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Jan's Working with the Web

   Before You Start... How these lessons work

This set of lessons on The Web is part of a set of tutorials that go with Jan's Illustrated Computer Literacy 101. The tutorials cover Computer Basics, Windows, word processing, spreadsheets, the web (which is the section you are in now!), presentations, and databases.

Who is this for?

The whole course is designed for people who are new to computers, but even old pros need a refresher from time to time. You might even learn something new, or at least be reminded of tips and tricks that you have forgotten.

Clearly, if you are reading this page in a browser, you already have some computer skills, or else you have a handy helper or instructor close by.

What's covered?

The Web lessons will start with Browser Basics, where you will learn how to navigate different kinds of web pages and how to manage your browser. Then you will learn how to search the web using keywords and web directories. These activities use web pages especially created for this tutorial, so there is no problem with a site vanishing in the night or with inappropriate content.

Project 2 covers how to write web pages with HTML using a plain text editor.

Lesson Design

Each lesson has:

  • Topics -  info for you to read
  • Step-by-Step directions - for things to do at the computer.
  • Quiz - multiple choice questions
  • Exercises- to give you practice and to take you further.

Warning You must actually follow the directions while at the computer!!
You cannot just read about a technique and expect to be able to do it yourself later. It is different when you are doing it yourself!

printer icon Printing: You might want to print the steps out if your monitor or resolution is small. It can be hard to read directions on the screen while you are trying to follow the directions!

Tip Printing only part: You may be able to print just the parts you want. Select the part to print and either right click or go to the File menu and then the Print... command. There may be a choice in the dialog to print just the "Selection", depending on which browser and operating system you are using. This choice might be buried in Advanced settings.

TipSwitching between windows: If you want to work with directions on the screen, you can switch between the directions in the browser and the application window where you are working by clicking on the Taskbar icon or with the ALT + TAB key combination. Or if you are using a high resolution, perhaps you can arrange your windows so that you can see both at the same time.
(These techniques are taught in the exercises in the Windows lessons or Win10 lessons.)

What you see may not match!

What you actually see on your computer may vary from what is shown and described here. Things change quickly in the world of computers. Don't let it fluster you!

  • New version or update - Each one makes changes, some minor and some quite noticeable. Your software may be older or more recent than mine.
  • Customized - Everyone likes to arrange things to suit themselves. So your computer may not have the default settings any more, and, therefore, not behave as the lessons describe. This, too, is part of the world of computers!

The Step-by-Step sections will explain how to set the features that will affect how your computer responds to the directions. If your computer still does not behave as you expected, look in the Help for the program or ask your instructor or network administrator (or a even more experienced friend). That's why they are there!  [Note: You may not be allowed to change some settings on classroom or network computers.]

The directions and images were prepared mostly from Internet Explorer version 9, Chrome versions 15 through 18, and Firefox versions 8 through 11, which are the versions that came out while I was updating. The basic skills and approach are the same, even when the details change a lot.  For security online you should use the most recent version of your browser!

Interrupted Work

You may need to stop before finishing all of the directions in a Step-by-Step section. Pay attention to what lesson page you are on when you quit. If you are sharing a computer, write down the page's address from the browser's address bar. If you are on your own computer, you can bookmark the page in the browser. Bookmarks on a classroom computer may not be there when you get back to it!

The Step-by-Step exercises usually have a Start with: line that tells you what the situation should be when you start the exercise. This can help when you had to stop before finishing the document. The steps build on one another to complete a document, so don't try to skip steps even if you know how to do the skill being illustrated. Perhaps you'll learn a different way to accomplish a task!

The HTML Basics lessons have you save your work with a slightly different name for each lesson, and occasionally within a lesson. Since the lessons build on each other, this keeps you from having to start at the very beginning if you make a major error. In the 'real' world, this approach can be a big help, too!

Icon: Class flash drive Save work often: Don't forget to save your work when you have created or edited a document. Otherwise, you will have lots to redo when you return to the computer!

How detailed

The amount of detail in the directions and illustrations will decrease as you gain more experience.