View Full Version : Training curriculum for absolute Ubuntu newbies

January 12th, 2007, 06:27 AM
I'm involved in a community project in which surplus computers are outfitted with either Windows 2000 or Ubuntu and loaned out to poor families in order to give them Internet access and the ability to learn how to use a computer, do word processing, etc. Some of these people have gone on to enter the workforce after learning computer skills.

The recipients are given a 40-hour course on how to use Microsoft applications. Then, they are given a Windows 2000 computer, usually a Pentium 3. Microsoft ponies up the money to pay for the 40-hour training, so that's why the apps taught are mostly MS. They are taught a bit of OpenOffice, since the computers are have OO loaded on them, not MS Office.

My open source advocacy group became involved in the project. We are trying to load half of the machines with Ubuntu to spread the idea of open source software. Also, we believe that users will have fewer problems with malware. Many of the Windows 2000 computers are being returned because they contract malware and they become inoperable.

About a half dozen Ubuntu computers have been loaned out and we haven't heard any complaints yet. However, we would like to add some training on how to actually use Ubuntu to the training the recipients receive.

We're looking for advice on creating or finding a curriculum that will get most users up and running on their own. Also, if there was a curriculum in, say, PDF format, we would load it onto the computers so that they have easy access to helpful information.

What we don't want to do is overwhelm these recipients, many of whom may not have owned or used a PC before. We just want to get them up and running on how to do things like file management, add a printer, update the computer, install some programs, surf the net, etc.

If anyone has ideas on what would be a good way to proceed, please let me know.

Triniman, Triniman@shaw.ca
Winnipeg, MB

January 12th, 2007, 07:01 AM
There are guides on this page:


That would probably be a good start.

January 12th, 2007, 07:30 AM
Also, go through individual tutorials per program. Use the same OO.org training as you do for the Win2000 computers.

Let them know that if they go into a store and buy a program, it probably won't work on their computers. Write them a note to do Ctrl+Alt+Backspace if their computer freezes.

Most importantly (or at least pretty far up there), make it easy to find stuff. Put an icon on the Desktop with a firefox logo that says "Internet," show them that System -> Admin -> Printing is for their printers (or install Ubuntu Control Panel - could be very helpful for them), let them know that their "Home Folder" is where they store their personal files.

You could also teach computer skills in general. I used to help teach a very basic computer class at a local college a few years ago, and many people were having troubles with the mouse (especially holding it still while double-clicking), the CD drives (turning the computer off instead of ejecting the CD :D), etc. It can all seem overwhelming for someone jumping into it all at once.

Sounds like a great thing that you're doing. I hope my advice is somewhat helpful (or at least not a hindrance :P). Oh yeah - and welcome to the forums!

P.S. And if they have Internet access, bookmark these forums and sign 'em up!!! :D

January 12th, 2007, 07:42 AM
I think that is a wounderful thing you are doing. Right now my wife is one the Ubie box and when she is done I'll post some links that have some visuals and stuff. That box has all my links and I am using my suse box.
I would start the class with how to install Ubuntu. That is in case some one did a boo boo and broke the system. Like decided to mess with the linux kernal or completely remove Firefox for example. Most of all they are looking at you to teach them and thus your post.
Be back in a bit.

January 12th, 2007, 08:26 AM
OK here is some links to look at.
If some one wants some vids to learn
And here are more
Depending in where in this world you are teaching this class at. Like in the US. You may say how to DL the restricted codecs. But you may not show them how to DL and install the restricted codecs. It all legal mumbo jumbo and it is up to you on guiding the class. :-k .
As I said. Show the class how to install Ubie and use your know how and teaching skills to use Linux.

January 12th, 2007, 08:32 AM
I've moved this to the Cafe as it is a more appropriate location for this sort of discussion. Even though the topic involves absolute beginners, this isn't really a support request but more of a request for comments and ideas.

So, people, comment away! :)

January 13th, 2007, 03:32 PM
If you have any specific screencasts then let us know. We have a page for requests here: https://wiki.ubuntu.com/ScreencastTeam/Requests

Feel free to add to that list or let me know if there are any which are already listed but not done yet. It is sometimes difficult for us to gauge which ones would be most popular, so any input greatfully received.