About once a week I get an exasperated email from a parent who doesn’t feel remotely equipped to talk about technology with their kids. If the pace of changing technology keeps your head spinning, you not alone.
The good news is that closing your tech gap is one search, one video, or one class away because everything you need to learn can be found online—for free.
The web is packed with free learning tools that will help build up your tech confidence in no time. While plenty of paid courses exist, the sites listed below are free and often include video and podcast learning options. Explore these sites and make it a goal to learn a little more each day about the online world. By spending an hour a week on a little extra learning, you will be the one schooling your kids on apps, gadgets, and digital workarounds.
Remember, on all of these sites, simply use the search function to find exactly what you need to learn (Instagram 101, how to tweet, Snapchat basics, Facebook privacy settings, etc.).
12 free learning tools:
GCF LearnFree.org is one of our favorite, most comprehensive, free online learning sites, GCF covers everything from how to
use your smart phone, to how to tweet (see right), to troubleshooting your computer woes. Check it out and be wowed.
MakeUseOf.com is a daily blog that features cool websites, computer tips, and downloads that make you more productive. It also has a great free download section that includes free downloads and guides such as, “The Complete Guide to Twitter.”
Dummies.com is a spin-off of the best-selling Dummies books series. It’s a wonderful, easy-to-understand site packed with experts presenting the most complex subjects in plain English. You’ll find 1-2-3 steps to a ton of “how-tos” on social networks, technology, mobile devices, and tools on the Web.
HowStuffWorks.com is the one of the web’s most credible, unbiased, and easy-to-understand sites offering free explanations of how technology, social networks (and the world in general) works.
eHow.com is a great online tech community with solutions and tips on everything pertaining to social media and tech. Just type what you are looking for into the search box. If you learn better by video, eHow offers that too.
About.com helps you easily understand the tools of the online world. It’s one of the few advertorial-based sites that maintains an excellent standard for quality and speaks in very simple language.
Ask.com gives you qualified answers online to make searching quick and easy. It functions like a search engine and pulls the best content from around the web on whatever your search may be. It also has a great feature for kids called “AskKids“ to help with homework and research.
Videotutorials.com is a collection of free video tutorials with no strings attached. This site contains high quality instructional videos for the upper crust of the tech world. Here, you will find everything from SEO to content management videos. This is a site for the sophisticated technology user.
Facebook ‘s blog is loaded with helpful stories, news, and updates. In addition, any social network’s Help, About, FAQ, or Blog will prove extremely helpful in understanding a platform.
YouTube this top video-based search engine is an incredible tool. In fact, you can almost go to school there. Just go to the search box on YouTube.com and find our favorite “how to” videos. Be warned: quality of instruction varies on YouTube and it’s a good idea to turn on the site’s Safe Search filter.
Mashable.com is a power-packed site for everything new media including breaking news, mobile updates, commentary, current events and how-tos. Just type what you are looking for in the search box. This is also the site you want to go to once you are pretty immersed in social networking and want to stay ahead of the curve. We recommend getting the Mashable RSS feed sent directly to your email inbox.
McAfee’s Mcafee Blog Central blog is a must for any parent. You found your way here today, be sure to come back often. We’re here to equip you to understand the digital world and give you tools to keep your family safe online. You’ll find breaking news pertaining to family safety, online safety tips, and critical updates on cultural trends and technologies you need to know about.