Computer Literacy Instructional Resources

Looking for a blog that discusses both Tech & Literacy Issues in Adult Basic Education? 


Are you new to teaching computer literacy / digital literacy?

A helpful resource for teachers and volunteers who are new to this field is the Effective Computer Education Strategies manual prepared by members of Minnesota's CTEP (Community Technology Empowerment Project).  It can be found at  (Click the Download tab to locate and download the PDF manual.)

Also the site at has an excellent selection of resources for teachers.

Do you need standards and assessment tools for your students' computer literacy?

The Northstar Digital Literacy Project outlines computer skills standards for basic skills, the world wide web, Windows, Mac OS X, email and Microsoft Word. There are also free online assessment modules for each of these six areas. Students can receive a Northstar Digital Literacy Certificate when they pass all tests at an approved site. Libraries, ABE sites, workforce centers, nonprofits or other related organizations can become sponsoring sites.

Are you looking for curriculum materials or lesson plans for a basic computer skills class for adult learners?

The Twin Cities-based Technology Literacy Collaborative hosts an extensive list of materials on their website at  Click "Curriculum and Digital Inclusion Aids," then browse or search the resources available.

Additionally, Adult Basic Education staff in the Cambridge-Isanti program created the following instructional materials for their computer basics class:

Instructor Materials
Keyboard and Computer Basics
Internet and Email Basics
D2L (Desire to Learn)

Do you need to learn more about Microsoft Office? 

Try these printable PDF tutorials for teachers by Bernard John Poole:

What other teaching and learning resources are available in the area of computer literacy?

When you are planning a basic computer skills class, it is a smart idea to survey your learners to gauge what they know, don't know, and want to learn.  Click here to view a sample needs assessment form.

GCF Learn Free ( offers free online tutorials and instructor-supported classes on a variety of computer topics, including computer basics and Microsoft Office products, at

Microsoft has an excellent (and free!) online Digital Literacy curriculum with modules for Computer Basics, Internet, Productivity software (e.g. Word, Excel), Computer Security and Privacy, and more.  A test at the end of the lessons allows learners with passing scores to print a certificate.

Two new web resources for new computer/Internet users are and  Both have instructional materials for adult beginners. is a website that offers simple computer skills lessons using pictures (and minimal text) for instruction.

The BBC's excellent Web Wise site offers tutorials and articles on a vast array of technology topics, from beginner to advanced.

Also from the UK, Digital Unite offers a series of user guides with topics such as Computer Basics, Using Microsoft Word, Skype and Email, and even Smartphones.  Find them at

The Hubbs Center for Lifelong Learning in St. Paul has compiled information for GED teachers on the computer skills that will be needed to pass the computer-based GED 2014.

The Minnesota Intelligent Rural Communities project created a series of self-paced online tutorials for adult beginning computer users.  It can now be accessed at:

YouTube has a wealth of instructional content.  A quick search will yield dozens of videos and tutorials. has an excellent YouTube channel.  Another good channel to check out is Computer Tutorials.

ACTION (Active Citizens Technology In Our Neighborhoods) Computer Lessons is a set of downloadable PDF documents written in simple English that teach concepts from basic computer hardware to more complex tasks such as making a budget or writing a resume.  Registration with an email account is required.

Kansas Adult Education Technology Competencies and Curriculum:  ABE competencies, and lessons for basic word processing, Internet, email and PowerPoint.

SPCLC Basic Computer Skills Curriculum: click on This is downloadable curriculum, with Word, Excel and PowerPoint activities for beginning, intermediate and advanced level ESL learners. Activities start from very basic (turning on the computer) to higher-level office software activities. offers free online courses in topics such as:  Microsoft Office products, using Gmail, touch typing, and protecting yourself from identify theft.

Internet 101 is a free tutorial explaining what the Internet is, how it works, and the basics of what you can do on the Internet (free email, search, etc.).  It does include some ads and requires a relatively high reading level.  Probably most appropriate for American-born adult learners.

The website has a selection of vocabulary activities for learning computer terms.

Minneapolis ABE has developed an online touch typing curriculum that is free for all users.

Free touch typing lessons can also be found at:, and (the last two also include 10-key practice exercises).

This library user tutorial explains how to use the mouse to click, scroll, and navigate in Windows:

Mousarobics: this is an online activity that helps your learners practice basic mouse skills

Mouse skills: very basic click, drop and drag

Forms practice: online practice filling out very easy to complex forms.

Computers in Action: lesson plans and activities for using computers with students.

eFolio: an online portfolio creation website available to MN residents.

Claire Siskin Bradin's Word Processing Activities : this is a range of fun word processing activities for ESL learners.

Susan Gaer's Computer Class Activities: this is an excellent class website which can be used as a resource to use for online reading/writing activities or to get ideas for lessons to use with your learners.