Computer Skills and School
When I decided to go back to college for my graduate degree, I did not have a computer and I had no computer skills. That was a tough one since all our papers had to be done on a computer and some of them had to be done in Power Point and Excel. So I had to learn how to use the computer and a myriad of computer programs on my own while taking my courses. And I had no computer. We had a computer lab at college, which I utilized, and I used other college computer labs and public library computers. It was really quite awful learning all on my own, but somehow I got so good that a few years ago I was teaching adults how to use the computer.
This is the way I learned and I wouldn’t wish this on anyone. Whenever I got stuck I would ask the stranger sitting next to me how to do it. I usually always got help. At the public library I asked librarians for help. They didn’t like helping too much. At college, I asked anyone.
My first papers were done on a variety of computers, so that some papers had a mixture of font types on one page.
The rumor on college campuses was that their computers were filled with viruses, so you always worried about that.
Then on college campuses, some students think it is great fun to run a bunch of stuff through the printer so that no one else can print out their stuff. This happened to me a few times.
By the time I got to my second Masters Degree, I was able to buy a computer. What a relief.
So that is what you need to know about computers if you are going back to school. You need to buy a computer and you need to be able to use one. It is really not that hard to learn to use the computer, but there are people out there who like to keep their computer knowledge classified. If you ask a computer question, they won’t give you a good answer. Children especially like to keep their parents in the dark about computers. That is their domain and they are in charge!
I remember teaching a woman in one day how to use the computer when she could never learn it from her children.
So in order to be fully ready for college or school, taking one computer class might be a good idea. Sometimes they are offered for free at libraries, churches, or community centers. Some senior housing developments also offer free computer classes, if you are a senior.
If you have never owned a computer before, the best way to buy one is to buy a new one at a store like Circuit City and then buy all the programs you will need. The best one to start out with is Microsoft Office Professional, which includes Power Point, Word, Excel, and Access. Then buy an extended warranty. This will help if anything goes wrong with your computer. A geek might be able to fix it himself, but if you are a computer novice, you will need help getting it fixed if something happens. I had to have a power supply, and 3 new modems installed on my computer during its 3-year extended warranty. That helped immensely. First the Warranty Company would do a test on my computer by computer. They would determine what was wrong and a technician would be out right away to fix the problem and install the new components – no extra cost.
When you get your new computer don’t let anyone else use it either. This way I believe you can preserve the life or your computer.
A good website I found for computer problems is www.computerhope.com