Opportunities and Options for Learning Computer Skills in the Computer Lab
We offer computer classes for the general public. The Computer Lab has developed a curriculum of courses that progress from a very basic course which assumes no prior computer knowledge to a course in MS Excel.
There are seven courses. The two session* Computer Basics course teaches fundamental skills such as using a mouse, opening programs and copying and pasting. The skills learned in Computer Basics are the minimum required for any of the other courses. Introduction to Microsoft Word 2010, three sessions, introduce word processing skills. The one session File Management course uses Windows Explorer to teach how to organize and manage files and folders. Introduction to Microsoft Excel 2010 is a three session introductory course on spreadsheets, which are used for handling large amounts of data and for managing numbers and equations, such as in a budget. Introduction to Microsoft PowerPoint 2010, three sessions, introduces presentation software. A two session Internet course introduces students to web browsing using Internet Explorer. Email Basics, one session (maximum one hour), offers students one-on-one training. We will help you to establish a web-based email account and show you how to read, reply to and send emails. We can help with attaching files as well. If you already have an email account, we can help you use it more effectively. Appointment Required.
*A class session consists of 1 ½ hours of instruction plus ½ hour for review, questions and practice. Class sessions are typically held one week apart on the same day and time.
Computer Classes FAQ
How much do the classes cost?
Computer Basics and Internet are two session courses and cost $10.00 each. File Management is one session and costs $5.00. Email Basics is one session, by appointment, and is free. The three session Introduction to Microsoft Excel 2010 and Introduction to Microsoft Word 2010 courses are $15.00 each. Class fees are non-refundable.
How do I enroll in a computer class?
The Computer Lab publishes a calendar well in advance of each fall, winter and spring session. The calendar includes information about how and when to enroll in classes. Calendars are available in the Computer Lab or on the library website (www.mc-npl.org–>Our services –>Computer Classes –>Course Descriptions and Schedule). We also supply local libraries in Montgomery County with our class calendars as well as the Bookmobiles.
Do your classes start at the very beginning, like how to turn the computer on?
We do not teach you how to set up a computer and turn it on. Computer Basics, our introductory course, presents the various components of a computer and includes instruction in using a mouse and keyboard. It introduces students to the basics of working in the Windows environment including the desktop, start menu, opening programs and manipulating windows.
What if I can’t make all the class sessions in a course?
We ask that you not enroll if you know in advance that you will miss classes. Our classes are in very high demand and we prefer to enroll only those who are able to make a commitment to clear their schedule and attend all classes. There are other options outlined below which you might try.
What if I want to start at the very beginning and the classes are filled?
We can place your name on a waiting list. If someone drops out before the first session starts we will start calling names on the list in chronological order. If the slot opens at the last minute we will call names until we can speak to someone on the list. If we have more time, we’ll leave messages and accept the first call-back.
What if I don’t need to start at the very beginning? Can I skip some classes?
The skills taught in Computer Basics are the minimum required for most of our other computer courses. If you wish to bypass the Computer Basics course, you will need to demonstrate a basic computing skillset in the lab.
Can I practice in between classes?
Yes, in fact, we encourage it. When the Computer Lab is not closed for classes it is open for public use. You can come in and practice during those times. We have developed support materials such as lesson plans, guides, and tutorials to utilize as you study. While we may be able answer a few questions when you are really stuck, typically practice sessions are self-study. You can always bring your questions to the next class.
Can I bring someone to class to help me?
In our experience this does not work well. It can be distracting to other students and to the teacher. We typically have a teacher’s helper during class who can provide individual assistance to a certain degree.
What if I want to complete the entire series without attending any classes?
You are welcome to use materials developed for our classes, which are available online as well, but we wouldn’t be able to provide assistance beyond how to access the materials, nor would we proctor proficiency tests or issue any certificates. Our study materials are tailored for Windows 7, Microsoft Office 2010, Internet Explorer v.9 and Yahoo web-based email. While these materials are online and can be accessed from a home computer, they are designed for use in the Computer Lab. We have certain settings on our computer software which may not look or behave like the software on your computer.