Learning to be comfortable with computers
Some nontraditional students already know a lot about computers. Some don't. For the ones that do not, there are some places online you can go to get help learning what you need to know about computers.
One place is the Technology Page at the Nontrads site. This page explains a little about programs used in college, and gives some advice to nontraditional students who are new to computing or who want to learn more about it.
Another good place to learn about computers is the Betsyanne Seniors Page. Check out the very left side for free lessons on the AARP site to help nontraditional students get familiar with programs like Microsoft Word.
How your school can help
Your school may already offer computer courses for beginners. If you are a nontraditional student, make sure to sign up for these courses. They can help you a lot by helping you brush up on your typing and presenting the basics of programs used at the school.
You will want to learn all the basics of computing so that your school experience will be easier. Programs available today help you write reports, type out your classroom notes, communicate with class members, and keep your school records current.
Online classes can be very convenient for nontraditional students. If you are in an online course, make sure you touch base with the school or your professor to make sure that you understand how to log on to your class web area in order to keep up with assignments and interact with your class as well.
Ask your advisor before school starts what assistance the college has for nontraditional students who need to learn about computers. They may have a required class you take when you begin.
Also, allow at least an extra week or even a month before you start classes in order to familiarize yourself with the programs you need for class - and to make sure that they are compatible with your computer.
Some online courses use a program called Blackboard. Every student has his or her account here, and the program helps each student keep track of his or her grades, too.
If you decide to use the computers at your school, you will need to find out how to access the computer labs, the hours each are open, and how to create your student account. Often, student helpers are available at each computer lab to help you.
For computer newbies
Are you completely new to computers? If you already know how to type, you will definitely be a step ahead. But you probably will want to take a beginning computer class a semester before you are in the midst of your college experience. You won't regret it.
Here are some more websites I found today that look very helpful to the nontraditional student who is not as familiar with computers as they would like to be:
AARP Free computer lessons - this is the very best basic course I have seen.
Microsoft Tutorials - learn access, databases, PowerPoint, more.
More Online tutorials
SeniorNet free computer courses - learn how to change accessability options to make the type bigger on your computer, more.