I need to teach my dad OS X this weekend, what should I focus on? (To help teachers)

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by Jessica Lares, Aug 22, 2013.

  1. Jessica Lares macrumors G3

    Jessica Lares

    Oct 31, 2009
    Near Dallas, Texas, USA
    My dad doesn't know very much about OS X, except to click Safari on the dock to get on the internet. The only Apple computer he learnt to use was way back when he used to set them up in another school he used to work at in the 80's, and that was before the Macintosh branding was used.

    I guess because Windows 8 is so poor, the school decided to go all Macs this school year. The problem is that a lot of the teachers know the basics, but they don't know how to solve little problems here and there. The server guys who set this stuff up only work part time, so my dad is usually the one who covers for them when there's an issue.

    They issued him a MacBook Pro a few weeks ago. It's a custom 15" Core i7, 2.8 GHz, with 8GB of RAM running Snow Leopard. I already had to fix his home folder because he spelt his name wrong. :rolleyes:

    So, anyway, I want to know what I should be showing him? I thought about the Find Out How videos, but they're for Lion/Mountain Lion and I don't want to confuse him.

    So far, the things I have come up with are:

    • The General UI
    • The Library folder
    • How to use the Multi-Touch Trackpad
    • System Preferences
    • Software Update
    • Accessibility (mostly to fix issues that the kids might jokingly do, since it happened once in the photo lab when I was there and it took the teacher 5 hours to figure out)
    • An overview of the Utilities folder

    And then the typical troubleshooting of zapping the PRAM, etc and burning a CD/DVD.

    Basically, I need to teach him how to maintain a Mac, vs using it for the most part.

    Does anyone have any suggestions of articles/videos I can show him? Maybe something I forgot?

  2. Macman45 macrumors G5


    Jul 29, 2011
    Somewhere Back In The Long Ago
    Once you've covered the bulleted point and set his Mac up for him, I'd suggest a little basic file management...Folders etc. Make him move documents and create folders in order that he grasps the basic concept. Most new users I've taught spay files all over their systems making it hard for them to locate.

    A tour of Mail or whatever client he is using would be a good idea too.

    I wouldn't worry about the high end stuff. I have several friends who's systems I take care of, and they asked me to lock as much high end stuff down as possible

    Passwords are another topic to cover, and make the point that his system and Apple passwords are two completely different animals....I still have a buddy who can't grasp that one and keeps entering the wrong one!

    After that, It's down to what he does most of...If he uses a camera you might want to take him through iPhoto, if he's a music buff, Itunes too.

    Key thing is not to try too much stuff at once as it tends to become undigestible. A little at a time, and maybe the excellent Imac for Dummies book so that he can refer to things he wants to do as he comes across them.
  3. Jessica Lares thread starter macrumors G3

    Jessica Lares

    Oct 31, 2009
    Near Dallas, Texas, USA
    Thanks guys. It's not a personal computer for him, just the one he uses for doing presentations and stuff like that on. So I don't really want to teach him iLife or the apps in general. He has an iPhone 4, and all the syncing wouldn't be beneficial for him since he has a Dell in his office and then the original Kindle Fire as his tablet. And his Mac at home is a PowerMac G5 running Leopard.

    I'll give those links a look over. Thanks. Anymore is appreciated. :)
  4. GoCubsGo macrumors Nehalem


    Feb 19, 2005
    When teaching my parents and ultimately mom how to use OS X I started with what was most important to her.

    First and foremost, at the time, iChat. That was going to be her way to communicate with me if or when there was a problem.

    E-mail, adding attachments, downloading attachments, setting up account, and what to do if you're being asked for your password repeatedly when you already typed it in.

    The web. Downloading something, where to find it, how to move a file to another folder, etc.

    Importing photos from phone and camera to iPhoto. Exporting, deleting, etc.

    Emptying Trash.

    Software update.

    System Preferences

    Searching for a file, viewing files, general finder usage.

    Printing, screen capture, copy and paste.

    I find that teaching someone what is most important to them first is useful to avoid discouragement from the beginning. Anytime I mentioned something like finder, I explained it was like explorer. Trash was explained just like the recycle bin and so forth. Associating new with familiar was also key. I use this method with anyone of any age who is learning something new. Nowadays it is even easier. I am far away and I can help by screen sharing and such, which makes my life easier and omits her general frustration.

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