As technology advances, more and more gadgets saturate the market. The computer has been around for years, but those who have never spent any time around one may find it's not the most user-friendly machine. A basic lesson plan can help you teach someone how to use their laptop or desktop, whether you're teaching a class of students or simply showing a friend what to do.
Turning the Computer On and Off
Start by teaching your students how to turn their computer on and off. There is a power button on both the CPU unit and the monitor of a desktop computer. A laptop will only have one power button that turns on the entire machine. Show what the power button looks like and how you should press it once to turn the computer on. After the computer has had a chance to boot up, explain that a computer must be properly shut down to avoid damaging it. Teach students how to tell the computer to shut down, and to wait for it to shut down completely. After the students have mastered this task, teach them to use the "Ctrl + Alt + Delete" command to shut down the computer if it freezes. Mac computers use "Command + Q" to perform this function. Turning the computer off by holding the power button should be used only as a last resort.
Next, students will want to learn how to use the various programs on their computer. To start the lesson, choose a basic computer program such as Solitaire that all or almost all computers will have. Demonstrate how to choose a program from the desktop or find a program from a menu. From there they can browse the programs on their computer and click the program they want. Once in the program, have them close it and re-open it a few times, or open different programs. Show them how they can choose to close the program from a menu at the top, or to click the "X" button on a PC or the red dot at the top on a Mac.
Connecting to the Internet
Finally, even those who don't use their computer often may want to use the Internet. Sending an email and using a search box are two key actions that the Internet is used for. Have students open the Internet on their own after you've covered opening and closing programs. Explain what a web address is and to type the web address into the top box on the screen and press "Enter." Let the students go to Google.com. Show them how to type in a search term and search for it. Then let them click through their results. After you have explained how to search, move on to sending and receiving emails. The email process can be broken down into several lessons, but the basic concepts to cover should include logging in to an email account, composing a message and sending it, and how to read and delete emails. The rest is nice to know but not necessary. Once students have mastered using programs and basic internet functions, they're well on their way to skillful computer use.