Older News  » Computer skills for parents

Last updated 10:54 AM on 15 September 2011

Has your child left you behind in the technology stakes? Update your computer skills easily online now with video tutorials and classes, many of which are free.

Video tutorials, vodcasts and webcasts (different people call them different things) are the easiest way to learn about technology because you can watch example tasks being performed onscreen while you listen to the explanation.

You'll find video instructions on the eHow website for everything from how to use iTunes or how to set up a WiFi hotspot at home, to how to make a website. The videos are contributed by the eHow community and cover an impressive array of topics.

The BBC's Webwise Guides are also great learning resources, with videos on sharing vodcasts, social networking tools and how to watch TV shows online through streaming or downloads.

Software being used in schools

NSW public schools all now have access to the latest Adobe and Microsoft software, which is also pre-loaded on the new laptops all Year 9 students receive through the Digital Education Revolution.

To learn how to use Microsoft Office products like Word, Excel, Outlook, Publisher and PowerPoint, check out the webcasts and podcasts or watch self-paced training courses for Office 2007 or 2003.

Adobe TV is a great place to become familiar with much of the innovative software your child may be using in class. Their has lots of easy-to-understand video tutorials on all the Adobe products, which are suitable for beginners to advanced users. You can learn to make your own podcasts with online tutorials on how to use the free audio editing software, Audacity, which is also being used in schools.

Go back to school

TAFE NSW is Australia's largest training provider, and it's not just for teenagers completing apprenticeships. As well as giving students of all ages the opportunity to further their careers with industry-recognised qualifications, TAFE offers a range of courses, including computer and IT subjects, for anyone interested in broadening their education.

TAFE courses can be undertaken at 130 TAFE campuses across NSW or completed online.

On the TAFE website, go to the "Find A Course" search box and enter "computers" or "information technology" to view the range of short courses through to advanced-level qualifications.

Fees for short computer courses start at $160. Certificate to Advanced Diploma level course fees range from around $220 to $750 per semester. Courses that contribute to professional self-education may be tax deductible, so check with the ATO.

Read more about the technology your child may be using, in Click- a technology guide for parents.