Find out why it’s never too late to learn more about computers
Computers are now so ingrained in modern society that you can be at a real disadvantage if you have no knowledge of them at all. There seems to be a fear that everything to do with computers is complicated, difficult and boring. This is not the case at all. Whilst there are some incredibly complex things which computers are capable of doing, you don’t need to know any of these to understand the basics of computing.
There’s always more you can learn about computers
Even if you already think you know a bit about computers, a basic computer literacy course can help improve your confidence and will help you come up with ways to remember the things you learn, so that you can repeat them without having to ask someone else for help each time. After just a few lessons you would be able to set up an e-mail address to be able to send and receive e-mails, search the internet for interesting content and answers to your questions. You could also be shown how to use a word processor and spreadsheet software to be able to type up documents and to organise facts and figures.
You will also be able to ask the course leader to answer any questions you may have had before the start of the course. They will be able to answer any specific queries and will be able to demonstrate to you how certain things are done, taking you through the process step by step.
You don’t even need a computer to start a course
You won’t need anything to start the course. You don’t even need to have your own computer. It could be that you just want to be able to use a few simple pieces of software to be able to work computers in public places, such as the library, to complete a few one-off tasks. That’s not a problem, the place in which you take your course will have computers for you to use and learn on. They don’t rely on everyone bringing their own equipment and you won’t have to necessarily practice tasks in between classes if you don’t want to or are unable to.
There are different courses aimed at students with different skill sets. If you have literally no experience with a computer then you should look for a course for total beginners. In these classes they will be able to show you how to use a keyboard and mouse, how to make your way around the computer and how to use basic things like word processors.
Some classes might ask you to have a short interview when you enrol or they might ask you to demonstrate any existing computer knowledge before you start. This is simply to make sure that your level of competence matches that of the other members of the class so that you can all move at the same pace and make the most of what the class has to offer.
Starting with the basics…
Many people think that there is little more than letters to a keyboard. The keyboard is the steering wheel of the computer and will help you do make it do exactly what you want it to. There are lots of buttons and they can seem a little overwhelming at first, but a basic computer literacy course will explain to you the differences between the keys and which different functions they control. You will be shown where all of the different keys are and how best to use them. You’ll discover how to unlock various features that you might not have known existed but will make using your computer much more straight forward.
Working out which software you want to master
There are thousands of different programmes that you can install on to your computer. The sheer quantity of software available can be extremely daunting, but a basic computer course will teach you just the basics that you need to know. It will make the choice much easier and will make you feel far more at ease with the whole process. Once you know which pieces of software will be most useful for your everyday needs, the course will also talk you through how to use them. Some software is more straightforward and if you feel that you are still struggling with a particular programme at the end of the course then you should be able to sign up to another series of lessons which focus just on that piece of software.
You will also learn how to keep your files safe. Unfortunately, there are now many ways in which fraudsters and hackers are able to access your personal files. Your course leader will be able to teach you about passwords protecting your files; about how to choose the safest passwords and about how you can back up any information you have on your computer so that it wouldn’t be lost if something were to go wrong.
If you have recently purchased a new computer, or are looking to buy one, these classes can give you the confidence to make the most of it. The course leader will be able to show you how to install the software you need; how to install any necessary updates and how to keep your computer protected against harmful viruses.
If you don’t feel confident typing on a keyboard, it may be an idea to take a quick typing course before you enrol on a basic computer literacy course. This will help you to feel more at ease in the lessons and will also mean that you will find it easier to keep up with the pace of the class.
Many people choose not to take a computer course because they are worried that they are not good enough to start in the first place. The whole point of these classes is to start from scratch and to teach you. There is no point in teaching you anything if you already know it. There is no need to be ashamed of wanting to learn, so go for it and make the most of the opportunities available to you.