Teaching tips and tools

In this section you'll find everything you need to help a friend or family member get online.

Here are a few handy tips to make helping someone get online easy and fun for you both.

1. Make it relevant

It's easier to get someone online if you get them interested by making the internet personally relevant to them. Show them how going online can make a difference to their life.

What are their hobbies and interests? Are there any local groups or courses they might like to join? If books or music are important to them, you could show them where they can get these online. If they use public transport, you could show them how to buy tickets and perhaps even make a few savings.

2. Be patient

Everyone learns new skills at different speeds. Remember that the person you’re teaching might not have grown up with computers in the same way as you did.

Encourage the person you're teaching, and take regular breaks. Asking questions is a good way to gauge how they're feeling and whether they're comfortable with the pace. Make sure they feel free to ask you questions, too.

3. Keep it local

A great way to make the internet seem less daunting is to focus on something local. It can be anything – like bus routes, regional news, local weather forecasts or library opening times.

Show them how the internet can answer their questions about the places and people that matter most.

4. You're in charge, not the computer!

Worrying about breaking the computer, online fraud or not being safe online are some of the main reasons people don't use the internet. So reassure the person you're teaching that it's really pretty hard to break a computer and that with a few simple measures, the internet can be safe too.

You know them best, so try to boost their confidence and calm their nerves. Learn My Way includes a course on using the internet safely, which might help answer their questions.

5. Set realistic goals

Let your friend or relative learn at their own pace and keep sessions short and sweet – there's no point in overloading them with information! Practice makes perfect, so show them how they can practice their new skills at the end of every session.

Our subject checklist  can help you plan the topics you might like to cover and give you some structure to your teaching.

Teaching people with additional needs

Are you teaching someone with additional requirements (maybe because of hearing loss, sight loss or reduced dexterity) how to get online? This video will give you some ideas on how to make using a computer as easy as possible.

Additional needs

How to teach someone with additional needs

Get online with Gabby

Gabby Logan
From paying household bills to getting tickets to watch her favourite football team, Gabby explains how she gets the most out of being online.

Find a free course near you

Find a course near you
See where your nearest UK Online Centre is and get free computer lessons. There are a huge range of venues and courses available, so finding help near you couldn't be easier!

We're here to help

Go to our Help and support section for tips and advice on making this site easier to use, using our services, understanding impairments, and contacting us. To get in touch right now, use the Email, Chat or BSL links.