How to Teach Computer Basics
Teaching basic computer skills can seem like an easy task. However, if your student has never even seen a keyboard, the task suddenly becomes much harder. Teaching the basics of computers is everything from the keyboard to how to use the applications on the computer. You will need to set up the lessons in periodic stages. It could take a lot of time for your student to learn the skills. Remain patient and helpful, and your student will eventually master computer basics.
Sit your student down in front of a computer. Show him the monitor, the keyboard, the mouse and mouse pad, and the computer box itself. Provide him with a picture with labels. This will help him remember the terms and give him something to study.
Describe what each feature does. The computer monitor displays the picture, the keyboard is used for typing, the mouse is used to move the cursor on the monitor, the pad aides the mouse in movement and the computer box is how everything is powered. It is not necessary to go into detail just yet.
Show your student how to turn on the computer and monitor screen. Once the operating system has loaded, allow the student to practice moving the mouse to click on various icons on the screen. Allow him to practice this for several minutes before moving on. Use this time to discuss the term "Icon," and double-click the icons to pull up and close some of the applications. Explain what the applications can be used for and that by double-clicking on the desktop icon, it immediately opens that particular application.
Allow your student to practice on the application. He will need to practice at each teaching session. A good application to start with is a simple office document such as Microsoft Word. The student can practice using the cursor and keyboard. You can use this time to teach parts of the application as well. Teach your student features such as how to open up a blank document, how to save work, how to change font size and style, and how to zoom in and out.
Teach your student how to open his web browser, if he have Internet access on his computer. Internet Explorer is the most common web browser. Show your student how to double-click on the icon or go through the "Start" menu to open up the Internet. Show him how to go to a search engine such as Yahoo! and Google and do a random search. This will simply give the student an example of what the Internet can be used for. Allow him to practice opening and closing the web browser.
Assess the student by giving him a short quiz at the end. This quiz should include the terms, how to turn on and off his computer, the ways to open and close applications, basic terms and ways to use the applications, how to open and close his web browser, and basic ways to use the Internet.
- Don't assume your student knows anything. Don't belittle your student or make him feel uncomfortable for never having mastered the basics of computers.
- It may be helpful to give a short pretest before beginning any lessons so you have an idea of where to start with your student.