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16 October 2014

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Ten things to show someone who has never used a computer before

Reassurance is the key; we're using the computer as a storytelling tool here.

A computer crash course suggested by Gareth Morlais

When you're facilitating a digital story or video workshop or session, you may work with people who've never used a computer before. Here's a checklist of ten of the first things you need to let people know about if they're unfamiliar with computers:

1. How to switch your computer on and off.

2. How to sit comfortably; tilt the screen to optimise the quality of the picture you see on it; take screen breaks for eyes and posture; be aware of trip hazards like cables.

3. How to use a mouse; it can be re-configured and moved if you're left handed. (Try to remember how it felt the first time you used one).

4. Discuss key differences between PC, Mac and Linux if applicable.

5. How to move a folder on your desktop.

6. How to re-name a folder using only the characters a-z, 0-9, _, - and using no spaces or other characters.

7. How to open and close a folder.

8. How to re-locate an opened folder window.

9. How to re-size an opened folder window.

10. How to minimise or hide everything so you can see your desktop.

As digital storyteller Huw Davies often tells novices: "What you need to be able to do is: open a file, do what you want to it, then save it somewhere where you'll be able to find it later."

Reassuring people is a good approach to take. After all, they're only using the computer as a tool to help them tell their story.

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