These “Frequently Asked Questions” address thoughts that may occur to you during your visit to our site. We’d be happy to clarify an answer or tackle additional questions. Just email, tweet or call.

What is Digital Tech Guide? Digital Tech Guide is a privately owned business that provides individualized, one-to-one personal technology training and online content development.

What do you mean by “personal technology?” We call any device that uses processors like those in personal computers to automate tasks or do things formerly restricted to computers “personal technology.” This definition incorporates devices like smartphones, which can process your email, surf the Web, and play music and video. It also includes the thermostat you can program to heat up the house before you come home, the GPS you use to navigate in your car, and the oven timer that lets you set both preheat and cooking times. It is our goal to help people overcome their fear of these features and use them to improve the quality of their lives.

Aren’t “one-to-one” and “individualized” two ways of saying the same thing? No. “One-to-one” means there is one instructor per student. “Individualized” means that we teach each person in a way that addresses his or her specific needs and learning style.

Do you publish a course catalog? No. Throughout this site we list personal technology topics that we’ve helped clients learn. But if your interest lies in something else, tell us. We’ve made a habit out of learning new things, and showing our clients how to do this helps them become more self-confident, self-reliant users of personal technology. We’re not vain, in fact we know we’ve done our job when roles reverse and our client shows us things he or she has learned on their own that we didn’t know!

Does Digital Tech Guide do group training? We’ll do group presentations, but we prefer to combine them with one-to-one work. So we might, for example, do a presentation on mail merge in Microsoft Word, then work with each participant on their own equipment to apply the training to their work.

Where does training take place? At your home or office, on the equipment you use every day. That way you don’t have to translate what you’ve learned from training center equipment, which is often configured for the trainer’s convenience, to your own. We can help you detect the snags that as a classroom trainee you’d have to find and resolve on your own, and perhaps teach you some troubleshooting skills in the process.

Our most affordable rates are for remote training, where we can supervise you and your work from our home office. This is most often possible with computer training. For other personal technology, training logistics depend on the portability of the device in question and its relationship to other technology you use. Smartphone training, for example, can be done anywhere. Digital camera training, on the other hand, typically involves transferring pictures to a computer, so at least some of that training would occur at the computer (and perhaps a printer) location.

 What is “online content development?” We’ve had seven years of experience in technical writing, plenty of time to learn that technical writing has elements of both form and substance. What we often call “desktop publishing” is the form element, which is concerned with presentation. “Content development” provides the substance. A content developer combines his or her background with research to generate the  material desktop publishers use as the basis for complete technical writing products. In our case, founder Philip Schawillie sells content in the form of “how-to” articles to established sites such as ehow.com and answerbag.com by putting our content into their forms. We’ll provide a portfolio upon request, or click the link in this sentence.

 What qualifies you to do this? We have over 20 years of experience in IT and technical writing. Most of our IT background is in Microsoft desktop and networking applications, but we’ve also worked with Adobe software, Apple Macintosh and Sun hardware; Novell networking and various versions of Unix and Linux. We’ve also supported other forms of personal technology such as smartphones, digital cameras, scanners, and other programmable devices, including integrating them into a home wireless network. Through all of this we have demonstrated an ability to learn “on the fly” as needed to accomplish our goals. We’d like nothing better than to show our clients how to do this and help them become more self-confident, self-reliant users of personal technology.

How much does Digital Tech Guide charge? It depends on the service we perform and where we go to perform it. Online content rates are typically determined by the buyer. For training in the Rochester New York area, we charge $40 per hour if we conduct the sessions remotely, $45 per hour for in-person visits. For training that requires temporary relocation, we’ll negotiate a rate that is appropriate for that region while accounting for our travel, meals, accommodations, and other expenses.

How do I get started? Call 585-820-9182 or use the Contact form (home page, top menu) to email us. We’ll respond with some preliminary questions and set up a meeting, in person for local clients, over the phone, instant messaging, or Skype for those farther away. Depending on what product or service you want, it may take several meetings or conferences to agree on what we’ll do for you. There is no charge during this consultation.