Introduction to Computers

  1. Introduction to Computers
    1. Synopsis
    2. Prerequisites
    3. Week 1: Pre-test and Hardware
    4. Week 2: Hardware Maintenance & Care
    5. Week 3: Operating Systems/Networking
      1. Operating Systems
      2. Networking
    6. Week 4: Web Browsing
    7. Week 5: Electronic Mail
    8. Week 6: Office Software
      1. Word Processing
      2. Spreadsheets
      3. Slideshows
      4. Presentations
    9. Week 7: Societal, Ethical & Safety Issues
    10. Week 8: Portable computing
    11. Miscellaneous Links
      1. Travel safely in bad weather


Get acquainted with the computer, Windows operating system and common functions. Create a Word document, capture a screen image, manage files, generate emails and navigate web sites. Computer safety and back-ups will be discussed.


Week 1: Pre-test and Hardware

  1. What is a computer?
    An electronic device, operating under the control of information, that can accept data, process the data, produce output and store the results for future use.

    Diagram of Input, Processing, Output

  2. What is computer hardware?
    Any component of the computer you can see, touch, or kick.
  3. What is a CPU?
    Located in the tower, the Central Processing Unit communicates with other devices to perform tasks. It's the "heart" or "traffic cop" that connects the computer's hardware.
  4. What are peripherals?
    External hardware attached to the tower.
  5. What are input devices?
    Devices that let you enter information and communicate with the computer.
  6. What are output devices?
    Devices that let the computer communicate with you.
  7. What are storage devices?
    Devices that store information, and allow the computer to use that information to perform tasks later. It's the "filing cabinet" of the computer.
  8. What is RAM?
    Random Access Memory is where the computer stores currently running programs and data for those programs.  It's like a "school desk" for the computer.

The Senior's Guide to Computers is a Beginner's Tutorial for personal computers. To learn more about hardware at your own pace, see their articles on The Basics and Hardware.

Week 2: Hardware Maintenance & Care

  1. Identify internal PC parts
  2. Describe the function of each part.
  3. Care of computer, keyboard, mouse
  4. Care for a monitor
  5. Care for cables
  6. Care of drives
  7. What is a Byte?
  8. What is a Gigabyte, anyway?

Read more at Computer Basics: Basic Parts of a Computer

Week 3: Operating Systems/Networking

Operating Systems

  1. An operating system (OS) is software that:
  2. The most popular Operating Systems are:
  3. Windows
  4. Mac
  5. Linux
  6. Keyboard Basics
  7. Popular OS keyboard shortcuts
  8. Intermediate OS skills


  1. What is a computer network?
  2. What is the Internet?
  3. What are popular types of internet connections?
  4. What is an IP address?
  5. What is DNS?
  6. What is a LAN?
  7. How do I connect to a wireless network?
    1. Locate and click on the Wi-Fi icon.
    2. Choose a wireless Access Point from the list
    3. Click Connect
    4. Provide a password if needed.
IP Chicken - Learn about IP Addresses
Local area network

Week 4: Web Browsing

  1. What is the World Wide Web?
  2. What is the primary use of a web browser?
  3. What are popular web browsers?
  4. What is a web address (URL)?
  5. Where is the address bar usually found in a web browser?
  6. What common mistakes would make a web address invalid?
    https:// www. example.com :80 /news/ story.html
    protocol hostname (optional) domain port (opt) directory file (opt)
  7. How do I visit a web address?
    1. Place the cursor in the address bar.
    2. Type the URL.
    3. Press Enter.
  8. How to teach yourself anything!
    1. Visit YouTube.com
    2. Search for any technical (or other) topic, followed by the word tutorial.
    3. Example: Windows 10 tutorial
  9. How do I create a bookmark to save favorite web pages?
  10. How do I set a custom home page?
  11. How do I go back to the default home page?
    1. Click on the ☰ Menu button
    2. Click Options
    3. Click the General tab (default)
    4. Click on "Restore Default"
  12. What are cookies and why would I want to delete them?
  13. Browser keyboard shortcuts

Week 5: Electronic Mail

  1. What is Electronic mail?
  2. How is Electronic mail like Post Office mail?
    1. From: my outbox
    2. relayed to my Post Office (ISP)
    3. relayed to your Post Office
    4. To: your inbox

      email flowchart

  3. What are some good Password management guidelines?
  4. How do I create an online account?
    1. Visit the providers home page (google, yahoo, outlook/hotmail, mail)
    2. Click "Create account".
    3. Provide real name, desired username, password, birth date and sometimes mobile phone.
    4. Be prepared to provide answers to "security questions".
    5. Record account credentials for later use.
  5. What is "spoofing"?

    When a sender has faked their information.

  6. E-mail safety Tips
  7. To open and respond to an e-mail message:
  8. To send an e-mail message.

    Click Compose, Write, or [pencil icon] button.

    To: user@example.com
    Subject: Hello World
    CC, BCC:
    From, Date:
    Body: This is my message
  9. Send a message with an attachment by:
  10. What is spam and what can I do about it?

Week 6: Office Software

Word Processing




Week 7: Societal, Ethical & Safety Issues

  1. What is a Hacker?
  2. Personal Security
  3. Avoid Scams
  4. What is a Computer Virus?
  5. How to secure a PC running Windows
    1. Obtain, install, and update a quality anti-virus programs.
    2. Obtain, install, and update one or more anti-spyware programs.
    3. Run Windows update
  6. Browse With Care
  7. Digital Privacy
  8. Backups
  9. 3-2-1 Backup Rule
  10. Backup Power

Week 8: Portable computing

  1. What are the differences in mobile devices?
  2. What are popular mobile Operating Systems?
  3. What is an App Store?
  4. What is Social Media?
  5. What are popular Social Media sites?
  6. Web cameras
  7. How do I move files from a digital camera to my PC?
  8. Where do I go from here?
  9. WPL Technology Classes
    1. Visit: https://Wichita.gov/evolve
    2. Click "Digital Media and Technology", then select a subtype of "Computers and Software".
    3. Click the Search button.
  10. Tech Headlines

Miscellaneous Links

Travel safely in bad weather

You can use free websites to find out when bad weather has made it unsafe to travel.

Real-time map of Wichita Snowplows

WICHway.org - Wichita highway cameras and major accidents map

KanDrive Portal - Kansas road conditions and construction zones map

Full screen weather radar

Evergy Outage Map
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