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Mastering Computer Courses with an IT tutor

By Joseph, published on 17/01/2018 Blog > Academia > Information Technology > Learn the Basics of IT with a Computer Science Tutor

There are 10 types of people in this world. Those who know binary and those who don’t.

If you got that joke, then this probably isn’t the article for you. However, if you’re new to computers, the internet, and lack even the most basic computer skills, read on!

With the right introduction to computers and some quality computer classes, you’ll soon be learning all the fundamental IT skills and some important computer basics. It’s time to pick up your mouse and keyboard

If you’re thinking about taking improving your digital literacy to the point where you could consider studying it at university or taking computer courses, for example, Superprof has some tips and tricks that can help you on your way to becoming a top programmer or web developer.

Getting the Right Start with Private IT Tutorials

Before you start studying IT, make sure that you have a good foundation when it comes to computers. You can get a copy of Windows 10 Home for £119.99 and Windows 10 Professional for £219.99.

Here are the very first things you should learn when you first get your laptop or desktop computer:

  • Turning it off and on

  • Connecting to the world wide web and using a browser

  • Configuring your email (electronic mail) client

  • Saving documents (either when you finish them or so that you can resume editing them later)

  • Printing a document

  • Importing photos taken with a digital camera

  • Sending attachments

  • Using sites like WeTransfer for sending larger files that are too big to be sent by email.

There’s nothing better than practice when it comes to learning how to use your personal computer! You’ll need to get used to:

  • tapping

  • scrolling

  • clicking

  • shrinking

  • stretching

  • taking screenshots

  • saving files

In short, you need to use your computer as much as you can if you want to learn more about computers and computer hardware! After all, a hands on approach can be really effective computer training method.

If all this computer technology vocabulary scares you a little, you should ask your private instructor to explain certain terms to you. Additionally, ask for extra homework, a handout,  notes, or a summary at the end of each lesson in order to effectively over your new computer knowledge between lessons.

How do you set up a local area network? You can use hardware as a good visual example of how computers work. (Source: pixabay.com)

You could also take a complete IT class that covers both theory and how to use computers:

  • What is a programme or an app?

  • What is memory used for?

  • What’s a byte, megabyte, gigabyte, etc?

  • What is source code or a compiled programme?

  • What is free software?

  • Who are Steve Jobs, Bill Gates, and Mark Zuckerberg?

When talking about IT, we often talk about “internet culture” or “digital culture”. These two ideas encompass everything that we were just talking about. This is why an in-home IT tutor could be useful for explaining these things without you having to look for hours and hours to find the answer.

Learn IT at Home and Improve your Computer Skills

If you don’t feel like reading the free lessons online, you can always hire a real teacher to help you. Before you do anything, you should get yourself some word processing software. Don’t worry if you don’t already have one on your computer, your tutor can help you download an office suite (which should always includes a word processor).

The most famous one is Microsoft Word which comes with Microsoft Office alongside Excel (spreadsheets), PowerPoint (presentations), OneNote (digital notepad), Access (databases), and Outlook (emails).

There are three different versions of Microsoft Office:

  1. Office 365 Home (£79.99 per year)

  2. Office 365 Personal (£59.99 per year)

  3. Office Home & Student 2016 (£119.99 one-time purchase)

You can also find free office suites like OpenOffice or LibreOffice.

Which should you choose? Once again, your private tutor can recommend the right option for you.

Learn to do Your Own Computer Maintenance with a Private In-home IT Tutor

A computer is a collection of hardware (physical elements) and software (virtual elements) which can all fail.

If you can fix the small errors you come across, you can save a lot of money by not having to call tech support or getting IT technicians to come to your house.

How can you protect your computer from viruses? Make sure that you learn how to keep your computer safe. (Source: Jay Kunwar)

What can a private tutor help you do in terms of computer maintenance?

  • Clean your PC

  • Update your drivers

  • Improve your computer’s security against hackers

These are a few simple things you can do to guarantee that your machine will keep working in the long run.

If you want to go even further, here’s a quick overview of the IT maintenance skills your private tutor will probably show you how to:

  • Delete programmes you don’t need. There are probably dozens of them! This allows you to free up memory and make starting up your computer less painful since they won’t be taking up valuable resources when you turn your computer on.

  • Regularly delete temporary files.

  • Regularly defragment your hard disk in order to optimise the storage used.

  • Delete your browsing data and other cookies.

  • Learn to use your antivirus in order analyse any attacks on your computer.

There are plenty of free computer lessons online that can help you go through how to do some of these, too.

Learn to Surf the Web Thanks to Your Private Tutor

Once your private in-home IT tutor has taught you about your operating system and a few basic skills, they’ll show you how to use a search engine in your web browser. The most common browsers are:

  • Google Chrome

  • Mozilla Firefox

  • Safari (on Macs)

  • Opera

How can you surf the web? You should learn about navigating the internet on computers, tablets, and smartphones. (Source: pixabay.com)

During your computer class, you’ll learn to:

  • Use a search engine by searching using keywords and choosing the most commonly visited sites.

  • Browse a web page and open different tabs.

  • Add websites to your favourites and manage them.

  • Set up an email account and check your email inbox using a web-based client.

  • Take screenshots.

  • Download .jpg or .pdfs from a website.

When accessing networks or surfing the net, you’ll often be expected to create accounts for various sites (your phone provider, internet service provider, online shopping, news websites, etc.)

This is where your private tutor will help you coming up ways to create secure passwords and how to hide them. You’ll often be asked to ensure that your password contains a mix of upper and lower case characters as well as numbers.

You should know that you’ll never be 100% safe but you can make it harder to hackers to work it out. You should also invest in an anti-spyware or antivirus programme and take your private tutor’s advice into account since they’ll definitely know a thing or two about which programmes are the best.

What about Learning more about Programming Languages in your Private Computer Tutorials?

This section of the article should be of interest to those who’d like to take IT further and study it for work or even take it as a subject at university or just a class on coding as part of another degree.

If you want to learn to programme, here are a few of the most common programming languages used to give you an idea of what you’ll come across:

  • Python: this is an object-oriented language that emphasises code readability.

  • Java: an object-oriented programming language. Programmes written in Java are often easily adapted to other operating systems like Unix, Windows, Mac OS, or GNU/Linux.

  • C: This is one of the most commonly used programming languages and has been around since the 70s. More recently, languages languages like C++, Java, and PHP, which are based on C, are used.

  • Visual Basic: This is a “is a third-generation event-driven programming language and integrated development environment” according to Wikipedia.

  • COBOL: common business-oriented language.

When you learn to code, you’ll have to learn the syntax specific to each programming language. You can do this in your room on your own or you can do this with a quality private tutor or an IT technician.

Which programming language should I learn? If you want to become a web developer, you may have to learn several programming languages. (Source: pixabay.com)

If you’re interested in learning how to create websites or pursuing web development, you’ll need to learn the basics of:

  • HTML (now HTML5) in order to create web pages.

  • CSS in order to create the styles of each page (colours, fonts, shapes, etc.)

You’ll often have to have lessons on PHP, a programming language used to make websites more interactive.

What Should You Look for in a Private IT Tutor?

There’s often a gap between an IT tutor (they’re often millennials who’ve grown up using computers and social networks) and their students. They often end up teaching the older generations how to use computers, too.

Should you worry about this generational gap? Of course not!

Remember that private tutors are passionate about all aspects of their subject. IT is one of the few fields where it’s the younger generation who’ll teach the older one. So there’s no need to huff and puff about it!

Here are a few of the qualities you should look for in a private IT tutor:

  • A gift for explaining all the IT jargon in an easily understood way.

  • Patience and teaching skills.

  • A passion for passing on knowledge.

  • Joy when talking about the tools they use on a daily basis.

  • Wanting to bring their student into the modern age.

  • Using new technologies to open up new methods of communication.

Find out about IT courses for seniors.

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