• If you are citizen of an European Union member nation, you may not use this service unless you are at least 16 years old.

  • Stop wasting time looking for files and revisions. Connect your Gmail, DriveDropbox, and Slack accounts and in less than 2 minutes, Dokkio will automatically organize all your file attachments. Learn more and claim your free account.


Tech Ladder

Page history last edited by Leecy Wise 10 years, 6 months ago



Following are lists of computer/technology skills grouped within four competency levels: Qualifier, Bronze, Silver and Gold. The list was adapted from the Massachusetts Technology Skills to conform to the needs of adult educators and their students in Colorado. A few tutorials or resources to help you acquire those skills will increasingly be linked from this page to help you continually improve those areas that best serve your needs and those of your students. However, in 2010, tutorials abound for learning any imaginable technology skill. To access wonderful tutorials along this journey through your certification, simple Google "nameofskill tutorial" and watch the list emerge. Your contributions are invited, encouraged and deeply appreciated! If you find tutorials that you really like, simple add yourself as a writer in this wiki and add your link to one of our sections!


Another nice checklist for students, which is matched to ABE and ESL levels,  can be found at  http://www.nwlincs.org/CompTech/Competencies.htm - This project was funded by a Midwest LINCS grant from the National Institute for Literacy and State Leadership funds from the Office of Vocational and Adult Education (OVAE), United States Department of Education, under the Adult Education and Family Literacy Act, Title II, Workforce Investment Act of 1998. The site's home page has links to numerous content areas with instructional activities and resources.


NOTE: Skills lists, such as those posted here, make wonderful checklists for your students as they learn how to use technology to learn and to apply in the workforce. In fact, you might use the list and related tutorials as a guide to develop curriculum materials for students learning computer skills.


Download a copy of Tech Ladder in MS Word. Click Here.


The full address is given with every link so that you can trace the site for more information.






A1.1. Make hardware and applications choices (e.g., start up and shut down computer system and peripherals, open/close a file, start an application and create a document.)

A1.2. Navigate using scroll bars, arrow keys, special keys, and mouse functions.

A1.3. Identify components of a computer system (e.g., operating system, platform, drives, memory, window), explain their functions and use appropriate terminology in speaking about them.

A1.4. Save/backup and retrieve a file to/from the desktop, hard drive, and external storage units, such as thumb drives and CD’s.

A1.5. Select a printer and print a document with appropriate orientation within page setup.

A1.6. Connect the cables and cords correctly to make a computer functional.

A1.7. Use basic editing and formatting features of a word processing program (e.g., centering, spacing, fonts and styles, enter and edit text, copy and paste, manipulate fonts, use writing tools and insert clip art.).

A1.8. Use basic terminology in speaking about Internet communications (e.g., browser, search engine, online).

A1.9. Access the Internet and identify and use basic navigation features of a browser (e.g., “go,” “back,” “forward”).

A1.10.Add a Web site to Favorites or Bookmark it for future reference.

A1.11.Identify basic elements of a Web site (e.g., URL, hyperlinks, etc.) and use a URL.

A1.12.Create and send a message using email. Retrieve and read email. Reply to sender and forward an email. Save, print and delete an email. 

http://www.umuc.edu/distance/odell/ctla/basic_skills/basic_skills.shtml  -This is an excellent introduction to the WIndows environment, designed for new faculty at the University of Maryland University College. Depending on what version of Windows you use, some of the graphics may change a bit. Take your time opening different instructional links and remember that repetition is the key to learning new skills. 

http://www.jegsworks.com/Lessons/lessonintro.htm - Excellent intro to the WIndows environment with clear graphics. From the site: "Consider this set of lessons "Beginning Driver's Ed" for the computer. What might be covered in a Driver's Education course.. The topics covered here will introduce you to a similar set of topics about computers. When you finish, you'll be just as prepared to "drive" a computer, as you were to drive a car when you finished Driver's Ed. Scary thought, isn't it? That clearly means you will need lots of practice with a skilled "driver" in the passenger's seat before you can be considered "safe on the road!" But we can get you started! But, really, you'll understand the basic ideas behind computers, some of the ills that affect computers, and some of the basic safety measures to take to keep your computer healthy. You'll gain some knowledge of how we got to today's computers and what lies ahead. It'll be great!" You may want to use this in class with your beginning students.



http://www.nald.ca/CLR/Btg/comp/compmain/compindex.htm - Part I. By Lan Tang, Produced by Samaritan House Training Centre, Funded by National Literacy Secretariat-  Graphics-based tutorial on using different tools and skills in word processing.

http://www.pptfaq.com/FAQ00131.htm - Select a default printer.

http://office.microsoft.com/en-us/training/- This site has tutorials covering all MS applications for Office 2003 and 2007. The tutorials are excellent, and many come with voice options. You will learn the skill, practice activities on your own machine, then take a short quiz to review what you've learned. Skills that are taught through an accompanying narration can be covered by students with low reading levels, which is very nice.

http://computer.howstuffworks.com/computer-hardware-channel.htm - What's Inside your computer? From USB connectors to motherboards, the HowStuffWorks Computer Hardware Channel will help you find explanations, reviews, videos and prices for the parts you need. This is one of my favorite sites for finding out how just about anything works, including our brains!

http://www.comptechdoc.org/basic/ - Very nice resource for skills at all levels. This page addresses the following:

  • Understand the basic hardware that makes up their system.
  • Know how to use their system. 
  • Keep their system more secure.
  • Prevent viruses.
  • Reduce spam.
  • Secure their data.
  • Avoid applications that may reduce performance.
http://www.ehow.com/how_2377373_buy-right-computer-needs.html and http://www.ehow.com/how_3392049_buy-computer-suit-needs.html Consider these steps to buy a computer.




B1.1. Identify and use basic features of a computer     operating system (e.g., format/initialize disks, access information on size and format of a file, create and organize folders on local hard drive and desktop).

B1.2. Manage files: save, locate and organize files.

B1.3. Operate peripheral equipment (e.g., scanner, printer, projector).  

B1.4. Resolve basic technical difficulties (e.g., soft reboot, paper jam, ink cartridge replacement).

B1.5. Connect a computer to peripheral devices (e.g., printers), a network outlet, and take proper care of the system.

B1.6. Use editing and formatting features (margins, cut and paste, spelling, and page numbers).

B1.7. Insert images (e.g., graphics, clip art) from different sources into word-processed documents.

B1.8. Create a report or newsletter using word-processing or desktop publishing software.

B1.9. Describe the structure and function of spreadsheet (e.g., cells, rows, columns, and formulas) and apply basic formatting features, such as repositioning columns and rows.

B1.10. Create an original spreadsheet, entering simple formulas (various number formats, equations, percentages, exponents).

B1.11.Interpret spreadsheet information, and produce simple charts from data.

B1.12. Define terms (field, table, record etc.) and functions of a database and use it for simple analysis.

B1.13.Create, copy and manipulate graphics using a drawing or painting program (e.g., adjust scale, size, shape).

B1.14. Create a simple multimedia presentation using PowerPoint or similar softward, and explain the terminology (slide, transition, etc.)

B1.15. Differentiate among browser, email program and Internet service provider.

B1.16.  Organize Bookmarks or Favorites into folders for future reference.

B1.17. Identify and use basic search strategies on the Internet. 

B1.18. Send an email attachment, open and save on to the desktop.

B1.19.  Create an address book in an e-mail program.  

Check the links above. Some, such as the Microsoft tutorials or the Computer Technology Documentation Project (http://www.comptechdoc.org/), go through advanced skills.


http://www.pptfaq.com/FAQ00131.htm - How to connect two computers. 

- How to connect a cable modem with a USB connection. Good graphics and animation.

http://www.onlinecables.com/index.php3?zupa_cat=com - Types of computer cables. No graphics.

- This is a store, but it has images for every imaginable computer connection.  

http://www.conniq.com/HomeNetworking_Introduction.htm  - Very sweet home-networking guide, with tutorials on how to connect the pieces! Great images with lots of different ways to connect.

http://inpics.net/ - Here's the site for visual learners! Computer tutorial in graphics! Learn MS Office applications with pictures. Your students will love this site.




C1.1. Save (also retrieve, load, and import) documents in different file formats (e.g., RTF, HTML) to facilitate file sharing.

C1.2. Use a variety of external peripherals (e.g., digital camera, camcorder, CD-RW, scanner) and connect them to a computer or distance learning equipment.

C1.3. Resolve commonly occurring technology problems, and use proper terminology or communicating them (e.g., frozen screen, disk error, printing problems).

C1.4. Identify, download and use multimedia, graphic, sound and video files.

C1.5. Install new software from a variety of sources (e.g., CD, downloads, plug-ins and applications) per district policies.

C1.6. Use built-in calculating features and create basic interactive tutorial functions in a spreadsheet application like MS Excel. 

C1.7. Create and customize charts or graphs in spreadsheet. Define and use built-in data functions of a spreadsheet such as sort, filter, find.

C1.8. Perform simple operations in a database (e.g., browse, sort, search, delete, add data, define field formats, etc.).

C1.9. Create a multimedia presentation that includes imported sound and graphic files, tables and a design template.

C1.10.Share links and documents online among users via email or other posting.

C1.11.Create a basic Web site with three linked pages. 

 Check the links above. Some, such as the Microsoft tutorials or the Computer Technology Documentation Project (http://www.comptechdoc.org/), go through advanced skills.


http://office.microsoft.com/en-us/project/HA102176161033.aspx -The Export Wizard and Import Wizard help you to transfer project data between Microsoft Office Project 2007 and other programs. These wizards provide instructions for placing exported or imported data in the appropriate destination fields. 

http://compnetworking.about.com/od/consumerelectronicsnetworks/a/connect-pc-tv.htm - Connect a Computer to a TV. How to share images between a laptop (or desktop) PC and the television, by Bradley Mitchell, About.com 

-The basis of networking. Nice. Same author as above.

http://docs.info.apple.com/article.html?artnum=75218 - Simple instructions for connecting audio devices. It's for the Mac, but the instructions are cross-platform.




D1.1. Troubleshoot hardware problems and add new hardware.

D1.2. Identify and use methods for transferring, downloading, and converting graphic, sound, and videother files. Use different graphic file formats where appropriate (e.g., PICT, TIFF, JPEG).

D1.3. Import/export and link data between spreadsheet, databases and other applications, including presentation applications.

D1.4. Design, create and manipulate an original database.

D1.5. Create and post a Web page per program policy.



Check the links above. Some, such as the Microsoft tutorials or the Computer Technology Documentation Project (http://www.comptechdoc.org/), go through advanced skills.


http://www.nch.com.au/switch/index.html - Switch is a sound file format converter for Windows or Mac. Convert audio files from many different file formats into mp3, wav or wma. 

http://support.apple.com/kb/HT1550 - Convert songs in iTunes.

http://audacity.sourceforge.net/- Audacity is free, open source software for recording and editing sounds. It is available for Mac OS X, Microsoft Windows, GNU/Linux, and other operating systems. Learn more about Audacity... Also check our Wiki and Forum for more information.



http://www.w3schools.com/At W3Schools you will find all the Web-building tutorials you need, from basic HTML and XHTML to advanced XML, SQL, Database, Multimedia and WAP.


http://www.smartwebby.com/web_site_design/quality collection of articles, tips, guidelines and tutorials on effective web site design. From web design tips & ideas to HTML, CSS Styles, Fireworks and Dreamweaver tutorials, you'll find all you need to know about current web design trends right here.





Comments (0)

You don't have permission to comment on this page.