Online Computer Training Programs
Discover the pros and cons of taking a computer training program online. Find out about several of the top online computer training programs.
Technology is becoming more prevalent in the workplace. Even when you apply for an entry level position, you are expected to have a basic understanding of computers, as well as several common programs. Even if you aren’t looking for work, computers are becoming more ingrained in the world. Many businesses operate entirely online. Even systems with in-person options are typically more efficient to access using a computer.
Learning how to use computers may seem daunting, but there are a number of basic computer training programs available. While there are many shared lessons taught at each program, the rest of the criteria is fairly different. For example, some classes also include sections on basic internet safety, primarily aimed at children. Other classes focus more on applications commonly used in the workplace. There are also some classes that focus on managing hardware and improving your typing. Some courses are available for free and take place over a short period, while others are longer and cost money.
Picking a Computer Training Program
With so many computer training programs available, it can quickly become overwhelming to try and pick a course. To narrow down your selection, identify what you want to learn. Many computer training programs are geared towards a specific audience. If you want to learn about using computers in the workplace, look for a more technical program. Some programs even list in the description if they are targeted towards workers. You can also look at job listings and see the required technical skills, then look for classes that focus on those areas.
Do not be afraid to ask questions. If a program seems good but doesn’t include a set list of what you learn, reach out to the provider and explain what you are trying to get out of the program. Even if the program ends up being a poor fit for what you want, the course provider can likely recommend a better course.
Online vs. In-person Classes
Another decision you must make when selecting computer training programs is whether you take the course online or in-person. Previously, there was a healthy mix of in-person and online classes. Many universities hosted free tutorials throughout the year. Unfortunately, due to the Covid-19 pandemic, these classes are becoming rarer. The majority of colleges are opening up for in-person classes again, but many side programs are still digital only as of writing.
Online classes have many advantages over in-person courses. The biggest advantage is the ability to fit online courses into your schedule. You can take the classes at your own convenience, allowing you to work or attend other classes in the day. The shorter nature of computer training programs makes it even easier to build into your schedule. Many students are also more comfortable taking the lessons at their own pace and experimenting at home instead of being limited to however much time is available in a physical classroom.
The downside of taking a computer training program online is the lack of communication. Because the classes rely on using a computer, it can naturally be difficult to follow or even access the lessons if you are unsure how to use your computer in the first place. Online classes are best if you understand the basics of using a computer, but either want to become proficient in a specific program for work, or want to learn common shortcuts and other uses for your computer.
If in-person classes are not available, there are still ways to learn the basics of using a computer. Instead of taking a complete course, you can opt for a tutorial. Unlike courses, tutorials focus on teaching a few basic skills in a short period of time. The shortest training programs typically last for a few weeks, while tutorials are rarely longer than an hour.
Younger generations have an easier time with computers because they were raised alongside them. Skillful Senior is a computer tutorial meant to explore the basics of computing. Skillful Senior utilizes many of the lessons now taught to younger students, but repurposed to appeal towards a senior audience. The tutorials take less than an hour to complete on average. They cover basic skills like how to type and use a mouse, internet browsing and saving or downloading files. In addition to hosting tutorials, the website also has a number of other resources aimed at seniors who want to become more comfortable with technology.
Meganga is an online website with a number of tutorials and training programs for computers. While it was initially advertised as only being for seniors, this was changed to include beginners to computer programs as well. All of the lessons are free and utilize video lessons. Some of the most popular tutorials focus on common workplace programs, like Office, PowerPoint and Excel.
Alison has both free and paid options available. All of the courses and assessments are free, but you must pay for a monthly subscription if you want to receive a certificate or diploma. As of writing, a subscription plan costs $9 each month. Alison has a wide range of programs, and while most are aimed at beginners, there are some advanced courses that focus on commonly used workplace programs. There are even some classes to help future computer programmers learn the basics of HTML, CSS and Python.
Goodwill Community Foundation Global
Goodwill Community offers a free computer training program. The program was originally developed with students in mind, ranging from kindergarteners to highschoolers. The program has evolved, with additional programs for college students and employees. There are even shorter tutorials available for seniors. The classes are divided into multiple categories and are consistently updated based on technological trends. For example, the program previously added classes for all the ways to use social media.
Khan Academy is another free online computer training program. It is primarily intended for younger students, but there are some programs available for college students as well. The program focuses on multiple areas, including how to safely use the internet and diagnosis common computer problems. For older students, there are also programs to learn the basics of computer programming and science. There are also specific sections to help with Praxis, SAT and LSAT preparation. In addition to computer courses, Khan also has a number of other educational programs for students.