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I.S. - Computer Basics

I am assuming that you, the student, are already "up to speed" on the subject of computers and are prepared to succeed. Ideally, you will have already taken Computer Literacy at Palo Alto College or elsewhere.

To make you and me both more comfortable with your level of expertise, let's go through some preliminaries...

    1. Do you have enough time to take this course? Any college-level course, including this one, requires substantial investments of time and effort. This course will require at LEAST ten (10) hours or more of your time every week. Make a schedule of your week right now. Block out times for work, travel, eating, exercise, family. Now, please block in time for studying this course, communicating with me and the other students involved, and time at a library working with the print and other materials which you are going to have to access.

    2. Do you have the self-motivation and self-discipline necessary to do this form of independent work? The schedule and deadlines I give you will help to structure your work, but YOU will have to make sure you stay in touch, get the work done, and keep up.

    3. The PAC Distance Education Group has designed an inventory particularly for students to evaluate their academic preparation for independent work and self-motivation. You can find this at another www site, The Distance Education Checklist.
    4. You need to know whether of not your computer system is adequate. Read through the System Requirements listed by our district. If you have a problem, please let me know what you are doing about it.

    5. Now you need to evaluate your general computer skills. Take the Technology Survival Skills Self-Assessment test.

If you are a rank beginner and have to play catch-up, you will also want to read these sites:

You will want to start with our Assessment and Tutorials page for more information.
For a deeper review of the material, go to Computers 101. This is a 52 week column. The entire set of lessons is listed here.
MacIntosh Tips and Tutorials
Newbie CyberCourse. A workshop for those with no experience in navigating the Web.

If you need a refresher course, or feel you might need to catch up further, try some of the following sites on the Web (listed in alphabetical order):

Acrobat Reader - A guide to using .pdf documents.
Database Central - Wonderful collection of materials on that most elusive of digital tools
Desk Top Publishing - Tutorials on both DTP and HTML writing without an obvious bias towards any particular software
Graphics - Media Builder offers this awesome site on formats, editors, converters and products which can make you proficient at all kinds of digital graphics.
Help2Go - FAQs, 5 Minute Computer Guides, Buyer's Guides, and tips by Oscar Sodani and Bill Santry, updated daily.
How to Build Your Own Computer - think you've mastered the basics and you're ready to start from nuts and bolts.....LITERALLY? This is a great site for those with the drive to do it themselves.
HTML Crash Course for Educators - Wonderful set-up for teachers ready to design their own pages; very basic but very thorough.
Internet Detective - Great online presentation on information literacy for teachers and students - definitely necessary and too often overlooked when the hardware and software catch everyone's primary attention.
Internet Explorer - Eastern Illinois University tutorial on how to set up and use the Microsoft browser; not too heavy on the graphics and very deliberate, wellwritten text.
Internet Tutorial - Microsoft's user friendly overview of the WWW Internet Tutorial - Polaris' more technical but highly useful discussion of what makes up the WWW
Macintosh Tips and Tutorials - Great page with all kinds of hints, tips and helps.
Netscape - University of California at San Diego tutorial on the browser that set the industry standard for others to follow
Power Point - Australian tutorial giving an Office overview and step by step hints on getting to know this popular presentation software; it tends to want to close browser windows on you, but you can re-open them by clicking on "Tutorials" from them menu
Power Point 97 - Microsoft presentation of its own product with nice visuals and step by step beginner's instructions Tammy's Tech Tips for Teachers - An awesome site of tutorials and a favorite of teachers - check out lots of fabulous ideas for making technology your ally
pages, file formats and navigation
Webpedia - Online reference tool for all kinds of technology "how tos" - great concept!
Windows 95 - not everyone is using 98 yet!!

NEXT: Web Introduction

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Please send comments to: Colby Glass, MLIS

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