AppleLearn helps people use their Apple products
Blair Miller, founder of AppleLearn, teaches clients how to navigate iphones, and iPads and a MacBook, the products she's built her training business on. | Jackie Pilossoph~For Sun-Tmes Media
Updated: January 16, 2013 8:16AM
Did Santa bring you an iPad for Christmas?
How about an iPhone or a MacBook? If so, you are among the millions who received Apple products over the holidays.
According to CNN Money, 17 million Apple devices were activated in the U.S. on Christmas Day, up 250 percent from 2011. These are statistics that Blair Miller, founder of her Highland Park-based Apple products training company, AppleLearn loves to hear.
“There is such a void in effective training for these products,” said Miller, who started AppleLearn in 2010. “A lot of people buy Apple products for their parents and the parents have no idea how to use them or where to get started. The people might live out of town, or they don’t have the time or patience to teach their parents and that’s where I come in.”
Miller travels to homes all over the North Shore and the city to train individuals, small groups and seniors on anything from basic iPhone, iPad and Apple computer use, to more complex apps and features. She also works with businesses to integrate the iPad into their business culture, and assist in finding the right apps to make the company more productive.
“I find that so many people are intimidated and afraid they’re going to break it or do something wrong,” she said. “I’m about matching the use of technology with their ultimate goals. I try not to overwhelm them with things that don’t apply, but that said, there are so many apps that people just don’t know about.”
Miller, who holds a BS in finance worked in information technology at JP Morgan for 20 years. She also worked as a trainer for Apple for three years, and said that position gave her the training and the idea to branch out on her own.
“I learned that people should embrace the technology and use it to enrich their lives rather than make them frustrated,” Miller said.
Colleen Remsberg, a Winnetka based real estate broker hired Miller when she bought an iPad for her business.
“Blair was so patient, and she explained things in detail and made it easy to understand,” said Remsberg. “She doesn’t make you feel you are not capable of understanding. She makes you feel good about yourself.”
When purchasing any Apple product, customers do have the option of going to classes at the Apple store, as well as paying $99 for one year of unlimited training. Miller said often times, the customers need additional help, because the training times might not be convenient for the customer, and the store environment is too noisy.
Miller estimated that a quarter to a third of her clients already have the training option through Apple, clients like Tica Marquardt of Lake Forest.
“I have gone to the Apple store for training, and will continue to do that, but working with Blair is so pleasant,” said Marquardt, “I get her full attention and it’s a quiet atmosphere. She’s non-judgmental and doesn’t make you feel stupid.”
Miller charges $80 per hour for her services.
“Sometimes I get to a client’s home and the product is still in the box,” she said. “Sometimes it’s been activated but the client has no idea what to do from this point on. I love helping people get a sense of control and enjoy the product instead of being scared of it.”
“My iPad is my new best friend,” said Remsberg. “Blair is a good teacher. She makes you want to learn more. That’s what a good teacher does.”