Free Online Basic Computer Training

Senior man working on laptop.
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With computer technology continually changing, it is easy to think you may be a dinosaur regarding computer usage. Acquiring a few basic skills gives you confidence to accomplish what you want to, whether staying in touch through email, compiling travel information or searching for jobs. Take advantage of free online training, so you can understand computer jargon, navigate through the operating system, maneuver the mouse and gain proficiency on the keyboard.

1 Computer Terminology

If you think a mouse has to do with setting a trap, or a keyboard plays musical notes; learning computer terminology is the place to start. GCF LearnFree provides videos that help you understand computer lingo. The introductory Computer Basics segment explains hardware components, including the difference between a desktop, laptop and mobile device. Users can view the inside of a computer, learn basic screen setup and distinguish between operating systems, apps and games. CTDLC E-Learning Solutions offers a self-paced course explaining how tools, such as a mouse and keyboard, are used to navigate a computer. The website also introduces simple ways to learn about email, word processing and Internet skills.

2 Operating Systems

Whether you want to learn how to use a PC or a Mac computer, each operating system performs similar tasks. However, the terminology and desktop icons look different. Microsoft provides an introductory course describing PC hardware and software components, along with examining the functions of the Windows operating system. Apple delivers online training for Mac users through the Mac Basics online tutorial. Users switching from a Windows operating system to a Mac will find the Switching PC Habits portion especially helpful. FreeMacLessons was designed to answer Mac-usage questions posed by the developer’s parents. The website can be used as a simple lesson guide or a quick reference regarding Mac operations.

3 Computer Tools and Software

Learning how to use a mouse and keyboard is the first step in becoming a proficient computer user. Reading over Library Literacy’s worksheets may be a good place to start learning correct finger placement and keyboard vocabulary and to practice simple typing exercises. Click on the different resources and check out which website looks interesting to practice skills on. Receive additional training on GCF LearnFree where you can also become skilled using different Web browsers, checking email and staying safe online.

4 Seniors

If you are a senior just starting out in the technology world, you may have needs that are different than younger learners. Skillful Senior and Seniornet use specifically designed interactive software, to teach this age group. Tutorials include voice directions, easy-to-read screens and written exercises. Since the hardest part about learning computer skills may be viewing what is on the screen, BBC provides user guides on how to make icons, text and the mouse pointer bigger.

Anne Reynolds is a writer who has worked for the U.S. government, the public school system and as a public library specialist. She began writing in 1990 and has contributed articles to various online publications.