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May 17, 2012
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BIZWATCH: New Computer Learning Center now open

Our COMP 101 course teaches the basics of PC operation, files and folders, customization, MS Office, the internet and social media, online security and safety, and much more.

What sets this program apart from others is that lessons are customized to each individual, and delivered on a one-on-one basis, which removes a lot of the "classroom anxiety" from the learning environment that a lot of people feel. Classes are also flexible to fit into people's busy schedules.

I have observed that one of the biggest hurdles that people have in regards to learning the computer, and technology in general, is that they're afraid of messing something up. One of the first things I do is get them past that fear, and make them more comfortable with their computer. Another thing that I do that doesn't seem to be covered in most classes is I teach about online safety. With the proliferation of malware that we're seeing these days, one can never be too careful, and it is all too easy for a new computer user to become ensnared by malicious software, and lose their personal data. I have found that a basic education can assist a person in avoiding these potentially intrusive and expensive pitfalls. "Forewarned is forearmed."

What can your customers expect from you? I adhere to the philosophy that each client is unique, and has unique learning needs. What works for one person isn't necessarily going to work for all of the others. With that in mind, one of the first things I do with each client is sit down with them for about 20 minutes, to try to gauge exactly where they are in terms of working with the computer, and what their exact learning needs are.

One person may be primarily interested in learning the MS Office programs in order to further their employability, therefore it would make little sense to focus on things like social media with that person. Another individual might be mostly interested in email and Facebook - an entire hour of material on Excel spreadsheets would be of little value to them.

I have been a computer repair technician for quite some time, and through that have noted that questions that most people ask regarding the operation of their computers. I have noticed a need in the community for computer instruction that doesn't expect people to fit into some educational mold, and allows for individual learning needs. My major in college was actually psychology, which I feel has equipped me with a set of social tools and insights unique to the computer field. This combination allows me to present lessons in a manner that allows people to better learn the material.

I can say that it is rather rewarding when teaching a person, you see them come to that "ah-ha" moment - when all the pieces fall together, and they just "get it."

When you know that you have taught someone something that they can carry with them for the rest of their lives, and they can utilize that new-found skill for personal growth and enrichment.

I am a huge fan of literacy programs, or really anything that gets children to read. Recently, I was at the Friends of the Library book sale, and overheard a young boy exclaiming to his parents "Oh! This book is awesome!" I was overjoyed to see a child so enthralled by what most see as a basic skill, and quite frankly take for granted.

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The Post Independent Updated May 17, 2012 07:44PM Published May 17, 2012 07:40PM Copyright 2012 The Post Independent. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.