I have been teaching extension courses locally at West LA College for around two years now (I  will soon start teaching at El Camino College as well), and I can easily say that it has been a wonderful experience.  Teaching has allowed me to connect one-on-one with the target audience for my book Computer Zen: A Journey to Better Computing and see how well the information comes across to real people.  So far, the response has been very positive and I have branched out into teaching other classes.  Click to read more…

In addition to teaching my “Tips and Tricks” class every semester, I also have taught Introduction to MS Word, Introduction to MS Excel, and Intermediate Word and Excel.  Those classes were taught multiple times as a result of the normal instructor being ill for a while and needing coverage.  It’s hard picking up someone else’s curriculum and teaching based on it without having seen them actually teach the course first, but I learned a lot from the experience.  This semester, I am also offering a Social Networking introductory class for the first time based on some input from the extension staff.  It should be a fun and informative class.

The majority of the students that have enrolled in the classes I have taught are middle aged or older.  This is really nice because they are very willing to learn, attentive, and appreciative of their newfound knowledge.  I also never have issues with discipline or disruptions.  Typically, they are professionals looking to enhance their career skillset or are just looking for some new tools that might open doors to new opportunties.  Either way, the class environments are usually really enjoyable for everyone involved.

For all of you out there that aren’t super comfortable with your computer use, or want to master a new program, or just want to take your knowledge to the next level, I highly recomend you check out the extension courses offered by your local community college.  Usually, the classes are pretty affordable and you can come out of them with a lot learned in a very short amount of time.  The one bit of advice I would offer, is that you should plan on taking what you learn and practicing it on your own at home so that the information really sinks in and becomes part of your applied routine.  Sometimes students have expectations that they’ll be able to retain everything after a 6 hour class, but that’s just unrealistic.  Turning skills into habit takes time and repetition.  If you keep that in mind, you’ll get a lot out of the experience.

This entry was posted on Tuesday, February 3rd, 2009 at 11:48 am and is filed under Basic Computer Use, Tips & Tricks. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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