If you struggle with your computer, don’t be ashamed or discouraged. There are plenty of resources to help you improve – whether it’s as simple as typing, or as complex as mastering a new program or software. Here are some great ways to improve your computer skills.
Practice What You Know
You may not be a computer whiz, but the best place to start is to practice what you do understand about your computer. For example, if you’re already familiar with typing, you can create a practice schedule until you reach your desired speed and accuracy. If you know how to navigate file structures, be sure to do so regularly to keep that skill sharp. Sharpening your existing skills will give you a better baseline for learning new ones.
Learn How to Google
You might be thinking, “Of course, I know how to use Google!” But the skill we’re talking about here is deeper than doing a simple keyword search. There are a ton of search engine tips that will help you find the results you want faster. For example, using quotations around key phrases and plus/minus signs to indicate what you do or don’t want to see in your search results will change how you navigate the internet. Once you master the Google search, you have infinite information at your fingertips. And any time a computer or program stumps you, you can search for a how-to guide. But beware of phishing!
Take Advantage of Educational Resources
How-to guides are great for learning, but they aren’t your only option. Community colleges often offer computer courses – whether it’s general usage, typing, using Microsoft office, or something more advanced. You can also find classes and practice resources online, whether that’s in the form of a virtual classroom or a YouTube video. In many cases, you can find a resource online for little to no cost.
Ask for Help
When you’re trying to build new skill sets, it always helps to have support from others. Think about who you know who has a knack for technology – maybe a friend, a young family member, or a coworker. If you can, work hands-on with this person. Oftentimes, it is much easier for them to show you how to do something on a computer than it is to explain.
Define What You Want to Learn
It’s important to narrow down your goals when developing computer skills. For example, setting goals like “I want to make beautiful PowerPoint slides” or “I will learn to tailor my search results” will allow you to locate the right resources!