Blog Archives

Intro to Macintosh Computers Adult Ed Class

iMacI will be teaching an adult education class called Introduction to Macintosh Computers in the Red Lodge High School computer lab starting later this month. It will be on Thursday nights from 7:00 to 9:00, beginning March 8 and running through April 12 — a total of six sessions. This will run concurrently with the Social Networking course I’m teaching there.

Macintosh computers include free software to manage your calendar, music, photos, contact lists, and email; and programs that let you create movies, browse the Web, chat with friends, and even create music. Attendees will learn the basics of these programs and the Mac itself. You don’t need to have a Mac to take the class: we’ll be in the computer lab at the high school, where there are enough computers for everybody.

WEEK 1: Toto, we’re not in Redmond anymore!

Macintosh computers don’t work like Windows machines (thank goodness!), but all computers fundamentally do the same things. In this first session, you’ll learn how to start up and shut down a Mac, where all of the files are, how to adjust basic settings, and how the Mac OS differs from Windows. We’ll take a look at some of the programs that are included with the computer and what they do, and then pop online and browse the Web from our Macs.

WEEK 2: Managing your life – setting up calendars, contacts, and email

These days, we don’t just use computers to … well … compute. We keep our lives on the computer. This class session will cover creating calendars and contact lists, and then using them for scheduling events, sending emails, and synchronizing to your phone. We’ll look at some of the differences between Apple’s philosophy and Google’s philosophy and how to work with both.

WEEK 3: Pictures! Loading pictures and using iPhoto

It’s hard to find a camera that uses film these days. Everything’s gone electronic. Luckily for us, Apple provides absolutely amazing photo management software for free with every Mac. In this class, you’ll learn how to load all of your pictures into iPhoto and how to work with them once they’re there, including organization, basic editing, printing, emailing, and uploading.

WEEK 4: Cue the music! How to load, manage, and even create music on a Mac

Apple revolutionized the music industry with iPods and the iTunes store. A lot of people, unfortunately, think that if you use iTunes, you have to buy all of your music from Apple. Not true! In this class, we’ll load and share music (legally) from a variety of sources, create playlists, create ringtones, and learn the tricks of synchronizing your music with iPods, phones, and other computers using the iCloud.

WEEK 5: Entertain me! Videos, podcasts, ebooks, audio books, movies, TV shows, and more

For more and more people, their computer is becoming their TV, and vice-versa. This week, we’ll take a look at how to connect your computer to a big-screen TV and use it for movies and TV shows, using both Netflix and Apple’s own store. We’ll take a short video in class, transfer it to the computer, do some simple editing, and play it on a TV. Finally, you’ll see where to get an amazing amount of free entertainment, including podcasts, ebooks, and audio books, and then see how to buy even more online.

WEEK 6: Using your Mac with other devices

Few of us carry our computers everywhere we go. Most of us, in fact, end up using more than one computer, along with a smart phone and a plethora of other electronic devices. We’ll spend week six learning how to share your files and pictures among your devices – even if some of those devices aren’t from Apple! We’ll share files with Windows computers, set up portable storage devices, and – here’s the most important part of the class – set up Time Machine, Apple’s backup system that keeps your important files safe.

I like to keep my classes very informal, very hands-on, and highly customized. Feel free to ask questions about your own Mac. To sign up for classes, contact Red Lodge High School at 406/446-1903. The cost is a paltry $15.00 for the entire six-week program. Deadline to sign up is February 17. See you there!

Social Networking Adult Ed Class

I will be teaching an adult education class called Social Networking for Professionals and Business Owners in the Red Lodge High School computer lab starting later this month. It will be on Monday nights from 7:00 to 9:00, beginning March 5 and running through April 9 — a total of six sessions.

This is not a class for teenagers! Attendees will learn about social networking for professionals and business owners, covering today’s three biggest networks: Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn. Subjects will include building profiles, advertising, building business pages, customizing the look of your pages, and more.

WEEK 1: Social Networking — not just for wasting time

Social networking websites are a great place to waste time, post pictures of your cat, share what you had for dinner, and keep track of what your kids are up to. But they serve a much more important function for professionals and business owners. Using Facebook, Twitter, Google+, and LinkedIn, you can market yourself and your business, find jobs, promote events, and do business online. In the first session, we’ll go over the most-used networks, explore how they differ, and set up a profile on Facebook using the new Timeline format, complete with photos and events.

WEEK 2: Facebook — the 500 pound gorilla

This session will center around Facebook for businesses. We will set up a business page, examine the difference between “friends,” “likes,” and “subscriptions,” and build an online presence. You will learn how to set up administrators for pages, adjust privacy settings, upload photos and videos, and tag images. We will then look at metrics and analysis tools and set up a Facebook advertising campaign from scratch: building an ad, setting a budget, fine-tuning the target audience, and evaluating results. We’ll have a couple of real-life case studies, including a look at how I used Facebook for all of my interviews for a magazine article.

WEEK 3: Twitter — short, sweet, and powerful

Twitter is amazingly powerful, yet surprisingly easy to use. In the third session, we will set up a Twitter account, build the profile, customize its look, find people to follow, and look at the structure of a tweet. You will learn to use hashtags, send direct messages, retweet, respond, and include links and photos. Once all of the basics are covered, we’ll move into more advanced subjects like setting up TweetDeck and managing Twitter campaigns.

WEEK 4: LinkedIn — serious networking for professionals

Facebook and Twitter are great places to publicize your business, but what about promoting yourself as a professional? LinkedIn is all business: no photos of the family or discussion of last night’s party. When you are looking for work, establishing new business connections, or negotiating a deal, professionals will look for your profile on LinkedIn. In this session, we will set up a LinkedIn profile, looking at all of the different components. We’ll then examine how “connections” on LinkedIn differ from “friends” on Facebook or “followers” on Twitter.

WEEK 5: Using social media to promote events

Whether it’s an open house, a big sale, a concert, or a grand opening, you need to get the word out to people about your event. In this session, we’ll create an event on Facebook and look at the different ways to promote it. We will also build a calendar on Google, load it with some events, and share it through social networking.

WEEK 6: Tying it all together

The course will wrap up with a look at how to make social networking effective and efficient across the board. We’ll look at ways to make your presence consistent online, how to post to multiple networks simultaneously, and talk about some of the other social networks that you might want to use, like Google+, WordPress, Constant Contact, and MySpace.


I like to keep my classes very informal, very hands-on, and highly customized. Feel free to bring in real-life examples of social networking questions and problems and I’ll do my best to help you solve them. To sign up for classes, contact Red Lodge High School at 406/446-1903. The cost is a paltry $15.00 for the entire six-week program. See you there!

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