As the saying goes, “Practice makes perfect”. Maybe you’ve decided to do one or two computing lessons a week but you still feel you can do more. If you want to improve upon the basic computer skills you've learnt during your private computer classes, the best way to improve is to practice!
You can improve on the computer knowledge gained from your tutor regardless of the topic.
Thinking about learning how to use computers or taking a computer tutorial? There are plenty of different types of tuition and computer courses available:
Computer basics, using an operating system, getting to grips with typing, how to use the mouse, etc.
Computer training for Microsoft Office skills, Microsoft Word for word processing, editing an Excel spreadsheet, creating a PowerPoint presentation, email, etc.)
Digital literacy for seniors, hands on instruction showing the older generations fundamental computer skills to ensure that they remain connected in the modern world.
Introduction to computers and computer hardware.
Fundamental internet basics, navigating web pages, opening and closing tabs, etc.
Software engineering and computer technology
To make the most of the time spent with your personal IT instructor, Superprof recommends that every learner watch specialised online computer tutorials and talk to people you know who work in IT when you're not with your private tutor.
Here’s Superprof’s advice on how to make the most of your time between your private tutorials.
Study Between Computer Classes with YouTube
Even if you’re not the studious type and don’t really like having a notepad and pen, think about booting up your computer and looking at the hundreds of free computer video tutorials and summaries on a variety of different topics.
What better way than the virtual video library that is YouTube?
Programmers can enjoy the “Programming Methodology” lecture series posted by the famous American university Stanford: There are 4 50-minute lectures available.
What about Mark Zuckerberg’s CS50 lecture where the creator of Facebook talks about the programming and applications used to make the world’s most famous website and social network?
If you like IT, technologies, and celebrities who rarely do interviews, why not consider checking out Ted’s YouTube channel? TED (Technology, Entertainment, and Design) Talks are a series of international presentations and speeches funded by the American non-profit The Sapling Foundation. You don’t need a lot of IT equipment for this.
You can discover loads of artists, scientists, politicians, and businessmen like Bill Clinton, Elon Musk, and Tim Berners-Lee, the inventor of the world wide web.
There are plenty of video tutorials on YouTube where you can get free lessons on a huge number of things for those just starting out with computers.
Getting started with your PC
Using Programmes and Apps
Browsing the Internet
Find numerous online IT courses here.
Read Books on Computers and IT!
There are thousands of books available on computers for anyone who wants to learn to use them, learn computer programming, etc.
Here are some of the most common themes covered in books on computers and IT.
Using word processors, spreadsheets, and PowerPoint presentations.
Basic Skills for those new to computers like keeping your data safe.
Learning programming (Java, Python, C, Visual Basic,…)
Learn how to manage computers and tips on IT for beginners
Learn about computer architecture
Browsing the internet safely (IT security classes)
Web design and how to create a web site
Graphic Design courses and how to use Adobe Creative Cloud (formerly the Adobe Creative Suite)
Here are a few books that are popular amongst those learning about IT:
The popular series of yellow and black books is known by many and, as its name indicates, is great for those who know nothing about computers. This book, which teaches you the basics in a simple and clear way, includes answers to questions that you might be too embarrassed to ask:
Plugging in and turning on a computer
Using a mouse and keyboard
Connecting to the internet
Setting up an email (electronic mail) client and using emails.
Launching desktop programmes (word processor, spreadsheets, etc.)
This book is highly recommended, especially for those just starting out with the language. It nearly has a perfect 5-star rating on Amazon.
This book on programming in Python is rated 4 out of 5 stars. If you're looking for a quality book on Python, this is the one to get.
A useful resource for those starting out with C. Currently rated 4.4 out of 5 on Amazon.
With a rating of 4.5 stars after hundreds of reviews, this book deals with digital technology and how it transformed our everyday and working lives.
A best-seller when it comes to cybersecurity and cryptography, this book answers some of the most important questions commonly asked by software engineers. The author teaches you how to resolve certain issues, use IT tools effectively thanks to his experience as a high-level software engineer.
You should also ask your tutor and your friends and family about any useful books on IT and/or programming. You’ll be able to find plenty resources on programming and books for beginners in local libraries and bookshops.
If you’re on a budget, don’t forget that physical libraries still exist and getting a library card is a fairly easy process. This is a lot cheaper than buying every book and you can still learn a lot. Of course, this isn't a useful solution when it comes to having books on hand as reference materials.
Discover the various computer courses on Superprof.
Immerse Yourself in Digital Culture and Get Ahead in Your Computer Lessons
If you want to become an IT expert, you have to live and breathe computers. It might sound silly, but becoming a genuine “geek” can help you think like an IT technician and feel more comfortable when it comes to using computers.
Why not look for TV series and movies that are popular within the subculture?
Given that those working with computers tend to live on the internet, it isn’t hard to find communities and ask people the types of shows, movies, music, and media they like consuming so that you can get a closer look at the culture surrounding working in IT.
You should drop the notion that “geeks” are social pariahs. In fact, geek culture in the modern age is incredibly popular. In fact:
66% of those under 20 consider the term “geek” a compliment.
43% of those asked said that “geeks” were intelligent.
31% of geeks are thought to do well in their work.
It’s becoming more and more common in popular media for the girl to ditch the “jock” and end up with the “geek”. Watch a few modern series and you’ll see that culture is shifting.
There are several studies showing just how important those in IT are.
“While often thought of as ‘losers”, these geniuses have been indispensable since the dawn of the digital age. Businesses are taking notice and paying particular attention to the way in which they are subverting expectations: working in teams, innovating, and being resourceful.”
Regularly Do Programming Exercises
Whether your training focuses on programming in languages like Java, Visual Basic, C++, Python, or MySQL (for managing databases), what better way to practise between your tutorials just like a musician does between their lessons?
There are plenty of interesting sites on programming, app development, and web development.
You’ll find IT news sites with recent developments, tutorials, eBooks to read, etc. Unsurprisingly, the internet is a goldmine for information on IT.
You should ask your tutor about the best sites for this kind of information, too. You can also send them examples of your code over Skype, for example, between your classes.
Can't code yet? Find programming courses through Superprof!
Talk with IT Professionals
Just by talking with IT specialists, you’ll get a better understanding of the digital landscape and the opportunities available to those who master it. If you haven’t found your private tutor yet, this could be the way to do it.
They could also help you with several IT jobs:
Becoming an IT Technician
Leading an IT department
Object Oriented Programming Specialist
With the development of smartphones and apps, big data is central to 21st-century IT and digital technologies. Experts in analysing data are highly sought after. This might be the career change you've been looking for!
If you are yet to find a course to enrol on and want to know how much tutoring costs, see here.