Course Descriptions

The course descriptions for all of our courses are listed below. Not every course is offered each session. If the current schedule does not include the course that you want to take, please send us an e-mail to inquire about future course schedules.

Index
Basic Courses
Advanced Courses
Short Courses
Open Lab

Basic Courses


MLC 101 First Time Computer User

Are you a First Time Computer User? Get over your fear, surprise your friends, become computer savvy. This four-week, eight-hour course using WordPad and Windows 10 offers hands-on learning of mouse and keyboard functions, how to cut, copy and paste in a word processing program, and how to save and print your work. Note: students completing the MLC 101 course should consider registering for the follow-on MLC 102 course.

MLC 102 Use Your PC More Effectively

This four-week, 8 hour course, is for students who have completed the MLC 101 beginning class. This course builds on the MLC 101 foundation and introduces the student to the management of files and folders, a tour of the Internet, a solid introduction to email and how to make settings to personalize your computer.

MLC 104 Improve Your PC Skills

This six-week, twelve-hour course is for students who have completed the MLC 101 beginning class or who already have the skills taught in MLC 101. This class reviews keyboarding skills and practices text editing skills introduced in MLC 101. Students will receive instruction in the management of files and folders and receive a tour of the Internet. There is a strong introduction to email and you will learn how to use settings to personalize your computer.


Advanced Courses


Exploring Windows 10

Explore the newest version of Windows in this four-week, eight hour course. Course content includes a detailed overview of the new features and apps in Windows 10, including Cortana, the talking personal assistant built into the operating system; the new Start menu; the new Edge browser; and task view. Also included are how to personalize Windows 10 to the way you want to work, with emphasis on understanding how to control the information on your computer that is shared with Microsoft, and how to work effectively with the operating system to get work done, manage files, and make backups.

Excel in a Nutshell

This four-week, eight-hour course uses Microsoft's Excel 2010/2013 spreadsheet program. The course will present the basics of spreadsheet development. Class exercises are focused on useful applications and will teach you to track expenses, keep records of your finances and investments, prepare an address book, and more.

Knowing Excel Well

This four week course using Microsoft Excel 2010/2013 will teach more advanced concepts than the Excel in a Nutshell course. In this course you will learn how to graph data, hide data and protect it with passwords. You will simplify data manipulation using pivot tables and do more advanced work on formulas and nested formulas. Many other concepts useful at home and at work will be introduced. We recommend that you have a working knowledge of Excel, or complete the Excel in a Nutshell course before taking this course.

Making the Most of Your Words

Do you belong to a club, team, committee or association – any kind of group that requires you to communicate in writing? Do you write letters, notices or reports – anything with text? Learn to make the most of your words with MS Word, versions 2010 and 2013. Don’t just put words on a page. Format your documents any way you like – size, shape, color, style, pictures and graphics. Most of all learn to save, organize and find your priceless documents. All this is easier than you think. This four-week, eight-hour course focuses on the most-used and most-useful features of MS Word and makes you comfortable with this powerful program.

Making the Most of Your Digital Photos Using Picasa

In this six-week, twelve-hour course you will learn how to organize your photos into albums and add captions and keyword tags. Learn to edit photos by cropping, adjusting color and contrast, correcting red-eye, retouching and adding special effects. Learn to share pictures with friends by making prints, emailing them and uploading them to web albums. You will also learn how to turn your photos into slideshows, collages and movies. And best of all you will use a free program, Picasa. The course assumes some basic computer skills.

Browsing with Your Browser

This is a four-week, eight-hour course involving a functional look at Internet Explorer 10 & 11. There's more to the Internet and your browser than Email and looking up recipes. This course shows you the basics of how the Internet and Search Engines work And then goes on to put them to work for you. We'll show you how to personalize your machine, make it safe from viruses and hackers, make it your partner and when we're done, you'll be browsing the 'Net like a pro.

Web Page Design and Construction - Basics

This four-week course will introduce you to the basics of building a web page. The class will teach you Hyper Text Markup Language programming tags and you will use HTML to construct a simple page that can be published on the Internet.

Web Page Design and Construction - Advanced

This eight-week, sixteen-hour, advanced course builds on the knowledge gained in our four week course, Web Page Design and Construction-Basics. You'll learn more about the techniques used to create a web page and how to integrate text, pictures, and graphics on the page, including advanced techniques such as frames and Cascading Style Sheets. Using this knowledge, you'll create a web site that can be published on the Internet, if desired.

This is an advanced course. You should have a thorough understanding of managing files and the basics of how the Internet works, be proficient in the use of the keyboard and mouse, and be experienced with an Internet browser such as Firefox, Chrome or Internet Explorer.

Prerequisites: 3-6 months of web page design experience and/or completion of our four week McGrath Computer Learning Center Web Page Design and Construction - Basics class.


Short Courses


Short courses are two- to four-hour courses generally designed to offer an introduction to a topic or to explore a single topic in more depth. Check the course schedule (click here) for the date and time each is offered. Some may not be offered this session; check with us about when they may be offered.

An Overview of Windows 10

Windows 10 is here. Find out what has changed from Windows 7 and Windows 8.1. Windows 10 will be a free upgrade for users of both Windows 7 and Windows 8.1. Is Windows 10 enough of an improvement to justify the upgrade, even if it's free? Find out in this two-hour overview of the new Windows operating system. It's going to be good!

Build Your Own Website the Easy Way

You've always wanted a web page for your golf league, church group, book club, reunion or that on-line business you've wanted to start. This two week, four-hour course will show you how to do it without learning any new computer languages or downloading any software, and there's no cost for either the application or for publishing your page to the Web. The website mccatalog.weebly.com was created using the materials from this course. Go there to see what you will be doing after two weeks!

Getting to Know and Use your Android-based Tablet or Smartphone

Do you have a new Android based tablet or smart phone, for example Galaxy, Nexus, Kindle Fire, and want to learn more about it? This workshop will provide participants with a basic understanding of your tablet or smartphone. Learn the screen gestures, customize your Android by adjusting the settings, understand the world of applications and surf the web. Get the best out of your new mobile device to meet your needs. And you can ask questions.

Getting to Know and Use the iPad or iPhone

Have you recently bought an iPad or iPhone and want to learn more about it? This 2-week workshop will provide participants with a basic understanding of the tablet or smartphone. Learn how to use the screen gestures, how to customize the way your iPad or iPhone works, how to use Siri, the virtual keyboard, shortcuts, how to manage and use applications (apps) and how to surf the web from your iPad or iPhone. You will have an opportunity to ask your own questions about whatever is puzzling you.

Overview of Microsoft Word and Excel

This short course will show you the basics of the Microsoft Word program and how much more you can do with Word than with the simpler WordPad program that is part of Windows 10. This session will also demonstrate how you can use the spreadsheet program Excel to do more than crunch numbers.

Organizing Your Life with the iPad

This short course will include the various aspects of the calendar such as creating and repeating events. You will learn how to create, search and edit contacts. Learn how to use the clock app to make your life easier. If you keep losing track of what you need to do, use the Notes feature to help you stay on track!

Using the Camera and Photo Apps on Your iPhone or iPad

In this two-week, four-hour short course you will learn how make to most of the camera and photo app on your iPhone or iPad. Learn to access and use the various camera controls and settings for photos and video and how to view them. You will also learn how to use the photo app to edit photos and videos, create a custom album and share your photos or videos.

Use the Windows 8.1/10 Photo App to Edit Your Photos

The Photo App in Windows 8.1 and 10 is where you go to view the photos on your computer. Did you know that you can also do some pretty neat photo editing with this program? This short course will show you how to use the powerful photo editing tools that are included with both the Windows 8.1 and Windows 10 Photo App.

Backing Up Your Computer

Computers fail and files can be accidentally erased. Malware can corrupt your computer's memory. Or your machine may simply get old and quit working. Whatever the cause of a problem, backing up the data on your computer is easier and less painful than trying to find it and re-enter it from many different locations. In this workshop, you will learn how to protect your files and data by simple techniques for backing up your data and cloning your computer.

File Management

In this workshop you will learn how to find, save, copy, move, and delete files and folders using File Explorer and the updated Windows 8.1 operating system. Every program in your computer and every document you write is contained in a “file.” Managing files is one of the most important things to learn in order to use your computer effectively.

Exploring Facebook

This two-week, four-hour short class will explore the options provided by a Facebook account. In the first lesson we will cover navigating the Facebook menu bar, several features (Wall, Profile, Newsfeed), and handling photos and videos. The second lesson will focus on protecting privacy and controlling what you share by updating your Account and Privacy Settings and by updating your Profile and Wall. To enroll in this course you must already have a Facebook account and be able to sign into your account in class.

Digital Library

Did you know that there are thousands of books you can borrow electronically from the Aiken Library and read on your tablet device? Did you know that this service is free? This short course will show you how to install the app that makes it all possible, and how to select and download books (and even audio books) from the library. You’ll need your library card and a four digit PIN number for your library account (ask at the library if you don’t know your PIN).

Making a Creative Movie from your Photos with Movie Maker

Learn how to tell your story in style, how to create a polished movie from photos and videos using the free Microsoft Movie Maker software. You will learn how to add transitions, animations, special effects, captions, titles and music. Your completed movie can then be saved in many formats for sharing.

Basic Video Editing Using Movie Maker

You'd like to make a sharp, smart presentation with the videos in your camera. In this workshop, you will learn how to “trim” your video to select new start and stop points; how to “split” your video into frames or portions for individual editing; how to change the “speed” to create slow motion or fast motion; how to add captions to a video frame; and how to add music to your video. Note: This workshop uses the same free software as the Making a Creative Movie from your Photos with Movie Maker workshop.

Outlook E-mail

This basic examination of Microsoft's Outlook Mail will teach you to manage lists of e-mail addresses, send and receive messages, reply to messages and forward messages to third parties. The course will cover sending and receiving photos and other attachments and will discuss e-mail safety and courtesy. If you are an e-mail beginner you should take this course. If you are a basic user, you'll still find a lot of new material.

Computer Security

You've read about rogues hacking into commercial, governmental and financial computers. Why do you think your computer is any safer? It is a lot easier and a lot cheaper to prevent an intrusion than it is to clean up after your computer has been compromised. Learn about protecting your identity and computer from viruses, worms, adware, spyware, and malware. Free security tools will be covered.

Computer Maintenance

Learn to keep your hard drive clean and fast, install memory, replace CD/DVD drives and video cards, and more.

PowerPoint Presentations

Power Point is Microsoft's software for preparing a custom slide presentation to guide a talk or presentation. In this workshop you will learn how to put together your first Power Point presentation. Learn to structure your presentation, make your slides attractive and interesting, add effects such as photos and sound to your slides, and basically blow your audience away.

Ace Money Lite

Ace Money Lite is a free program that you can use to keep track of your finances. It is compatible with Win XP, 7, 8.1 and 10. Ace Money is a checkbook manager, budgeting tool, and investment tracker. With it you can track expenses, check your portfolio and do your financial math in over 100 currencies.


Open Lab

This is a bonus! In addition to the courses that are offered, the McGrath Open Lab is available to all present and former students at no charge. On Wednesdays from 3:00 to 5:00 in the afternoon, during scheduled instruction terms, our lab is staffed with volunteers to help you with difficulties in class work, making up missed classes, and a wide range of computer related problems and topics. You bring the problem, we’ll help you to solve it! Note: you may also register for an upcoming class during the Open Lab sessions.

The McGrath Computer Learning Center is associated with
the Office of Conferences and Continuing Education at the:
University of South Carolina Aiken

471 University Parkway
Aiken, SC 29801
Contact: 803-641-3741
E-mail the webmaster at [email protected]
©McGrath Computer Learning Center and USC Aiken
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