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Comp Classes For Beginners


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Presentation for Loleta Fyan Rural Libraries Conference 2009
Grand Traverse Resort, Michigan

Published in: Education, Technology
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Comp Classes For Beginners

  1. 1. Computer Classes for Beginners Salem-South Lyon District Library 9800 Pontiac Trial South Lyon, MI 48178 (248) 437-6431 Holly Hibner – Reference Librarian [email_address] Mary Kelly – Reference Librarian [email_address]
  2. 2. Why teach computers to beginners? <ul><li>Extension of reference philosophy </li></ul><ul><ul><li>What is a reference question? </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Computer-driven reference questions </li></ul><ul><ul><li>E-filing, unemployment, job applications, eBay, e-mail </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Our inspiration </li></ul><ul><ul><li>The High Maintenance Smelly Lady </li></ul></ul>
  3. 3. In the Beginning <ul><li>6 laptops </li></ul><ul><li>1 hub for wired Internet access </li></ul><ul><li>Windows ‘98 </li></ul><ul><li>MS Office ‘97 </li></ul><ul><li>No mice – touch pads on laptops </li></ul><ul><li>Big screen with LCD projector </li></ul>
  4. 4. Mistakes We Made: Hardware <ul><li>Laptops were too small – keyboard and screen </li></ul><ul><li>Too many cords! </li></ul><ul><li>Touch pads too difficult for new users </li></ul>
  5. 5. Mistakes We Made: Instruction <ul><li>Computer jargon </li></ul><ul><li>Too many concepts at once </li></ul><ul><li>Assumed too much: skipped the basics </li></ul>
  6. 6. What We Noticed About Beginners <ul><li>Intimidated by technology changes </li></ul><ul><li>Afraid to break something </li></ul><ul><li>Overwhelmed by today’s technology </li></ul><ul><li>Appreciate learning with their peers </li></ul>
  7. 7. Changes We Made <ul><li>New Goal </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Ease their fear </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Get their hands on the equipment </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Make them “familiar” </li></ul></ul><ul><li>“ Lab” computers on carts </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Full sized </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Real mice </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Offer trackball mice </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Wi-Fi </li></ul></ul>
  8. 8. More Changes We Made <ul><li>One-hour classes </li></ul><ul><li>Limited number of concepts </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Teach one way to do tasks </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Start with absolute basics </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Relate to typewriter </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Keep it light! </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Class “policies” </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Broken parts </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Chants </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Teacher rivalry </li></ul></ul>
  9. 9. Classes and Handouts <ul><li>Update regularly! </li></ul><ul><li>Beginner Classes </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Computers 101 and 102 </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>MS Office Suite </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Handouts are “topic sheets” </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Higher Level Classes </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Excel, Web Design, Computer Security, Social Networking, Digital Photography </li></ul></ul>Handouts available at
  10. 10. Latest Updates <ul><li>Computer lab </li></ul><ul><li>Windows Vista </li></ul><ul><li>MS Office 2007 </li></ul>
  11. 11. Updated E-mail Class <ul><li>Hands On </li></ul><ul><li>Created Hotmail and Yahoo “dummy” accounts </li></ul><ul><li>Hand-outs for Hotmail, Yahoo, and Gmail </li></ul><ul><li>Read an e-mail </li></ul><ul><li>Send an e-mail </li></ul><ul><li>Open an attachment </li></ul>
  12. 12. More Recent Updates <ul><li>Beginner class focus changed to parts/terminology, internet, and e-mail </li></ul><ul><li>Windows functions like open, save, making folders, etc. moved to second level class </li></ul><ul><li>Added more classes on downloadable audio, digital photography solutions, and Internet searching skills </li></ul>
  13. 13. The results are in! <ul><li>Improved our skills </li></ul><ul><li>Outlet for those needing basic computer help </li></ul><ul><li>Improved relationships with patrons </li></ul><ul><li>More respect for library service (and librarians!) </li></ul><ul><li>Great marketing for the library </li></ul>
  14. 14. Holly Hibner [email_address] Mary Kelly [email_address] Slides and handouts available at