How to teach basic computer skills


Basic computer skills play a big role in students’ interest in the tech field. The basics of computers are the first thing that creates interest and explores creativity in students.

There are various methods of teaching basic computer skills to kids, teenagers, adults, housewives, and senior citizens. Not all can learn in the same way or with pre-defined methods.

For teaching better, it’s important for a teacher to be dynamic and creative according to the students. Here you can find the computer course syllabus to learn or teach that I have created especially for basic course students.

In this article, I will share my personal teaching experiences:

1. Communicate with students:

Communication is the way for you to transform and seed the technical skills and mindset in students. You have to listen and communicate effectively to teach basic computer skills.

You have to become an inspiration for them to follow. They know nothing about computers/the internet it’s your duty to guide and educate them in simple and easier methods.

Don’t try to be a teacher or don’t try to force to feel them like you’re a teacher and they have to follow you.

Instead, be just like them but a leader. Teach them like they are your team. Before learning they want to feel comfortable, confident, and safe. And if you’re displaying like there is no one on the earth better teacher than you, then they will just time pass in your class.

To inspire them or teach, you have to mix with them. You have understood and solved the problems that they are facing in learning. You have to allow everyone to ask questions, discuss doubts, and do practical exercises. And this is not possible, without communicating with students.

Related: How to Teach photoshop skills to beginners

2. Focus on the practicals:

Practicals are the synonyms of education. Whenever you teach or whatever you teach or wherever you teach always focus on practicals.

Students can learn from books, and notes on their own. But they are coming to you to learn practical computer skills. If you’re teaching from books, notes, or just giving them notes to follow, then it’s not a way that I like in education.

Today, there are various resources and online courses that you can learn to teach computer skills practically. If students are not able to create a simple table and chart in my office then it’s useless to teach the extension or theory of documents.

Today, theories already exist on the web. It’s just a click away. So, if you want to become a famous computer teacher in your city and world, you have to create your own theories, own practicals, and styles. And most important every lesson will work practically to help students to move from point A to point B.

 3. Take interest in doing assignments with them:

Don’t just give the order to make an assignment. Instead, sit with them and showcase the way to do that. Lead by example, and make them excited to use each option.

Read More: How to start online teaching at home

4. Teach them something new and creative each day:

Students come every day with the mindset to learn something new and creative. If you’re not teaching them new things consistently, they will talk about them in public or groups or with their friends.

And not only does that make them negative about the course and make them less interested to learn from you but also, it’s your bad personal branding in the market. So, to get more admission and to make students skilled and interested you have to teach them new things, new tips, and new ideas each day.

Sometimes it’s very tough due to other negativity that you’re facing in your life. But if you can control your mind or separate the other situations from teaching then it’s good for your own personal development.

 5. Make practice their habit:

It’s important to give each student a separate computer and time to practice yesterday’s or today’s lessons. Without practice, they will forget. For example, make it a habit to practice typing lessons daily for 20 minutes. Make it a habit to create something new from the knowledge through computer applications such as MS office or graphics designing tools.

The more exercises they do the higher their confidence will move. And their confidence in themselves makes a difference in the results or course output. And confidence increases with practice and the right habits.

6. Teach less but teach the best:

You don’t have to teach one application in one day. Instead, you have to teach a few options in the application each day. Just a few steps each day and within 6 months your students will be able to climb mountains.

7. Always remain busy:

Time management is very important for students. Time is the most valuable, if they are not spending time on the right activity then it’s a waste of time. And it can create a problem for them later in their career.

So always remains them busy with exercise, tests, questions, and learning as much as possible in the institute, else they will use their mind for other non-productive things.

Follow this process:

Day 1: Teach the following things:

  • For 10 to 15 minutes give an introduction about the computer. How to turn it on and turn it off. What it can do, what it’s important to become skilled in computers.
  • Start with a paint program or drawing program. Tell them how to open it, and let them do it in front of you, it will take 3-4 minutes. After that draw something memorable that is easy to repeat. Such as creating the national flag of your country. And while you’re creating, teach them how you’re using lines, colors, erasers, control-z, etc.
  • The 1st goal here is to let students can control the mouse and use it effectively. It takes 30+ minutes for them to draw or paint a national flag. The 2nd benefit of starting with paint is that you will get an idea of students’ creativity, intelligence, and learning capacity. The faster you understand the student’s mind power the better and easier it will become for you to teach basic computer skills.
  • After that check that drawing, and tell them what to do to make it similar to the sample that you created earlier.
  • Now if you’re happy with their performance then teach them to save the 1st paint file and reopen it.
  • You can also tell them to make quick notes in the diary to remember, what they did and how.

Day 2: Teach the following things:

  • Now today, ask them to repeat the process of yesterday. Such as how to open, draw, and save the file. Might be many students who can forget, but don’t worry, let them do it. Let them use the mouse and you just instruct them to do it if they needed.
  • Now the next basic thing is about computer typing. Teach them basic computer typing lessons.

1st lesson: asdf; lkj (without watching keyboard).

2nd lesson: qwerty poiuyj

3rd lesson: zxcv ,mnb

  • Now let them practice the above keys. But meanwhile, keep watching them, are they pressing the right key with the right finger.

 Day 3:

  • Allow them to practice typing for 30 minutes.
  • After that start teaching about icons, taskbars, drives, etc.
  • And once they are free from both works, tell them to draw or paint.

Day 4…. Day 30:

  • Between the 4th day to 30th day, make them familiar with the computer, files, folders, data transfer, and media players and they are able to open/delete/restore/copy/paste all kinds of files without your help and also teach a few theoretical parts of computers.
  • Let them allow group discussion but try to control the topics.
  • Take the verbal and written test
  • If they are able to type 10-15 words per minute after 1st month along with the above knowledge and practices and most of them are happy and interested then it means you’re teaching superbly. ­­­­

In the 2nd month: Try to teach the basics of Microsoft Office:

Here you can find the uses of Microsoft office

And follow a few things:

  • Teach Microsoft office through practical exercises and assignments.

For example: In Microsoft Word:

  • Teach students about the basic home menu functions such as fonts, paragraphs, and styles on the first day. Create a letter/application and show them to use the fonts, paragraphs, and style options to format the text and make it readable for the person.

Here you can find the word exercises to teach: List of Microsoft Word Exercises for Students

  • In Microsoft word, try to teach to create at least 20+ various kinds of documents such as applications, letters, business cards, leaflets, telegrams, invoice formats, admissions forms, job cards, resumes, eBooks cover pages and many other things.
  • Similarly, in Excel, you can start teaching them simple mathematical calculations. Such as creating sales/invoice exercises. You can use three columns item, qty, price, and total. In the total cell, you can put the formula qty*price, after that drag that cell down to 10 rows. During this time, teach all the possible things about drag and drop automation in excel.

Here you can find the excel exercises to teach: Easiest Microsoft Excel Chart Exercise for Students

 In Microsoft Excel try to teach min. 10-15 + exercises or real-time mathematical and management calculations such as employee salary management, invoicing personal budget, and various other uses of excel that are used in education, hotels, government offices, travel agencies, and home.

  • In PowerPoint, start with a simple introduction, and allow students to explore their creativity by using animations, slides, images, narrations, and many other things. You can teach about image slide shows with music, you can teach text animations using narration, you can teach to create a business plan/budget, career planning presentation, etc.

So, Microsoft office training can take 2 months. It can be boring in between for students to work daily on documents, sheets, and slides. For that, you can vary or include other creative group activities, competitions, and challenges for students so that they become interested to complete the task or exercises within time.

 In the 3rd or 4th month it’s time to teach uses of the Internet:

You can teach the internet before Office applications but then it’s very difficult for students or you to get the interest of students in document writing, data management, and presentation. Most of the students will start using social media websites. The Internet is an output platform, and your duty is to make students eligible and skilled in giving inputs to computers/the internet.

So, once they learn inputs effectively then it’s better to teach about the opportunities that they can get on the internet based on their skills.

You can include the following things to teach on the internet:

  • Email
  • Google Drive/ cloud data storage
  • Online collaboration tools
  • Online learning
  • Online career development opportunities
  • Online courses and degree programs
  • Internet research
  • Social media
  • Privacy and data security
  • Internet browsers
  • How the internet works
  • Online shopping
  • Online banking
  • Online jobs
  • Online business

So now I hope you got my point to make teaching basic computer skills an easier process. Now follow your institute, and college syllabus and create a process like the above examples.

What are the overall goals of teaching basic computer skills or courses? Let’s take an example of a 6-month basic computer course, no matter what the syllabus.

What students should be able to do after 6 months of course:

  1. They are able to write any kind of document, application in Microsoft word or any document writing and editing application.
  2. They are able to use search engines effectively to solve their daily life problems.
  3. They are able to use Excel and PowerPoint effectively.
  4. They are familiar with google drive or collaboration with other students.
  5. They are able to fill up all kinds of competitive exam forms, and documents and fees submission effectively.
  6. They are able to do basic maintenance and repairing of computers.
  7. They are able to type in 40+ wpm
  8. They are able to understand and research on the internet for various skills and knowledge
  9. They are aware of online learning or earning scopes etc.
  10. They are also knowledgeable about what/how programming, graphics, animation, designing, artificial intelligence, cloud computing, and IoT devices.
  11. They also have a plan for future learning and what next course they will be going to do.
  12. They must know how they can use their learned basic computer skills in career development or to find a job.
  13. They must know, what part-time income sources they can start with basic computer skills.

In conclusion, to teach students basic computer skills effectively, you as a teacher have to combine students’ goals + your goals to get the best results. Overall, the final goal is that students are able to understand, and use information technology effectively for their career, and income growth. And for that, it’s important for them and you to make them creators, innovators and leaders in the IT field within 6 months or in between the course duration.

Basic computer/internet education will decide what they will do after learning from you. So, you must have to teach, how and when to use the learned skills from the basic course.

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