Back to Tutorial

Lesson 7: Technology

/en/gcfteacherguides/additional-resources/content/

Technology

How to use this guide:

This guide explains how you and your students can use multiple tutorials to build the fundamental computer and Internet skills needed today. It includes eight distinct learning plans you can follow and adapt for instruction in a classroom, with a small group, or with individuals. Each plan addresses a specific set of skills students may be interested in acquiring.

The plans range from basics computer and Internet skills to more advanced skills like image editing and using the cloud.

Each plan has four components:

  1. Objectives: These are the goals learners have entering this course of study. Objectives can help you identify the best plan for your class.
  2. Outcomes: These are the skills learners should have gained after successfully completing the plan.
  3. Learning plans: This is a possible sequence of our tutorials. You can find summaries and links for the tutorials mentioned in our Tutorial Descriptions lesson, or you can view our All Topics page to find any tutorial you want.
  4. Other tutorials you may want to use: These are additional tutorials on our site that you may want to reference or include in the learning plan, depending on the skill levels and needs of your students.

Teaching our technology tutorials:

Our technology curriculum is suitable for learners with a wide range of skills and experience, from those who have never touched a computer before to those who know the basics and want to learn more. How you teach our technology tutorials will largely depend on the resources you have.

All of these tutorials work best when learners can practice with computers as they learn. Because differences between computer operating systems and web browsers can greatly affect the learner experience, we recommend having all of your learners use computers with the same operating system and browser during class time if possible. Which browser or operating system you choose to use matters less than the consistent experience your learners should have.

Some of the learning plans in this guide include operating system and browser tutorials. For these, select the tutorials for the operating system and browser available to your students.

    Using our learning plans:

    To get started, choose the learning plan that best suits your students’ needs. Once you’ve found a plan, you can customize it to make it more relevant to and appropriate for your learners. This could include:

    • Adding your own content. To get the most out of our site, we encourage you to use it in combination with your own assignments and assessments.
    • Removing redundant or unnecessary content. Not every activity will be useful for every learner. Review the activities, and assess your students’ knowledge and needs. You can then omit any content that is irrelevant or unnecessary for your learners.
    • Selecting additional tutorials. You may also choose to integrate tutorials from other sections of our site. You can find a complete list of our tutorials here.

    Learning plans

    Basic computer skills

    This plan is intended for absolute beginners who want to be able to perform basic tasks on computers, like finding files, opening programs, and navigating the interface. We have tutorials for both Windows Basics and OS X Basics, along with specific tutorials for specific versions of both if needed.

    Objectives:

    • To be able to use a mouse effectively
    • To become familiar with the way computers work
    • To be able to navigate either a PC or Mac computer interface

    General outcomes:

    • Learners will be able to effectively manipulate a mouse.
    • Learners will have a basic understanding of how computers work.
    • Learners will know how to navigate a PC or Mac computer interface.

    Our current operating system tutorials include both Windows Basics and OS X Basics, along with tutorials for specific versions of each. You'll want to choose the operating system tutorial that matches the operating system your students will be using.

    Other GCFLearnFree.org tutorials you may want to use:

    Introduction to computers

    This plan is intended for beginners with very little experience with computers and the Internet but who want to know more.

    Objectives:

    • To become familiar with the way computers work
    • To be able to use the Internet to communicate and find information
    • To be able to list computer proficiency on a resume

    General outcomes:

    • Learners will know how to operate a computer.
    • Learners will be able to use the Internet to communicate and find information.
    • Learners will feel safe and comfortable online.

    Our current browser tutorials include Chrome, Edge, Firefox, Safari, and Internet Explorer. You can choose the browser tutorial that would be most relevant to your students.

    Other GCFLearnFree.org tutorials you may want to use:

    Connecting online

    This plan is ideal for learners who may have some experience with computers and are interested in connecting with friends and family over the Internet. An emphasis is placed on communication instead of social networks.

    Objectives:

    • To understand what the Internet is and how email and social networks work
    • To know how to use online tools to keep in touch with family and friends
    • To be able to use the Internet independently
    • To feel safe and comfortable online
    • To obtain an email address for work or personal use
    • To obtain a social media account

    General outcomes:

    • Learners will be able to use the Internet to communicate and find information.
    • Learners will have an email account and understand how to use it.
    • Learners will be connected to Facebook and understand its features.

    Other GCFLearnFree.org tutorials you may want to use:

    Getting started with the cloud

    This plan is for learners who may not have a computer or Internet at home but who need email and certain online services for professional and personal reasons. Learners should have some basic familiarity with computers and the Internet.

    Objectives:

    • To create an email address for work or personal use
    • To be able to use email in a variety of situations, including job searching
    • To be able to maintain an online file-storage account

    General outcomes:

    • Learners will have access to email and be able to use it for a variety of purposes.
    • Learners will understand the concept of online (cloud) storage.
    • Learners will be able to use Google Drive as a personal file-storage system.

    Other GCFLearnFree.org tutorials you may want to use:

    Introduction to social media

    This plan is for learners who already feel comfortable with some technology but who are curious about Facebook, Twitter, and other social media tools.

    Objectives:

    • To learn about various social networks and how they are used
    • To sign up for Facebook and other social media accounts

    General outcomes:

    • Learners will understand how social media fits into the landscape of the Internet.
    • Learners will have a Facebook account and understand how to use Facebook to connect with others.
    • Learners will have other social media accounts (depending on the chosen curriculum sequence).

    Other GCFLearnFree.org tutorials you may want to use:

    Introduction to social media for parents

    This plan is for learners who may not use the Internet extensively themselves but who want to understand what their children might be doing online and how they can encourage safe Internet practices.

    Objectives:

    • To learn about possible safety concerns when kids are online
    • To sign up for Facebook and understand how to use it
    • To understand how to make sure children are safe when they are online

    General outcomes:

    • Learners will understand the possible risks kids encounter when they use social media.
    • Learners will have a Facebook account and understand how to use Facebook to connect with others.
    • Learners will know how to keep kids safe online.

    Other GCFLearnFree.org tutorials you may want to use:

    Digital photography and image editing

    This plan is for learners who are interested in taking better photos with digital cameras and using image editing software to change the appearance of their photos. Learners will need to be comfortable with working within computer software programs but do not need to have much experience with cameras.

    Objectives:

    • To learn to take high-quality photos with a digital camera
    • To learn to use image editing software like Photoshop

    General outcomes:

    • Learners will be able to take high-quality digital photos in a variety of environments.
    • Learners will be able to use image editing software to change the appearance of their photos.
    • Learners will be able to perform basic tasks in Photoshop.

    Other GCFLearnFree.org tutorials you may want to use:

    Online research

    This plan is for learners who do not have much experience using the Internet but who want to be able to find reliable and useful information online (for example, while searching for jobs) and store it in the cloud via Google Drive.

    Objectives:

    • To learn to find reliable and useful information online
    • To create a Google account
    • To create and store documents like resumes, reading lists, and school papers in the cloud via Google Drive

    General outcomes:

    • Learners will have a Google account.
    • Learners will be able to create, format, and store word processing documents in Google Drive.
    • Learners will understand how to search for and identify reliable information on the Internet.

    Other GCFLearnFree.org tutorials you may want to use:

    /en/gcfteacherguides/microsoft-office/content/