IT is a massive subject and it’s everywhere in the modern world. In addition to using computers, tablets, and smartphones, IT literacy and computer skills also play an important role in business and are becoming increasingly important as the years roll on.
Whether you want to learn basic computer skills, perfect your typing and master word processing programmes like Microsoft Word, take computer classes on robotics and machine code, or just simply how to browse the internet, you should find some of the answers in this article, Superprof's introduction to computers and how to learn how to use them...
The 10 Steps to Learning the A to Z of IT
You don’t need to take coding courses or enrol on a computer literacy course to get the basics of IT down. With a few private IT tutorials either at home or over webcam, you’ll learn important personal computer basics during IT courses such as:
How to turn the computer on and off (this is pretty fundamental!)
The main components (like the central processing unit) that make up a desktop computer (a laptop is usually too difficult to take apart)
How to create a document using a word processor, spreadsheets, or a presentation using the Microsoft Office suite
How to carry out basic IT maintenance tasks
How to make your own website
Internet basics like surfing the web safely
Basic skills like how to connect an external hard drive and save your data
How to plug in and install a printer
While there are a lot of things to learn, you don’t need a degree in IT or to attend computer courses to learn how to do them.
Learning about computers and IT will not only improve your digital literacy, it'll teach you more about modern technology and digital cultures. Any beginner in a private computer class can learn:
How to shop online safely and navigate the world wide web
How to use either an Apple or Android tablet (your tutor will explain more about each operating system)
How to transfer photos from your digital camera to your computer and send them as an email (electronic mail) attachment
How to scan a document and send it in an email
If you take note of these computing tips, you’ll soon be able to use your machine without any help from anyone else.
For those who are passionate about computers and would like to make them part of their career (as a web developer, algorithms specialist, web app developer, IT technician, etc.), you should consider getting IT tutorials either in person or online with an IT specialist.
There are so many different fields to work in in IT:
Learn the Basics with IT Training Courses with a Tutor
If using computers is driving you mad, private tutorials are the way to go. A tutor could help you get over any difficulties you’re having with certain programmes and you could ask them questions about the things you struggle to do with your computer.
Whether you need help using a search engine, installing peripherals, creating a local network, learning a programming language such as C or Visual Basic, using Microsoft PowerPoint, Word, or Excel more effectively, or learning the basics of photo editing or movie editing software, you’ll find the right IT instructor to help you on Superprof’s network.
To find the right tutor, every learner should make sure to read reviews left by their other students and make sure that they teach exactly what you’re looking to learn. Here are some of the qualities you should look for in a private IT tutor:
The ability to turn IT jargon into everyday language so novices can understand it.
Patience and teaching skills.
A passion for teaching and transferring knowledge.
A drive for familiarising their students with different IT tools.
A willingness to use new technologies to open up new methods of communication.
In terms of resources, you should ask that your tutor to provide you with summaries, a handout, or notes for you to look over between your sessions so you can ask them pertinent questions the next time you see them.
If you’re learning how to programme, it might be worthwhile printing out important lines of code and functions that you’ll need to study.
If you're scared of navigating the internet, you don’t understand what cookies are doing on your computer, or you don’t feel comfortable buying online (which is often the case with senior citizens who are regularly targeted by hackers in order to get their bank details), why not consider getting a specialised IT tutor to help you grab the mouse by the horns?
If you can't make it to computer classes, you can also take online computer courses via Skype!
If you find the right tutor, your private tutorials won’t cost you an arm and a leg!
How Can You Learn More about Computers for Free?
Can you get free computer tutorials for beginners? Is it possible to learn a programming language or web development without spending a single penny? Yes to both!
Firstly, you should check around on your social networks to see if you know anyone who could help you with these kinds of things. If you're new to computer technology, you'll probably have to ask someone to help you with the social networking.
Ask one of your “friends” (real or virtual) in a private message. It won’t help sending out a request to everyone as you’ll end up wasting your time going through useless comments and responses.
If you can sew, dance, speak a foreign language, or provide personal fitness advice, you could consider doing a like-for-like exchange where they teach you about computers and you teach them another skill in return.
If this option doesn’t work for you, why not think about the many associations and organisations that exist to help people learn how to use computers and avoid digital exclusion?
There are often beginners’ computer classes teaching people about what computers are, what they do, how to use an office suite, and how to browse the internet. However, be careful! You probably won’t learn how to code HTML or Python in these kinds of classes! This type of specialised knowledge is usually taught by IT experts in schools and educational establishments (or by experienced private tutors).
I really learned a lot from my IT courses with my Superprof tutor!
Don’t forget that there also associations offering IT classes in order to alleviate the effects of digital exclusion.
To learn more about computers, there’s few places better than the internet. This resource is home to literally thousands of articles and tutorials on a wide range of different topics relating to IT. By searching things like “IT training”, “computer science”, “programming languages”, or “learn to code” on Google or YouTube, you’ll come across thousands of sites and videos.
However, they’re not all free and you usually have to pay for the better resources. These are great if you want to learn to use programmes like:
- After Effects
- Excel, Word, and PowerPoint.
How Can the Older Generation Learn about Computers?
How can you reduce the generational gap between the baby boomers and millennials who grew up with computers and have their eyes glued to their smartphones every second of every day?
With computers, of course!
An entire generation is starting to retire and there’s never been a better time to learn about computers.
Thanks to increasing life expectancy in most European countries, retirement is a huge opportunity to take up new hobbies and learn new skills. You can use computers to check your bank, book holidays, speak to grandchildren over Skype, or just mess about on a talent while waiting for the kettle to boil.
Some members of the older generation remain reluctant to take IT tutorials and learn more about computers in general because they can’t really see the benefits immediately.
Superprof has some advice for tutors who’d like to teach senior citizens how to use computers and become more independent as a result.
Be patient and persistent with your students! You’ll sometimes have to explain something several times in several different ways.
Give real-life examples of how computers and technology can be used to help them. Programmes like Excel, Word, PowerPoint, and Photoshop need be taught using a hands-on approach rather than just explaining them. You need to think of exercises that highlight the utility of these programmes rather than just telling them what they do.
If you are teaching web design, consider leaving your student on WordPress or another CMS to play around with so they can discover for themselves what they can do.
If you’re helping them with installation or maintenance, you should show them the inside of their computer and how to install a hard disk or RAM. There’s a good chance they’ll find this quite interesting and learn more quickly as a result.
As you’ve probably understand, IT and computer training is useful for everyone, regardless of their age. Whether they’re working, retired, young, or old, everyone all over the country can benefit from a better knowledge of computers. There are plenty of great IT lessons and tutorials for those who know where to find them.
You can learn by paying for private tutorials, as a skills exchange, learning with lessons provided by organisations, or different websites providing lessons. By doing a little digging, you’re bound to find the right solution for learning how to use computers more effectively.
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