Today after 12:30 Spanish language mass at Queen of Angels Parish (2-4 PM), I led a class for basic computer skills– operating system, word processing, internet searching, to Spanish speakers. Some upshots:
- Over 20 people attended
- 5 biluingual speakers who served as proctors/ translators/ helpers for others
- All attendees succeeded in obtaining Yahoo! Mail acocunts
- People immediately got to work– emailing relatives in Mexico, emailing the 12:30 Mass Lector schedule, etc.
The cool thing was that there was a matrix of language and computer skills— great english speaker/ bilingual/ great english speaker; no email account/ mid-level internet browser person/ tech geek— that it became something of a salon. Everyone taught everyone else. It wasn’t a classic stand-up teacher/ listen-up students type-thing. People got VERY passionate and it sparked alot of action.
Here are some great resources we used:
- We had all levels of computer skills– from complete beginners to people with their own websites
- We all helped each other
- More to come!
Today my Web site GoogObits was highlighted as the Yahoo! Pick of the Day.
This month I taught a course of 15 elementary and high school students in a week-long “computer camp”. We had a great set of people who were eager to learn and well-behaved. On the first day of class we learned about our backgrounds with computers and the rules that we all followed at home about Internet access. We all decided that we were not going to do or learn anything in class that was not allowed at home.
Software Tool Review
We covered a wide variety of software tools. The common thing to remember is how to approach software– learn the menus, use teh Help files, and remember that software is logical. Most important lesson: you’ve got to waster your time to learn anything worthwhile.
- We learned FrontPage in class, which is a Microsoft-based product that is well-integrated with other common MS Office software
- We also learned a little bit about Macromedia Dreamweaver. This is the best WYSIWIGeditor around. You can get a free trial version of it, along with other products, here
- We covered Microsoft PowerPoint, which many of the kids have already learned. Good for doing animations and making crazy things move. You can also publish to the web from this application and just about all of the other ones we covered if you have FTP access to a website
- We downloaded and learned Site Spinner, which is the tool that we used to create this page
- We also took at look at Micosoft Excel, which is a very powerful program for managing numbers and formulas
- We learned Adobe PhotoShop and saw how software treats each object separately, allowing us to control the properties for each item. You can get a free trial version here
- We also spent some time on Microsoft Publisher
Web Site Hosting Resources
Just like we talked about in class, the most important thing when approaching the Internet is to adhere to your household’s rules. These links are provided as some possible free resourecs.
- Yahoo! – good page-builder tools for free. A GeoCities Plus account with FTP access will cost $5 per month.
- Angelfire – free. Lots of kids use Angelfire and there are kids communities there.
- AOL Hometown has free accounts with unlimited space and free FTP access
- Freewebs.com – free, lots of space, free cool layouts
- DMOZ Listing – a great list of age-appropriate hosts
Here are links to some of the sites we made in class:
Anything you need to know about the Internet is on the Internet. And remember– don’t pay for anything.