List for accessibility access keys:

Subject checklist

There's so much to do online, but it's best to start with the very basics. Here's our Get IT Together subject checklist to help you remember to cover all the important bits with your beginner.

Don't forget we have guides to help explain all the main topics in the 'for beginners' section.

1. Getting started

Turning on the computer

Remember to show how to turn it off too!

Using a computer

This should include using the mouse, how to double-click and what this does. Also explain how to type using the keyboard and what the different keys mean, such as shift, space, return, caps lock.

Go to our beginner's tutorial on how to use a computer

2. Internet basics

Connecting to the internet

Is there a desktop shortcut or menu option they need to click on to start the programme?

Opening a web browser

Explain what a web browser looks like. Go through the different components of the browser window, such as where the address bar and back button are.

Searching the internet

Show how to use a search engine. Which search engine does the person learning find easiest? Saving a shortcut to the desktop might be a good idea.


Choose an email provider and set up an email account. Explain how to log in to their email account and perhaps create a desktop shortcut for this too. Go through how to send an email step-by-step.

For more information, go to our beginner's tutorial on using the internet

3. What you can do online

Exploring the internet

Our guide to what you can do online covers the basics and gives some suggestions, but why not go through some sites you think might be of interest to the person you are teaching?

What are their hobbies and interests? Are there any local groups or courses they might like to join? Maybe reading or music is important, so you could show them where to buy these online. Or perhaps they use public transport and you could show them how to buy tickets and even make savings.

The most important thing is to make the internet relevant and personal. Show your friend or relative just how easy it is to find things online and don't forget to have fun!

Extra inspiration

For some more information on what to teach and how, watch our video guide on showing someone how to get online.

To watch the videos you may need to allow ActiveX controls or download the latest Flash Player – read more about enabling ActiveX and upgrading your Flash Player here.

video © AgeUK

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BSL user videos

To watch the videos you may need to allow ActiveX controls or download the latest Flash Player – read more about enabling ActiveX and upgrading your Flash Player here.

Jargon Buster

  • Internet

    The internet is a network of millions of computers around the world connected by telephone lines, cables or satellites.

  • Search engine

    A search engine is a website that lets you search the internet for information.

  • Online

    Web is a shorthand name for the internet. The terms 'internet' and 'web' are usually interchangeable.

  • Don't understand what something means?

    Go to the Jargon Buster

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