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My favorite websites for computer tutorials

Computer Tutor: John Lucas


In the comfort of your home, at your own pace and at no cost to you, would you like to learn more about such computer topics as Windows 8, Skype, Microsoft Office, FaceBook, the iPad or the Kindle? My favorite cross-platform computer learning site, GCFLearnFree.org, may be just what you have been looking for.

Based in Raleigh, N.C., GCFLearnFree.org is a program of the Goodwill Community Foundation and Goodwill Industries of eastern North Carolina. Since 1999, GCFLearnFree.org has created and provided quality, innovative learning opportunites via the Internet to anyone who wants to improve their technology, literacy and math skills necessary to be successful in both work and life. Since its inception, GCFLearnFree.org has been utilized by over 10 million people in 235 different countries worldwide.

In the specific subject area of technology, GCFLearnFree.org offers a wide range of interesting topics including: Computer Basics, Internet 101, Email Basics, Networking, Windows 8, OS X Lion, Search Savvy, Blog Basics, IPad, IPhone, Kindle Fire, Digital Photography, Chrome, Google Docs, Google Drive, Mobile Apps, Microsoft Access, Microsoft Excel, Microsoft Outlook, Microsoft Powerpoint, Skype, Twitter, FaceBook 101 and SkyDrive.

For a complete list of topics on all subjects, go to GCFLearnFree.org/topics.

When you access the site, you have the option to complete short, self-paced tutorials or register for specific online classes. Available anytime, the well-organized tutorials utilize text, audio, video and interactive simulations to reinforce the learning objectives. Lessons can also be printed out for future reference.

The free, instructor-led classes require pre-registration and can be taken for continued education units (CEU). The classes are designed to introduce you to new software or to give you a refresher on software you have previously used. Working at your own pace, you can take up to four weeks to complete your work. A team of instructors will review your assignments, provide feedback and answer any questions you may have. At this time, classes are available in Access, Excel, Powerpoint and Word, versions 2007 and 2010. GCFLearn.Free.org is in the process of developing a free course for Word 2013 which should be available in the near future.

Other excellent online computer learning sites:

Windows computers

* Microsoft Accessibility (microsoft.com/enable/training/default.aspx). This website, sponsored by Microsoft, provides tutorials, demos and guides to Windows XP, Windows 7, Vista, Windows 8, Office 2010, Office 2012, Internet Explorer 8 and Internet Explorer 9.

* PC Learning Center (hp.com/united-states/consumer/everyday-computing/). Sponsored by Hewlett-Packard (HP), this website provides learning opportunities via topic-specific articles and how-to videos in the areas of connectivity, PC health, security, software and entertainment for HP computers.

Mac computers

* Find Out How (apple.com/findouthow/mac/). Created by Apple, this excellent support website provides almost everything you want to know about your Mac and your Mac applications from setting up your computer, customizing your desktop, going wireless, to using Apple’s Safari browser. The tutorials are presented in video and text format.

John Lucas is the owner of Your Computer Tutor which provides personalized home computer instruction and technical support for Macs and PCs in the Portland metro area. Lucas welcomes questions about common computer issues. Reach him by email at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or call 503-333-8542.