Computer Literacy Course

Thanks to First Literacy, we are running a year-long Computer Literacy class which is helping immigrants more easily integrate and use modern technology in their daily lives. The class is being offered for students in our Adult ESOL Program. In the fall semester, we are focusing on building basic computer skills. Some people have come to our class barely able to operate a mouse, while others are fairly sophisticated in their knowledge of how to use a computer in their language.Nonetheless, we are able to introduce even the latter to all the English terminology necessary for successful operation of computers.

The Basic course consists of the English vocabulary and terminology, setting up and using an email account, browsing the internet and discerning useful information from non-useful stuff, beginning functionality in MS Word, and keyboarding skills. The more advanced course in the Spring term will help students become more sophisticated in using a variety of Microsoft Applications, and using the internet even more effectively. 

We've had close to 20 students sign up for the class, thus far, and they seem to enjoy it. When asked why she decided to participate in the course, Gladys (not pictured), a student and mother from Guatemala replied, "when we have kids, we have to learn more about the world." Gladys wants to be computer literate in order to help her 8-year-old daughter with her homework, which sometimes involves tasks on the computer. Additionally, Gladys mentioned that her daughter's teacher often emails the parents in the class. Because Gladys does not have much experience in checking and writing emails, she often misses these important messages from the teacher. Gladys hopes to improve her computer literacy skills in order to be more involved in her daughter's education.

Rosalba (pictured on left), a student and mother of four children, expressed similar sentiments about her motivations for computer literacy. She wants to be able to help her children with their homework and feels that she has been able to start doing so since being in the course for the last month. She also stressed that computer literacy is crucial for finding a job. Many times the first thing employers look for in a new hire is computer literacy skills. Dimas (pictured on left), Rosalba's desk mate, mentioned that the class has been crucial for updating his computer skills. He learned to use computers in his home country, El Salvador, but had only learned how to use older programs on computers with very small memory capacity. Dimas enjoys learning how to use the newest versions of programs like Microsoft Word because he feels he is ready to adapt when even newer versions are released. Dimas wants to "continue learning more and more because there is always something new to learn." Overall, students have thoroughly enjoyed the course as it has played an integral role in improving their lives as parents, employees, and life-long learners.