and InDesign since 2004.

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WordPress for Beginners with Linn Øyen Farley

In Linn Øyen Farley’s WordPress for Beginners, whether you’re trying to set up a simple website for your small business, a personal blog, or perhaps you use WordPress at work and would like to learn more, this workshop is for you. From pages to posts, widgets to plugins, you’ll learn all about how to customize and maintain WordPress on your own website. Linn is a freelance web designer and developer with a degree in technical theatre. At Drollic Design she specializes in building beautiful and accessible websites for small businesses, fellow freelancers and arts workers, and believes in enabling even the most non-technical people to take control of their own site post-launch.

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The Business of Blogging with Wendy Kam Marcy 

Wendy Kam Marcy is the Co-Founder of popular Toronto blog The Hip + Urban Girl’s Guide. Her highly engaging class will take you beyond the basics of Blogging 101 and answer practical questions such as: How do I turn my hobby blog into a business? How do I generate content that people will actually read? How do I get more clicks on my blog? How do I leverage social media as a promotional tool? AND the million dollar question: how do I get more than just free products, and actually make money from my blog? In this fun and interactive workshop, Wendy looks at real blogs as case studies, and you can expect to walk away with a real plan to take your blog to the next level.

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Intro to Google Analytics with Geoff Marcy

In this 3-hour Intro to Google Analytics class, you’ll learn how to get Google Analytics set up and installed properly, create custom views, create segments to compare data and configure simple goals for your website. Discover how to generate reports that will give you valuable insight into your site’s visitors and their behaviour, so you can help your website perform to its potential. Geoff is a Managing Partner at Adfluent Media, an ad agency that specializes in digital strategy and affiliate marketing and has over 10 years of experience in online marketing.

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Intro to Podcasting with JP Davidson 

JP Davidson is a podcast producer, radio journalist, and audio editor. He is also the founder of the Canadian Sound & Story Workshop, a community for independent podcast, radio and multimedia producers. In his Intro to Podcasting course, JP will share tips for coming up with a show concept, guide you through an exercise recording audio with anything from a smartphone to pro audio gear, and show you how to edit your audio and add music for a polished, professional sound. Discover how to publish your podcast through Soundcloud and Libsyn, set up your RSS feed, and get into iTunes, Stitcher and other podcast directories. You’ll walk away from this fun and interactive workshop ready to launch your own podcast!

Written by Kevin Joseph

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