Wednesday, April 28, 2010
Computers for “non-computers”
PHOTO: John Lee, Club Ed computer instructor, helps introduce another new user to the world of computers.
Can you imagine not using a computer in your work or social life? What’s that? You still don’t use a computer? Then John Lee is the man to see.
Lee is a long time computer instructor who specializes in introducing the reluctant learner to the wonders of computers and the Internet. He started working with the machines back in the days of DOS and 10-megabyte hard drives. If you don’t have any idea what those terms mean, then Lee really is the teacher you want.
Lee’s specialty is guiding beginners - especially adult beginners.
“I get the most satisfaction out of helping people who are afraid of computers,” Lee said. “The first thing I do is to open up a computer and show them there is no little man inside that machine with a hammer ready to hit them when they touch the wrong key.”
The word most students use to describe Lee is “patient.” He makes sure his students understand a step before moving on. Some classes they will spend lots of time on “external digital controller mobile dexterity practice” - how to move the mouse.
Even though Lee had an extensive background in computing, he was reluctant to teach at first. He ran bulletin boards in the early days of the Internet, and built databases that were used in the 1996 Atlanta Olympic Games. But it took a friend a year to talk him into trying his hand at teaching adult students how to use computers.
“I didn’t like talking to groups,” Lee explained, even though he used to speak to the press all the time in his role as a detective on the police force. But once in the classroom, he discovered he “loved teaching.”
“I love it because I like computers and I like helping people,” he said. “If you like those things it always helps.”
Lee teaches most beginning classes, including Introduction, Internet, Word, and Email. He has developed courses in protecting your data, dealing with spyware, and backing up hard drives. That leads him to a few top tips for computer owners.
First, backup your data.
Second, keep antivirus and spyware programs updated and allow them to run.
Third, use a program to clean off all temp files and defrag the disk.
Again, if you don’t know what any of this means, you should definitely sign up for a class. Even then, you will soon be unable to avoid using computers in your daily life.
“Using a computer now opens up so many doors,” Lee said. “I can’t think of anything you can’t do with a computer.” That includes telephone calling, texting, taking and sending pictures, and listening to music. Lee noted he even uses an application in his phone while on the golf course that tells the distance from the hole and suggests which club to use.
Lee also runs Lee’s Computer Works, where he sells, repairs, and refurbishes new and used computers. He even makes house calls.
As for that reluctance to teach? Well, Lee has taught since 1996 and in 1999 was named Outstanding Community Education Instructor by the Texas Community Education Association.
See what happens when you overcome your fears of trying something new?
Club Ed offers all levels of computer classes, including one-to-one training that can be scheduled at any time. For information or to sign up, click www.clubed.net, or call 830-895-4386.
Club Ed is the Community Education program of the Kerrville Independent School District. Each year, we offer more than 400 classes throughout the Texas Hill Country, along with online courses, business and individual training, and after-school and summer camps. Comment online at clubedcomments.blogspot.com, or follow us on Twitter @clubedtx.