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Teaching tips and tools

First of all, congratulations on deciding to help someone you know get online! Here are a few quick tips to make it easy and fun for you both.

1. Make it relevant

It's easier to get someone online if you get them interested by making the internet personally relevant to them. Show them how going online can make a difference to their life.

Maybe that's by showing them how they could save and money online, or how they can find out more about their hobbies and interests.

2. Be patient

Everyone learns new skills at different speeds and remember that the person you are teaching may not have grown up with computers in the same way as you did.

Take regular breaks and encourage the person you're teaching. Asking questions is a good way to gauge how they're feeling and if they're comfortable with the pace. Let them feel free to ask you questions too.

3. Keep it local

A great way to make the internet seem less daunting is to focus on something local. It can be anything – bus routes, regional news, local weather forecasts or library opening times.

Show them how the internet is always open to answer their questions about the places and people that matter most.

4. You're in charge, not the computer!

Worrying about breaking the computer, online fraud or not being safe online can are some of the main reasons people don't use the internet. Reassure the person you're teaching that it's really pretty hard to break a computer and that with a few simple measures, the internet can be safe too.

You know them best, so try to boost their confidence and calm their nerves. Online Basics offers a special course on internet safety which also might help answer their questions.

5. Set realistic goals

Let your friend or relative learn at their own pace and keep sessions short and sweet – there's no point in overloading them with information! Practice makes perfect, so show them how they can practice their new skills at the end of every session.

Our subject checklist can help you plan the topics you might like to cover and give you some structure to your teaching.

Extra information

Are you teaching someone with additional requirements how to get online? This video will help give you some ideas on how to make using a computer as easy as possible.

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

  • Anti-virus

    Anti-virus software helps protect your computer from viruses. BT Total Broadband comes with anti-virus software included.

  • Firewall

    A firewall is a program sitting between your computer and the internet – it watches for hacking, viruses or unauthorised access.

  • Virus

    Viruses are pieces of code that are designed to damage your computer or data.

  • Don't understand what something means?

    Go to the Jargon Buster

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