Technology

Technology

How to use this guide:

This guide explains how you and your students can use multiple tutorials to build the fundamental computer and Internet skills needed today. It includes eight distinct learning plans you can follow and adapt for instruction in a classroom, with a small group, or with individuals. Each plan addresses a specific set of skills students may be interested in acquiring.

The plans range from basics computer and Internet skills to more advanced skills like image editing and using the cloud.

Each plan has four components:

  1. Objectives: These are the goals learners have entering this course of study. Objectives can help you identify the best plan for your class.
  2. Outcomes: These are the skills learners should have gained after successfully completing the plan.
  3. Learning plans: This is a possible sequence of our tutorials. You can find summaries and links for the tutorials mentioned in our Tutorial Descriptions lesson, or you can view our All Topics page to find any tutorial you want.
  4. Other tutorials you may want to use: These are additional tutorials on our site that you may want to reference or include in the learning plan, depending on the skill levels and needs of your students.

Teaching our technology tutorials:

Our technology curriculum is suitable for learners with a wide range of skills and experience, from those who have never touched a computer before to those who know the basics and want to learn more. How you teach our technology tutorials will largely depend on the resources you have.

All of these tutorials work best when learners can practice with computers as they learn. Because differences between computer operating systems and web browsers can greatly affect the learner experience, we recommend having all of your learners use computers with the same operating system and browser during class time if possible. Which browser or operating system you choose to use matters less than the consistent experience your learners should have.

Some of the learning plans in this guide include operating system and browser tutorials. For these, select the tutorials for the operating system and browser available to your students.

Using our learning plans:

To get started, choose the learning plan that best suits your students’ needs. Once you’ve found a plan, you can customize it to make it more relevant to and appropriate for your learners. This could include:

Learning plans

Basic computer skills

This plan is intended for absolute beginners who want to be able to perform basic tasks on computers, like finding files, opening programs, and navigating the interface. We have tutorials for both Windows Basics and OS X Basics, along with specific tutorials for specific versions of both if needed.

Objectives:

General outcomes:

Our current operating system tutorials include both Windows Basics and OS X Basics, along with tutorials for specific versions of each. You'll want to choose the operating system tutorial that matches the operating system your students will be using.

Other GCFLearnFree.org tutorials you may want to use:

Introduction to computers

This plan is intended for beginners with very little experience with computers and the Internet but who want to know more.

Objectives:

General outcomes:

Our current browser tutorials include Chrome, Edge, Firefox, Safari, and Internet Explorer. You can choose the browser tutorial that would be most relevant to your students.

Other GCFLearnFree.org tutorials you may want to use:

Connecting online

This plan is ideal for learners who may have some experience with computers and are interested in connecting with friends and family over the Internet. An emphasis is placed on communication instead of social networks.

Objectives:

General outcomes:

Other GCFLearnFree.org tutorials you may want to use:

Getting started with the cloud

This plan is for learners who may not have a computer or Internet at home but who need email and certain online services for professional and personal reasons. Learners should have some basic familiarity with computers and the Internet.

Objectives:

General outcomes:

Other GCFLearnFree.org tutorials you may want to use:

Introduction to social media

This plan is for learners who already feel comfortable with some technology but who are curious about Facebook, Twitter, and other social media tools.

Objectives:

General outcomes:

Other GCFLearnFree.org tutorials you may want to use:

Introduction to social media for parents

This plan is for learners who may not use the Internet extensively themselves but who want to understand what their children might be doing online and how they can encourage safe Internet practices.

Objectives:

General outcomes:

Other GCFLearnFree.org tutorials you may want to use:

Digital photography and image editing

This plan is for learners who are interested in taking better photos with digital cameras and using image editing software to change the appearance of their photos. Learners will need to be comfortable with working within computer software programs but do not need to have much experience with cameras.

Objectives:

General outcomes:

Other GCFLearnFree.org tutorials you may want to use:

Online research

This plan is for learners who do not have much experience using the Internet but who want to be able to find reliable and useful information online (for example, while searching for jobs) and store it in the cloud via Google Drive.

Objectives:

General outcomes:

Other GCFLearnFree.org tutorials you may want to use: