I was glad to learn that my friend Joe Schoen “The Computer Guy” is back. Back in the computer classroom at the Franklin Public Library, that is.
My husband and I both met Joe when he was teaching classes for the Franklin Park and Recreation. Joe doesn’t have any fancy titles after his name, but he’s a natural-born teacher – someone who enjoys watching other people learn. He’ll stand patiently by helping students learn by doing – not the kind of instructor who pushes you aside so he can sit in front of the computer monitor.
Initially, my husband was apprehensive of the computer keyboard and the mouse, and everything on the monitor was a strange new world to him. As he learned a few basics, his confidence increased, and now he uses it regularly to post his volunteer hours at the Milwaukee Public Museum, post his golf scores, check his email, and find some helpful websites with the help of Google.
I’ve learned the basics of PowerPoint, Excel, Access and Publisher and picked up some advanced tips on Microsoft Word. Joe has always been generous with his accrued knowledge and makes take-home CDs for his students and gives them free access to his self-created tutorials.
Even though Joe hasn’t been teaching in Franklin the past couple of years, he is always just a phone call or email away – whenever I have a question or problem. Sometimes he can help me by email; other times he comes right to our house – and believe me, his service call costs nothing like a visit from “Joe the Plumber.”
Joe will be teaching a number of classes in the computer lab at the Franklin Library. These classes, sponsored by the Friends organization, cost only $5 each – which is a bargain, but space is limited so people are advised to sign up early. The scheduling occurred after the last Library newsletter was mailed, so you won’t be able to find the details online, but stop at the Franklin Public Library for details – or call (414-425-8214).
Specifics are posted on Joe’s website: www.thecomputerguy-joe.com – or email him for a copy of his newsletter: firstname.lastname@example.org. The first class, “Social Networking for Adults,” is coming up this Saturday, April 10, at 10:15 a.m. and repeated Tuesday, April 13, at 6:15 p.m. These classes are just 2 hours long and will get you started on such sites as Facebook, MySpace and Twitter. Even if you aren’t interested right now, you’ll find out what makes these social networking sites so popular.