Free online computer courses let you develop your technical skills from the comfort of your own home.
The Importance of Computer Literacy
In today's high tech world, strong computer skills are becoming increasingly important. Those who are looking for a job often find that knowing how to use the Internet to research available positions and submit resumes via email is a necessity. Working professionals are typically expected to master industry-specific software programs or obtain technical certifications in order to advance within their careers. Even those who are employed in positions that once required minimal computer knowledge, such as truck drivers and food service workers, are finding that basic computer skills are a tremendous asset.
Finding Free Online Computer Courses
Whether you're interested in learning about designing your own PowerPoint presentations or creating unique graphics using Adobe Photoshop, there are free online computer courses available to meet your needs.
If you're fairly new to the idea of using the Internet for research and communication, the Internet Basics course from GCF Learn Free provides an easy-to-follow tutorial designed to boost your computer confidence. Topics covered include customizing your browser, developing effective surfing strategies, and protecting your Internet security.
Using Microsoft Word
Although it's structured a bit differently than most online courses, Learn That has created a wonderful tutorial service for those interested in learning how to use Microsoft Word more effectively. Some of the topics covered include adding words to the custom dictionary, working with footnotes or endnotes, creating styles, backing up your documents, and using toolbars to enhance your productivity.
Using Microsoft PowerPoint
According to Microsoft, over 30 million presentations are made each day using PowerPoint software. Regardless of your future career goals, chances are you'll be expected to master this technology at some point. PowerPoint training from BrightCarbon will give you the tools you need to begin creating your own presentations using their tutorials.
Using Adobe Photoshop
Adobe KnowHow shows you how to use this powerful image editing software to enhance your photos and create your own original graphics. There are six hours of instruction and 60 video tutorials in all, covering topics such as navigating the Photoshop workspace, creating new images, working with layers, and using selections and channels.
Web Page Authoring
Web Page Authoring, a free online course from the Sofia Open Content Initiative, teaches students how to use HTML to create Web pages, link to other sites, and develop graphics and tables. The course discusses basic principles of design and color as they apply to screen presentations, as well as a brief overview of copyright regulations and the principles of design accessibility.
Although the course is self-paced, students are encouraged to complete approximately two lessons per week. Since there are 22 lessons total, this means you will need roughly 12 weeks to finish the class. No special texts, materials, or plug-ins are required to complete the course.
If you're interested in learning more about how to make money online, An Introduction to E-commerce and Distributed Applications will prove to be useful and informative. This free course from Open Learn looks at some of the technologies used to implement e-commerce applications and describes the common business models used to sell goods on the Internet. While this e-commerce class should answer most of your questions about how to use this business building tool, you may find that additional research is necessary. For your convenience, an appendix listing suggestions for further reading is provided at the end of the course.
Additional Computer Education Resources
While free online computer courses can be a useful resource for developing your technical skills, sometimes you may feel like additional assistance is necessary. In this case, it's best to contact your local community college to inquire about continuing education classes. These low-cost courses can be a great way to receive personal assistance while learn more about a particular software program.