If you know nothing about computers, then you’ll probably benefit a lot from this article (and computer tutorials!). Whether you’re looking for some IT training in word processing, making a presentation with Microsoft PowerPoint, carrying out web research for a class on algorithms and machine learning, or just wanting to learn some basic computer skills, you’ll need the right equipment.
This equipment might also be useful for those wanting to teach computer classes.
Before you take start your computer training, you should remember that you’ll need a few things in terms of equipment:
A computer. You can’t learn computer basics without one, to be fair. You can choose either a PC (personal computer) or a Mac (Apple). You won’t need to spend a fortune on IT equipment. You can get your first computer (including the screen and the tower) for around £200 on some of the bigger websites. If you’re going to use your computer to watch films or edit images (you could get tutorials on how to use Adobe Photoshop), you might consider looking into buying a Mac. While they’re more expensive than PCs, they make up for it with their sleek design, ease of use, speed, and the quality of their screens. There are also tutors who specialise in tutorials for those wanting to learn how to use Apple products and the Mac OS (operating system) which differs from Windows. We’ll talk more about this later on in the article.
The programmes: the Microsoft Office suite (Microsoft Word, Excel, PowerPoint, etc.) is available on both Windows and Mac and now come with a renewable licence. There are also free computer programmes such as Apache’s OpenOffice which includes a word processor and spreadsheet and presentation programmes.
You can get IT tutorials in a group, on your own, or over webcam. (Source: pixabay.com)
Programming languages usually require a specific programme such as Microsoft’s Visual Basic or Java. Some of these are free, others you’ll have to pay for. You should do some research before you start. If you’re a graphic designer taking tutorials in editing photos (via Photoshop training) or layouts (Indesign and Illustrator), you’re probably going to have to invest, often heavily, in the programmes required by paying for a monthly or annual licence from Adobe.
The Internet, of course! Whether it’s to find your future tutor, get online computer tutorials (over webcam), or even send and receive emails and documents with your private IT tutor. Here’s a brief summary of the main internet service providers (ISPs) and their offers:
Remember that a lot of the deals come with contracts over a year so choose wisely!
TalkTalk: £19.99/month (for 12 months). 12 month contract.
Vodafone: £20.00/month (for 18 months). 18 month contract.
Plusnet: £18.99/month (for 18 months). 18 month contract. £5 setup costs.
Sky: £18.00/month (for 12 months). 12 month contract. £9.95 setup costs.
Post Office: £19.00/month (for 18 months). 18 month contract.
If you want to get or give IT tutorials over the internet (via webcam), you’ll need to invest in a webcam yourself so you can see one another clearly and invest in a quality microphone so that you can be heard better. While even an entry-level laptop comes with built-in webcam, the quality isn’t always great.
For in-home private tutorials, a tablet might come in handy. While you’re probably going to think we’re pro Apple, their tablets do include a built-in camera and microphone.
How much do IT tutorials cost?
The classic desktop personal computer is made up of a tower and a screen (as well as the mouse and keyboard). Nowadays, there are many all-in-one models which take up less space in your house but also make them harder to repair yourself.
Once you’ve learnt the basics of PowerPoint, you’ll be able to create simple presentations. (Source: energepic.com)
You should also consider investing in external hard drives if you want to back up your documents.
Once you’ve got this equipment, you should be ready to get your first private tutorials in using computers.
Here are a few of the types of classes you can get as a beginner:
Learning about the basics of computer hardware, the fundamental parts of a computer (like the central processing unit and the RAM), and computer technology.
Basic skills for those new to computers like typing, using a mouse, setting up a printer over the WiFi network.and how to create a file.
An introduction to computers and internet basics like navigating the world wide web and searching for information
Setting up an email (electronic mail) client and using emails.
Various IT projects (word processing, presentations, spreadsheets, and using Microsoft Office or OpenOffice)
These are just a few of the things you could learn about with webcam or face-to-face tutorials. Or you can go a step further and learn coding with programming courses!
Learning about IT is also learning about how your PC or Mac works (the hardware) or learning about the software (internet browsers, office suites, and your operating system).
You can also learn the absolute basics like turning your machine on and off with weekly tutorials and become an autonomous user within a month or two.
There are plenty of beginners’ computer courses available on Superprof and their price will vary depending on where you are and your tutor’s experience.
A computer class can benefit very young children as well since they’re probably already used to using smartphones and tablets in their everyday lives. Beginners can learn to use programmes just like they would a foreign language and by the time they reach secondary school, they’ll be able to conduct research and find verified sources to help them with their studies and homework.
There are a number of programming languages and they each take a significant amount of time to learn. (Source: pixabay.com)
If you work in IT and would like to teach digital literacy, a programming language, or improve your own skills by taking tutorials in cybersecurity, algorithms, or machine learning, you should head on over to Superprof.
Superprof can put you in contact with programming language experts (C++, Python, Java, Scilab, Fortran, Visual Basic, etc.) and web developers with HTML and CSS skills, app developers, or even IT network administrators.
We’d recommend that absolute beginners opt for at-home computing tutorials since the tutor can interact directly with the student to correct mistakes (which are bound to occur at this early stage).
When it comes to programming and other focused classes with more advanced users, using Skype or other videoconferencing software can be a better option:
Consider choosing professionals who are currently working in the IT sector or provide IT services for large companies.
Or you can get cheaper tutorials from an IT student if your studies are less intensive. In some cases, you can do a like-for-like trade by offering them another type of tutorial.
You could get in-home tutorials on computer maintenance to help you deal with bugs or when your computer crashes and learn important skills like backing up on external hard disks and the cloud, rebooting your computer, and reinstalling programmes. This could help you save a lot of precious time and money if you take care of your own computer maintenance.
If you want to learn more about Apple, why not take specialised classes from one of our Apple experts on Superprof?
You can find tutors who’ve previously worked at Apple Stores or studied the platform at university on Superprof, too. Learn more about using Snapchat filters and how to stream films onto your TV from your Mac or just learn more about Mac OS and iOS, the latter being present on the Apple iPhone.
If you’re a business owner or are planning to launch your own business, you’ll probably need a website to promote your business or sell products if you’re opening an online store.
If you want to have your own website, you’re going to need:
a domain name
a host for your site
to build your website (possibly with the help of a web developer)
to fill your site with content
In order to do this, you’re going to have to get in touch with providers, take tutorials in building websites (if you’re doing it yourself), familiarise yourself with CMS (content management systems like WordPress), know how to build and manage a database, edit photos, and learn how to write for SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) so that your website shows up when people are looking for it.
You can use WordPress to create your own web site. (Source: pixabay.com)
To make any business nowadays, you’re probably going to need to make sure it has an online presence. You should consider learning how to browse the internet, search the web securely, use professional networking platforms, and crowdfunding platforms if you’re looking to raise funds from investors or individuals.
It classes are very varied since there are plenty of different fields within IT like programming, using office suites, or using the web effectively. There are IT tutorials for everyone.
Don’t forget you can combine different IT tutorials depending on what you need to learn!
Also, consider ways you can efficiently use your time in between tutorials or classes.