If you don’t know very much about computers, you’re not alone! Thousands of people all over the United States are as unfamiliar with technology as you are. If you’re ready to start learning about computing, there are lots of great resources available to help you and your computer get acquainted.
If you need help with every step of computer use, from turning the computer on to surfing the internet, a training book is the best way to get started.
Absolute Beginner’s Guide to Computer Basics by Michael Miller is a positively-reviewed book that provides a step-by-step introduction to your Windows 7 computer. It also covers many current technological trends, such as Facebook. If you have a new computer (and it isn’t an Apple Macintosh), this might be a great resource!
Michael Miller has a second book, Absolute Computer Basics, that is a true introduction to your computer that starts before you even turn it on. The book is full of color photos, screenshots, and easy-to-read instructions.
Is This Thing On?: A Late Bloomer’s Computer Handbook by Abby Stokes is not just a beginner’s computer guide, although it definitely fills that need; it is also an introduction to modern technology in general, including cell phones and digital cameras. The book also has a companion website, Abby & Me, where readers can try their new skills and learn new ones.
If you’re able to access the internet, there are some great training resources available on the web.
YouTube (www.youtube.com) is a great resource for anyone seeking basic tutorials on almost any subject, and that includes computers! You can search by keyword (like “computer training”), or you can browse through the subject categories; technology-related tutorials are listed under Howto & Style.
If you normally use computers in libraries or other public spaces, you should make sure that you are practicing good computer safety. Microsoft has great tips for people who use public computers to help them keep their information private.
Basic Computer Classes (in real buildings, with real people!)
If you’re not comfortable with books or websites, never fear! There are computer literacy courses offered all over the United States for people who prefer face-to-face, hands-on training.
Your local Library may offer classes. If not, the librarians can probably help you find a computer class in your area.
Community Colleges are great places to find introductory courses on a variety of subjects, including computer classes. Visit http://www.community-college.org for a list of community colleges nationwide.
Museums, such as science museums and history museums, often offer computer literacy classes. Wikipedia offers a comprehensive list of museums in the United States. Contact the museums in your area to see if they offer classes.
The YMCA and YWCA also offer classes on a variety of subjects. Visit http://www.ymca.net/ to find your local YMCA/YWCA.