Beginner’s computer courses

Finding a beginner’s computer course in your local area.

Beginner’s computer courses

Rachel answers Doug’s question about finding a beginner’s computer course in his local area and offers some different ways he can help his wife to become computer savvy.

Q. Doug
I have a 66 year old wife who is wishing to learn how to operate her emails, Facebook etc .I have been trying to find her a course close  to our suburb Katoomba in New South Wales. Her health is not the best for walking long distances. My own experience with computers is limited. Could you please advise or suggest the avenues to try? Thank you.

A. I think it’s exciting that your wife has decided to learn more about using a computer – it can open up such a wealth of information and interaction. I would first suggest reading some simple how-to articles online, so that she can get a feel for what it is she wishes to learn through a computer course. These may be of some use, as they are simple and easy to follow:

Beginner’s guide to Facebook  
Computer glossary
Email etiquette

Stopping junk emails

How to back-up emails 

The Nepean Community College has a campus in Katoomba, at 6 Gang Gang Street. It offers a ‘Computer Basics’ course which runs over four weeks for $152.

If you wish to look more generally at computer courses, the Australian Seniors Computer Clubs Association (ASCCA) offers quite a bit of useful information on finding a course near you. 

Have you found a good beginner’s computer course in your local area? How did you find it? Do you think it is better to take a class or to teach yourself?


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    20th Nov 2013
    Does your Council Library offer any courses ? Here in Victoria, my council, HUME, has a "Global Learning Centre" and runs 2 levels of courses, 1 hour "Net.Help" sessions and also classroom computer courses. They are very into it in a big way, in fact I wound up becoming a Net.Help tutor myself, in order to continue helping others benefit from my 43 years IT experience. Prior to moving to this town, I spent 3-4 years tutoring and organising the computer classes at the Castlemaine U3A - check out U3A in your area as well.
    20th Nov 2013
    Another option (although may not be available in your area) to consider is the organisation U3A (University of the Third Age). Many U3As offer computer courses aimed specifically at seniors and are generally inexpensive (My local U3A costs $25 to be a member and an additional $5 for computer courses). Check out the U3A in your area via the web
    20th Nov 2013
    I am a volunteer tutor for 'Broadband for Seniors' which is a Govt run program. There are Computer Hubs set up all around Queensland (if not Australia). It is a one-on-one lesson for one hour. Our group has 7 tutors and teaches each Wednesday and Friday at an Elderley Cits. I enjoy teaching especially when the pupil is 89 years old and never sat in front of a computer before. They get quite enthusiastic.
    20th Nov 2013
    3:53pm is the site for the Community College which runs computer (entry level) courses in Katoomba - I am surprised that Computer Pals have not started in Katoomba - try the library they may have information on a local hub
    20th Nov 2013
    My husband is a tutor for "Broadband for Seniors' most of his students are seniors and really get a lot out of the classes, the courses are free and open up new worlds for anyone wanting to take advantage of this great service, happy learning!
    20th Nov 2013
    Enquire about Broadband for Seniors Kiosk in your area. They are free. Government funded.
    Also check out NEC Broadband for seniors online. They have online courses. Also U3A in your area. I am a volunteer tutor for our local BFS kiosk. It is a great resource and lots of fun.
    20th Nov 2013
    "Broadband for Seniors" offers free computer classes to seniors right around Australia. Find your nearest Kiosks and other details here:
    The course are sponsored by the Federal Government and NEC, all the tutors have to have police checks and there are special discounts for seniors if you want to buy an ex-government computer.
    21st Nov 2013
    For readers in the Brisbane area, I recommend Brisbane Seniors Online (BSOL). BSOL is a not for profit group that provides affordable one on one training on computers and the internet for seniors and over 50s in their own home on their own computer at a pace that suits them using unpaid volunteer mentors. The coverage area is Brisbane, Redlands and Moreton. Learn Skype, email, Facebook, Twitter, EBay and the like. Mentors are empathetic and patient. Learners are taught what they want to know and what they need to know. New learners are welcome as well as more volunteer mentors (tutors). BSOL teaches Windows (up to 8.1), Apple/Mac, iPads, tablets and most smart technology. Membership is $20 joining (one off) and $40 a year and for this, approximately 12 x 1 hour home lessons are given and they get ongoing support for the balance of the membership year. Digital and Video Photography groups also meet. It is never too late to learn and become internet and computer savvy. BSOL is a member of ASCCA. Contact BSOL on (07) 3210 6983 or see

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