Online Learning Resources for Beginners

At SDM we help people learn to use their devices. Sometimes online learning resources for beginners can add a lot to the experience. Here are some of our recommendations.

In September 2020 we wrote a blog post about learning resources for families and people working from home. This post is focused on beginners who are trying to increase their digital literacy.

What makes good online learning resources for beginners

Digital literacy encompasses basic computer skills, network, information and media literacy. A good beginner’s online learning resource will cover most of these areas.

Beginners need an easy to navigate website. The text must be legible. Clues for navigation should be clear. This example has plenty of white space, and the clickable links are easy to pick out. While there are three separate areas on the page, each is set out simply.

Real world examples are very helpful. It is easiest to learn when it is clear how you will use these skills.

There are many learning styles, but for most people a mixture of easy step by step instructions and videos is the most useful.

The use of terminology in the technology area is a barrier to learning, so definitions and the consistent use of terms is very important.


GCF Global has been one of SDM’s goto resources for over 5 years. The website is easy to navigate and has tutorials for a wide range of devices and programs. Even if you are using an older version of Microsoft Office, they have tutorials for many versions of the software.

Here is a high level view of the topics covered in GCF Global.

Here is an example of one tutorial. The lesson is a mix of easy steps and videos.

Google Digital Teaching Tools

Tools for teachers and learners. You will be asked to sign into a Google Account to use this resource.

The lessons are well laid out, and the expectations are clear.

Video is the main method of instruction in a single lesson. The steps are shown on the right side of the window. Google’s lessons have very good real world examples.


We would be remiss if we didn’t mention our own self study page. While it is not a set of specific lessons, it is a wonderful collection of useful blog posts and articles. We tag the best content that we find, so that we can use it again, as well as our clients.

Another very useful site is YouTube, where there are many videos about nearly any topic. The quality of the videos varies quite a bit. Search for a topic and then look at the matches closely. What is the source? How long is it? Is it up to date? Has it been viewed by very many people?

When you find a series or author that you like, then you can subscribe to be able to find that source again in the future.

If you would like some help with this process, just call or email and we’ll be happy to assist you! If you have specific questions, or if our terminology isn’t clear, please use our contact form to send us a message. Thank you!

2 thoughts on “Online Learning Resources for Beginners”

  1. Pingback: GCF Learn Free Lesson Examples - SDM Foundation

  2. Pingback: Online Beginner's Education - Dr Don's ICFO Empowering Strategies

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