What Should Computer Noobs Be Taught First? [We Ask You]

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Yaara recently wrote an article detailing six basic tech skills everybody should possess. It’s a great read, both for those just starting out on their journey into geekdom and for those of us who merely know computer noobs. And we all know at least one at some point in our lives, don’t we? Whether it’s an elderly parent eager to Skype or a child cajoled into signing up to Facebook.

For those who already identify as geeks, using a computer, online and offline, is second nature. The experience holds few surprises, and it’s only augmented by the kind of awesome stuff we learn from MakeUseOf and sites like it. But for noobs, those sweet, innocent creatures, being faced with a computer for the first time is a daunting prospect. Just where do you begin?

This Week’s Question…

What Should Computer Noobs Be Taught First?

I cannot actually remember my first exposure to computers, and I’m sure many of you reading this are the same. Learning how to use one was a gradual process, and I’m still learning today. But the basics are lurking in my brain so deeply I may as well have been born with them intact. This isn’t the case for younger or older people who are presented with this very complex machine for the first time.

In this week’s We Ask You column, we want you to suggest the first thing you feel a computer noob should be taught. Let’s assume the computer is switched on and running an operating system. And that everybody knows what the keyboard and mouse (or touchscreen) are. Then what?

Do you head online first? And if so what website do you direct them to straight out of the gate? Do you explain Wi-Fi or security settings? Do you warn them about clicking on blind links and the dangers of malware that lurk around every corner? Is email the most obvious lesson to begin with? Or is social networking a more important skill to pass on?

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Tell us what you think. You may even have some experience in this field, having taught a friend or family member the basics of using a computer. Is it something that cannot be taught in any big way, instead needing to be learned slowly and methodically? Let us know your thoughts and feelings on the subject matter at hand.

Drawing Conclusions

All comments will be digested to form conclusions in a follow-up post next week where we will detail what You Told UsOne reader will even win Comment Of The Week, which will be included in the follow-up post! What more motivation than that do you need to respond?

We Ask You is a weekly column dedicated to finding out the opinions of MakeUseOf readers. The questions asked are usually open-ended and likely to start a conversation. Some are opinion-based, while others see you sharing tips and advice, or advocating tools and apps to fellow MakeUseOf Readers. This column is nothing without you, as MakeUseOf is nothing without you.

Image Credit: Michelle Hofstrand

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