10 Tips for Learning About Computers on Your Own
Thinking about making a career switch but worried about your lack of computer skills? You’re not alone, and you can learn everything you need to know on your own! Start now with this quick guide on learning about computers.
Computers more or less rule our lives these days. From the phones in our pockets to smart televisions to the very device you’re reading this article on, it’s abundantly clear that computers are here to stay.
And whether you’re one of the 66 percent of workers who already use at least two devices at work or you’re just trying to get the hang of modern technology, learning computers can be a fun and exciting challenge.
Here are ten tips for learning computers at your own pace.
1. Set Learning Objectives
Before sharpening your computer skills, consider what exactly you want to learn and why.
Setting clear learning objectives can help you maximize your time.
After all, if you’re already fairly proficient with computers, you don’t necessarily need to know how to install a firewall.
On the other hand, if your idea of technology is a PC with Windows 95, learning the ins-and-outs of your operating system is a good place to start.
If it helps, you may even choose to create a tentative schedule for your self-guided learning.
2. Be Patient With Yourself
Learning anything takes time. But learning something that is more or less constantly evolving is a different beast entirely.
The truth of the matter is that learning how to use a computer can be hard work. It’s important that you recognize that and give yourself credit where credit is due.
Even if it takes months to learn a basic computer command, the very fact that you’re willing to sit down and dedicate your time to learning a new skill set speaks volumes.
3. Practice Makes Perfect
Generally speaking, there are three types of learning styles: Kinesthetic and, visual, and auditory.
While auditory learning isn’t important for learning computer skills, visual and kinesthetic styles are. The former learn best by physically doing something, while the latter learn by seeing or reading information.
In this case, you’ll need to be a mixture of both.
You’ll most likely need to do a good bit of reading to learn a new skill, but putting what you’ve learned into practice matters even more.
This is especially important if you’re trying to learn something like a new programming language, as the basics act as building blocks for more advanced techniques.
4. Consider an Online Course
If you’re someone who requires structure to learn or just wants professional instruction, consider taking an online course.
Thanks to the Internet, you can learn almost any computer-related skill you can think of. All from the comfort of your home!
Best of all, many of these courses are associated with respected educational programs such as MIT or Harvard. Yes, this means that upon completion of the course, you can now brag that you took a course at Harvard.
5. Ask For Help When You Need It
There’s a good chance that at some point you’ll run into something that doesn’t make sense, no matter how hard you try to understand.
In these instances, it may become necessary to ask for some assistance.
Don’t feel bad, asking questions is a fantastic way to learn.
So swallow your pride and ask a trusted friend or family member for some help if you’re having trouble.
6. Read Tech News
The downside to learning about computers is that computer technology changes every day. In fact, by the time this article is published, companies will come up with a way to make computers faster and more efficient.
But that doesn’t mean you should give up or fall behind. In fact, quite the opposite.
Make a habit of reading the latest tech news at least once a week so you can better keep up. You’ll be amazed at how much can change in the span of a few days!
7. Learning About Computers Should Be Fun
Even if you plan to learn a new computer skill to better your career, there’s no reason it can’t be fun. Take the knowledge you gain and use it for something you enjoy.
If you’re learning to code you can design and maintain your own website from scratch.
If you want to learn about game design, you can use a program like Unity to create your very own games with relative ease.
Or maybe you just want to learn the basics of the Internet. Reward yourself with some Netflix or a fun online game.
8. Take Breaks
If you’re someone who gets intense during their study sessions, it may become important to force yourself to take periodic breaks.
Trying to cram too much information into a short period of time may even hurt your ability to learn.
It’s perfectly fine to learn at your own pace, there’s no need to rush things.
9. Be Careful What You Click
The sheer accessibility of technology is a bit of a Catch 22. On one hand, it’s great that people now have access to more information than ever. On the other, not everyone uses that knowledge for good.
Cyber crimes are becoming increasingly complex and hard to spot.
To protect yourself against a data breach or identity theft, trust your gut and follow cybersecurity trends (view here for more on cybersecurity).
If a link seems suspicious, don’t click it.
10. Shortcuts Make Computer Use Easier
Once you get more comfortable with your computer usage, you can start learning some fun new tricks to help you get the most out of your computer.
There are plenty of fun and easy commands that can make you look like a computer whiz.
Here are a few of the most popular shortcuts to help you get started:
- CTRL + C followed by CTRL + V (or Command + C/Command + V for Mac users) allows you to copy and paste text.
- The Windows key followed by PrntScrn (Shift + Command 4 for Mac) lets you screenshot all or part of your screen.
- Windows key + S (? + Space on a Mac) lets you search your file directory.
Anyone Can Learn About Computers
If you’re interested in learning about computers, each of these 10 tips can help you become a computer whiz in no time.
Remember to be patient with yourself and take your time. Anyone can learn how to use a computer regardless of age.
And if you’re interested in learning more about tech, be sure to follow our technology blog for all the latest and greatest tech news.