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OCC Offering Free Basic Computer Skills Classes


Computer PhotoUsing a new computer or software program can be a bit intimidating, but Olney Central College’s longtime basic computer instructors Frank Hatten and Cindy Foerster are ready to help.

“We want to reassure the students, answer questions and help them to develop the skills they need,” said Foerster, who teaches the evening Computer Skills I class.

The introductory course is designed for students who have little or no computer experience. The class starts with the very basics such as turning on the computer and opening files on the desktop.

“It really is a fun class. We want the students to become comfortable using the computer and to realize it is not going to bite or blow up if they do something wrong,” Foerster said. “We want them to come, have fun and learn.”

During the semester, students learn step by step how to access the Internet, utilize various software programs and conduct searches with Google and other search engines. The classes also address computer security issues as well as photo editing and storage.

Foerster and Hatten, who teaches the evening Computer Skills II course, said they also try to utilize free software programs that students can easily access and use at home.

Hatten said many students, who take the class, want to expand their computer skills so they can keep in touch with family and friends. In addition to email, students also learn how to use various social media and even Skype.

“We can’t teach everything in the 16 weeks, but we try to touch on the basics,” Hatten said. “We empower the students and give them the knowledge they need to find their own answers. We cover a little of everything and give them enough information to help themselves after they finish the class. It has never been easier to learn to use a computer. Once students know how to conduct searches, they can find YouTube videos that will show them how to do the things they want.”

In addition, tutoring is available for those who need extra help outside of class.

Students may take ABE 0735 Basic Computer Skills I from either 2:30 to 4:35 p.m. or from 6 to 8:05 p.m. on Tuesdays, beginning Aug. 26. Those who have already taken the introductory course or have some previous computer experience can increase their knowledge by enrolling in ABE 0736 Basic Computer Skills II, which will be offered from 2:30 to 4:35 p.m. and 6 to 8:05 p.m. on Thursdays, starting Aug. 21.

For more information or to register for the free courses, contact OCC’s Learning Skills Center at 618-395-7777, ext. 2267.          

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