Getting Started Public Library Education Class

This week I began my class for adult beginner computer users. The class is biweekly, and so I will continue writing this post tomorrow to update all of you on how my students do on day 2.

I have 7 students so far, and 1 remaining opening. I’ve got to say that I’m really excited about the group. The first class went well, exploring using the mouse by using programs built into most computers: Solitaire and Paint. Everyone seemed to really enjoy using Solitaire– a colleague from my last job suggested it because it allows users to practice every type of clicking, including dragging. Some things became integrated into the course because it became obvious that they would be helpful– for instance the “highlighting” aspect of a selection of an icon, object, or word, and consequently the explanation of un-selection (clicking in empty space). A few things I added to the course last minute were particularly helpful– for instance the universal minimizing, screen size changing, and closing of programs allowed us to flow between programs.

Mostly I’m pleased with everyones progress– everyone hated using Paint, although I think it helped, because we learned selection of space, mouse control, button mashing. I think it may have been too frustrating for my users at this time. Hoping that I can find more excellent practice work with programs like solitaire, research, right?

Starting tomorrow, I intend to integrate keyboard instruction, go over some key concepts, play more solitaire (maybe other games as well?) and opening programs from the start menu, rather than the desktop.

Next week we will start into Folders, Files, and Computer organization– I really want to find a filing cabinet for my “physical example”. I’m trying to really focus on the physical objects that correspond with computer use, since that’s some of the ways that designers have made computers more usable. I need to come up with another “fun” task related to this, since the class is pretty long.

And finally tomorrow begins the daily typing practice. I found an online link that I think will be very helpful:

Seems pretty straightforward, and got a great review– also NO ADS!

You can look at my printouts (compiling eventually into a guide that users take home). Each class I hand out written directions to do many of the tasks, and to take notes on for the students. Think of it as a combined lesson plan, worksheet, and book.

Learning to Use the Computer Class 1

This content may change as I update the dropbox file.

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