Thursday, March 08, 2007

Teaching Noobies

The Free Geek project is important to me. I've already given away a few good computer systems. Most of these were to people I know. As some of you read in the last post, I've helped set up a system for Nancy's mother, Nordena. Mrs. Wayman has never used a computer in her life, and it's been a long time since she's ever used a typewriter. She's not use to the keyboard, and the whole mouse thing is a new concept to her.

I've set her up a basic Ubuntu system, with a few important programs for her; Firefox for the Internet, OpenOffice for word processing, and GAIM for instant messaging. There are many other programs I installed, but it will be awhile before she can use them.

When I first sat her down, it wasn't long before I realized the challenge presented to me; an absolute computer noobie (newbie). A Luddite. It's not that Mrs. Wayman isn't technologically illiterate, rather the situation is that she's never needed to use a computer. I realized I was going to need to learn a new skill; teaching basic computer skills. I mean absolute basic skills.

For now, I'm using this site with her:

Basic Computer Skills

It's flash based, and somewhat Windows based, but very good. Since it's a British site, I have to speak in a British accent when we are using it. So far, my accent isn't very good. I'd hoped to improve, and fake a good British accent. It makes anything you say to an American sound very intelligent and significant.

Not only do I have to learn how to teach basic computer skills, this experience is helping me learn how to set up an Ubuntu Linux installation for an absolute beginner. What would be nice is if I could set up an installation with the Basic Computer Skills flash tutorial already installed. So, if anyone knows a way to borrow flash programs from a website, leave a comment, or send me an email:

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