How can I teach my 71 year old dad how a computer works? He has no idea how to turn it on, no matter how many times I show him and have him do it, he gets freaked out by the internet with, "What is the internet, exactly?" No laughing, this is serious, it's making me furious, because I wonder if
How can I teach my 71 year old dad how a computer works? He has no idea how to turn it on, no matter how many times I show him and have him do it, he gets freaked out by the internet with, "What is the internet, exactly?" No laughing, this is serious, it's making me furious, because I wonder if he's effing with me or if he really has no idea how to open the MacBook, press on, and go to safari? He's a tricking genius in languages and math but a computer just stumps him. 10 points for best answer!!! Thnx
My parents did okay with the computer (though some really funny naiveté on occasion). What they really couldn't handle was switching the TV source to the DVD player and playing a DVD! I could have just left them with the instruction booklet, but instead, I wrote out (in big writing) easy step-by-step instructions, including little drawings if needed.
Even Macs for Seniors for Dummies (a very good idea dan) may be intimidating as could be classes (my father took one and just had panic attacks the whole time). Which is why I'm thinking just writing out very basic, simple instructions and leaving your father with them might work once you have walked him through how to do things and set up some bookmarks, etc.
I'm guessing the only things your father will be interested in are the internet, email, looking at pictures, and if he's the type playing some puzzles. I don't see any reason to bring in things like word processing or any other apps.
So put some family pictures on the computer. Set up the screensaver to run the pictures. Show him how to launch Safari. Set his email as his homepage (use internet email – don't add to the confusion using an email app). If he's anything like my father, he'll love getting into online banking. My dad was a huge fan of checking his balance every day 😉 Set him up with that if he is interested. Google is an obvious one to show him. Would he be interested in something like the New York Times? It's expensive, but if he's a news junkie, it's hard to beat.
Just be sure to bookmark everything in his browser. Make a small notebook with logins and passwords (I can't imagine him wanting to deal with something like an ewallet!) and be sure that everything has a link to it, or lives, on the desktop. I haven't been on a Mac for ever, but as I recall, the carousel is a ***** – static shortcuts will be much easier.
This sounds pretty juvenile, but this stuff is just SO foreign that it's hard for someone older to take it all in. My parents were smart, educated people as is your father, but that doesn't mean they can do everything. Nor remember it all.
Be prepared for phone calls and walking your dad through questions he might have.
Oh – definitely get him a mouse. It seems that mice are anathema to Mac laptop users, but he needs a nice-sized TWO-BUTTON mouse. There are all kinds of very helpful things to be found in that right click – things that will make it easier for him.
Wow, I hope he isn't too old. I am 65 and just completed the Apple tech course and am readying to take the tests for certification. (not to go to work, but because I enjoy learning! ) I own a computer consulting company and do lots of paid teaching on Macs, but for fellow seniors, it's no charge!!!
Where do you live? If you're near Vegas, let me know and I'll get together with your dad and get him going. He may be messing with you, but there are people who get a mindset against a technology and refuse to learn to understand it. (It can be sub-conscious) Since you say he's quick in other areas, I'd say it isn't a physical, or age related memory problem. (They say the mind is the second thing to go with age. I'm glad I can't remember what the first thing was!)
I know a lot about computers, and they are very simple to use. Say this to him for the Internet part, "The Internet is a global network where millions of computers like this one (The Mac) connect! You can use it for work, entertainment, etc." As far as the on and off switch, tell him this for turning it on and off, "To turn on the laptop, hold the power button until you hear a sound, and if you want to turn it off, hold down the power button until you see the screen go pitch black." Safari is pretty easy to get onto. Tell him to use the mouse or touchpad by moving his finger or hand around, then show him where to click Safari.
For better details of what I'm telling you, go online and show him a video tutorial of how to use the MacBook.
Hope this helped!
I teach seniors how to use computers The oldest was 89 years young.
first lesson you cannot wreck a computer when doing normal things (don't take it into the shower)
second what do they want to do (internet, email, Skype, Pictures) teach them what they want to do. No more, no less (you do not have to know how a car works in order to drive it)
third be patient and available
What is he interested in? Find him something on the Internet that he will find interesting and that will give home a reason to use it. Do you have family members in distant places that he would want to talk to via Facetime or Skype? Would he be interested in mentoring young people in languages/math?
Theres actually a book that i showed my grandmother called Macs for Seniors for Dummies. If you want to download a pdf you can ask him to read it and ask you any questions. Hope this helped!
Your dad does not want to know how to turn on a computer. He is happy in his life without computers, let him live the way he want's to.
It's not him it's you that's the problem. Good teachers don't get 'furious'. You just lack the skills and patience to teach.
Take him to a school that teaches short computing courses.