I have had several librarians ask me about finding online classes to which they can direct patrons when they are too busy to offer one-on-one help. In addition, many library staff members are looking for ideas for developing computer classes to offer. So I have come up with some great resources for both requests.
- This first link is to an excellent site for the beginning computer user. The site offers FREE self-paced learning modules on four distinct topics; computer skills, e-mail skills, word processing skills, and Web skills. The site was created, designed, and produced by Dr. Robert McCloud, Assistant Professor of Computer Science and Director of Online Learning, Sacred Heart University, Fairfield, Connecticut. Contributing authors: Professor Sandra Honda, Professor Cyrus D’Amato. It was created for the Connecticut Distance Learning Consortium. http://www.ctdlc.org/remediation/
- The Goodwill Community Foundation offers FREE on-line classes for a huge variety of topics including computers. They offer tutorials on Microsoft and Apple computers and their products. Each topic is a self-paced set of lessons and those topics are often divided into smaller subsets. They offer lessons, Interactive pages, Extras, and Videos for each topic. The lessons are designed similar to a slide show with explanations, descriptions, and definitions of the topic being discussed. They are written in easy to follow formats and language with great pictures and illustrations to support the text. The Interactive pages are a screen shot which requires the user to click to manipulate. For example, one shows the parts of a Windows desktop and another describes the parts of a keyboard. The Extras are links to relevant articles and related lessons on the topic. The Videos are extensions of the individual lessons. They are high quality, relevant videos with clear explanations of the topics. I am really impressed by this site. GCFLearnFree.org
- Basic Computer Operation Tutorial is a page for a wide variety of users. It tends to be a little more technical in nature but uses great photos and language to explain the details. It walks a user through many aspects of the computer hardware and software. It starts with the most basic information and progresses to much more technical information. It also includes an excellent glossary. This site would be particularly good for the slightly more tech savvy person looking to have specific questions answered. http://www.bcot1.com/
- Microsoft has developed a training program for Windows 7 users targeted at adults. It is called the “My PC Series.” The program is designed to be downloaded and the information used in an instructor led class. For example, a library staff member would download the class information which includes the lesson plans, hand-outs, and the Powerpoint presentations. When ready the class would be advertised and then taught using the provided materials. The curriculum consists of ten 1-hour workshops and four 3-hour workshops. This is a great starting point for a library looking to offer computer classes. http://www.mypcprogram.com/FrontPage.aspx
- Still have computers with Windows XP or Vista. Not to worry. Windows also has a “Help & How-to” page with easy to follow tutorials for their older operating systems. http://windows.microsoft.com/en-US/windows/help
- The AARP website has great resources on their technology page. This page may be designed for the 50+ crowd, but their information applies to everyone. They have excellent information on the latest innovations, privacy and security, social media information and how-to guides on an array of topics. They also have a section dedicated to getting on-line discounts for everything. http://www.aarp.org/technology/
Please let me know what you think of this list of links. Did you find them helpful? Will you use any of these in your library? Why or why not? Do you use other resources? Will share your favorite links? Click on the “leave a comment” below and write your thoughts.