Best way to teach a 62 year old OSX in 90 min?

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by Bokay, Jan 31, 2008.

  1. Bokay macrumors newbie

    Jun 28, 2007
    I may be attempting the impossible, but a good friend's mom is buying a Macbook this weekend which will actually be her first personal computer. She's an incredibly sharp woman and is computer competent, using them every day on the job as a RN at a major hospital.

    I've volunteered to get her router/internet set up and give her a 90 minute or so tutorial on how to use a Mac.

    My question is: what would be the best use of my time as far as things to show her in order? Also, is there a good book I could leave her with to answer any additional questions she might have?

    Note that she'll primarily be using the machine for web surfing, email, and Skype to talk to a daughter living overseas.
  2. riscy macrumors 6502a


    Jan 4, 2008
    No probs, compared to my problem!

    Giving a laptop (PC!) to the wife's mother (86 year old) who has never used a computer and I have to set it up for her to do email and we do not even live in the same country!

    Wish me luck ;)
  3. Eric Lewis macrumors 68020

    Eric Lewis

    Feb 4, 2007
    CANADA? eh?
    my moms friends grandma uses an iMac and shes 92'

    she can email and everything
  4. kman34 macrumors member


    Jun 28, 2007
    Just remember to go over some of the simple keyboard shortcuts and the big differences between PC and MAC...also make sure to save MacRumors:Forums in her favorites!!!
  5. maxrobertson macrumors 6502a

    Jun 15, 2006
    Just show her how to do the things she would like to do and leave out the extras (I've found inexperienced people don't care at all about customizing anything, even desktop picture). You can also put a link in the Dock to that new Find Out How section on Apple's website and tell her to click on it if she has any trouble. Put the Apps folder and her home folder in the Dock too so she doesn't have to look for them all the time and explain their use. Then show her which applications do what and I guess that's it. Get rid of iMovie and the stuff in the dock she doesn't need.
  6. snickelfritz macrumors 65816


    Oct 24, 2003
    Tucson AZ
    Impress upon her the importance of learning the basic keyboard shortcuts:
    ⌘⌦ - send to trash
    ⌘A - select all
    ⌘Z - undo
    ⌘X - cut
    ⌘C - copy
    ⌘V - paste
    ⌘N - new window/folder
    ⌘W - close window
    ⌘Q - quit program
    ⌘P - print
    ⌘O - open file

    Explain to her that OSX is probably different than the computer she uses at work.
    Trying to make it work that way is a frustrating waste of time and energy.

    Dashboard is very useful; show her how to use it, and how to find and install more widgets.

    Explain the Finder.
    Show her how to organize her files, pictures, movies etc... in the directories provided.
    Additionally, show her how to add keywords to files and set up a smart folder in the Finder sidebar.
    (this is an extremely powerful and simple way to organize your files, once you understand how it works)

    Explain and demonstrate the process of burning a CD or DVD.

    Have her bookmark this page in Safari:
  7. fivepoint macrumors 65816


    Sep 28, 2007
    You would be CRAZY to try and teach her keboard shortcuts. Keep her working with the mouse, show her how to use the few most important apps and 'unclutter' her dock so only the stuff she uses is there.

    She needs to have a basic understanding of how the finder works, and how "everything she needs" will be in the menu at the top of her screen.

    Also introduce her to the 'help' menu.

    Keep it Simple Stupid.
  8. ArmyKnight12 macrumors 6502


    Sep 13, 2007
  9. GavinTing macrumors 6502


    Sep 4, 2007
    Defenitely remove all the rubbish in the dock, like garageband and stuff (I'm not saying garageband is bad, it's a good piece of software, but i'm refering to stuff one would not usually use.)
  10. elppa macrumors 68040


    Nov 26, 2003
    My advice would be:

    Teach “tasks” rather than “OS X”, e.g. how to search for a webpage, how to compose and send an email, how to print a letter etc.

    Next, don't try and do too much, it would be very easy to overwhelm someone in 90 minutes.

    Just make sure she knows how to do a few things well – take you time and don't rush. If you don't get through everything it's not the end of the world.

    Spaces, stacks, networking preferences, keychains, keyboard shortcuts – don't bother.
  11. fivepoint macrumors 65816


    Sep 28, 2007

    Agreed. Once she has a few 'tasks' under her belt she will be able to go from there. She will probably learn enough in those few apps which carryover to other apps which she can try once she gets confortable.
  12. gauchogolfer macrumors 603


    Jan 28, 2005
    American Riviera
    Are you both using Leopard? This might be a good time to try out Screen Sharing in iChat, so that you can show her how things work when you are not around.
  13. nbs2 macrumors 68030


    Mar 31, 2004
    A geographical oddity
    The Find Out How section, as well as the tutorials on .Mac (I don't know if they are still there), have proven their worth to me with my folks when they made the switch. But, I disagree on the customization thing. The first thing I was asked was, "how do I get the background to change?" Showing her the basics on customization may be something you want to plan for.

    I disagree, agree, agree, agree. The only shortcuts she needs to know are those she uses at work. Keyboard shortcuts can either be a boon or a bane, depending on comfort level. The benefits won't outweigh the costs. However, let here know that there are some shortcuts, and you will be happy to help her learn them down the road. The other three points are excellent.

    Finally, I also suggest finding out what types of software she might use on a regular basis. If she has friends she may want to IM with, maybe d/l Adium. If she isn't sure, just let her use iChat. That way, if she has issues, you can help her remotely easily enough. That will be a big help.

    As for books, as always, The Missing Manual series is a great resource. I've never really thought about it as a beginners reference, and if you don't like it, I'm sure that the Dummies series has a book out by now.

    Good Luck.

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