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April 15, 2010 / Christian M.

“Oh That’s Not As Hard As They Say It Is!”

So this morning, I gave my first one-on-one lesson on using the computer. Our branch just began offering 30-minute “private” lessons for adults who need help with specific computer skills. Myself and another Library Associate provide the instruction. At this time there is not enough demand for a group class, so we offer the lessons as they are requested.

The woman I taught this morning was very nice, and eager to learn. She wanted to learn how to use her email, and how to “write letters” (use Microsoft Word).  She already has an email account, but her son has been checking and sending messages for her because she didn’t know how to do this for herself.

Most of our lesson was spent on email, how to write and send email, how to move around the different areas in the email account, and how to add people to the contact list.   She was very relieved that using email is not as hard as some people had been telling her (perhaps other older adults who hadn’t given it a try either?).

Some things I will do differently in our next lesson — 1) Let her control the mouse at all times and do all the typing, no matter how much slower it makes the process, 2) Encourage her to take notes.

I gave her the homework assignment to practice sending emails at home until we set up our next lesson.

Here is an article with some good advice for teaching adults computer skills:

Ten Tips For Teaching Computer Skills To Older Adults

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