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Okay well heres the deal, my grandmother called me other day and asked if I could come by and help her neighbor with a computer problem (They live in a senior citizens building).

So I go there and go with my grandmother down to the womans apartment. We sit there at her laptop as she asks me various questions which I will list below. So we are there for a good 15 minutes and my grandmother leaves and now its just me and the woman and 15 minutes later we wrap it up and she dismisses me and gives me $20 bucks.

I think she wants me to help her because she gets free computet lessons from a teacher at a local high school. This guy will not help anyone after class she says he tells them he only is paid for class hours and not to stay extra. She also tells me she had trouble seeing the screen when its projected.

She then asks if i can call her for a time for me to come back next week..So I am going to call her tomorrow or Monday afternoon, but I am unsire what to do when I get there like if I should plan out a lesson or what.

Heres what she had me do. Keep in mind she asked me about this.

1) She asked how to disable her popup blocker so a window for cheaptickets would appear for her homework for her computer class.

2) She asked me how to search for stuff in Google. She needed to look up entertainment in Colorado Springs, CO for her computer class.

3) She then asked me how to open Microsoft Office so she can type a eocument for her class but I told her she had to pay for it and she waa willing to. I then siggestto try and use WordPad and she was pleased with that so I taught her how to open WordPad.
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I know I'm a little late, but thought I would post anyway. When I do these things for people I rarely create any type of "lesson plan" as you indicated above. It's tough at the beginning to determine what skills they have or lack. For example, I was teaching an older couple how to use their email to send, receive, etc. They seemed to grasp the concept, but at the end, I realized that I missed a critical step which was telling them that they had to double click on IE to open the program. :D

It's also a great idea to show them how to do something while they take notes and then let them sit at the controls and take a stab at things. You would be surprised at how much more most people learn by doing, over watching.

It's really hard to come up with a structured program, although I do maintain small write-ups on how to do some things like email, pictures, word, etc. I've found that it's best to allow them to lead the way, because chances are, anything they want to do with the PC is something you or I don't even have to think about. So it's not like you need to do a bunch of research before training them.

But sometimes they aren't sure what they want to learn because they won't be familiar with what can actually be done with a computer. In that case, you might want to suggest something to them. Such as emailing a picture as an attachment, playing an online game, or editing and printing a family photo. I've also found it helpful to explain the way some things work during the first lesson. For example, how the internet works and what a search engine actually does for the user. Things that you and I take for granted.

Although sometimes frustrating it is also very rewarding. I had one woman I saw every week for a couple months who really caught on to things. In the end, she had purchased an iPod Touch, was ripping all her CD's to an NAS and managing her own iTunes library. It was great to see the excitement on her face when she found all this "cool stuff" she could do with her computer that she never knew was possible.

As for Word, you might want to look into the Open Office suit which will give you the best of both worlds.

Edited by Spyderturbo007, 05 April 2011 - 06:48 AM.

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