Computer and Technology Classes

Parent Q&A

  • I am looking for an after school or weekend class for my 12 1/2 year old son. He is (for lack of a better word) "high functioning" autistic, very socially motivated but with some social and emotional difficulties. He is interested in Lego, robotics, coding and gaming.He really wants to meet friends who are like him, similar in age with the same interests. The class or group would ideally include an adult familiar with the challenges of autism with the insight and expertise to help appropriately when emotional upsets and misunderstandings happen especially when they become physical. Thanks, BPN!

    oh let's talk.  you're describing my kiddo! drop me a line via my BPN user name, and let's see if we can get them together.

    I believe this is a specialty of Autistry Studios in San Rafael. They connect autistic and/or "quirky" kids ages 13+ with their passions, which I have seen include robotics, legos, remote control cars, coding, painting, animation. Also they do some social outings--some exapmles on their facebook page are Sessions are on weekends for the younger set.  --Maker Mama

Archived Q&A and Reviews



Help working with digital photos

Jan 2007

I got a digital camera for my birthday last year. I've yet to REALLY learn how to do things on the computer with my photos. They are in Picture Project which is my basic photo storage area, and I have Ofoto, Kodak and Adobe. Truthfully I really don't know what the different programs do. I know how to send from Kodak, but I have so many questions. I need either a great class or someone to come to my house (for pay or barter (I'm a massage therapist)- and show me what the possibilities are. My husband gets frustrated with me so he's not a good teacher for me with this. Thanks for any recs on this. barely computer savvy

Eliot Khuner is a professional wedding photographer. I hired him to photograph my family. He even wrote a book about digital photography. He is very patient and loves to share what he knows about photography. I'm pretty sure he will come to your home for private instruction. Eliot[at] Stu S

Computer class for my Mom

June 2005

Hi there, My mom is in town to help me watch my 10 month old for the summer, and she would like to take an evening intro to computers class that would cover the basics, like how to send email, work with the internet, print things, etc. Is there a class that anyone can recommend? Definitely nothing advanced, she really doesn't know much about computers. Thanks a lot! Rudy

Piedmont Adult School offers introductory computer classes for older adults. I don't have first-hand experience with their computer classes, but I have been happy with other courses I've taken there. Here's a link to their computer courses for summer:

The Albany Library (and maybe other branches in the Alameda County Library system)offers individual tutorials for seniors who are new to computer use - especially internet and e-mail training. Contact them for details. You could also try the various Adult Schools in the area. R.K

Class to improve skills with Word, Excel

July 2003

I need to improve/increase my computer skills - which are pretty minimal - specifically in Word, Excel and general spreadsheet capabilities. I have an iMac in case that matters. Can anyone recommend any affordable, once or twice a week classes, preferably daytime or evening (not weekends), in or close to Berkeley? Thanks so much

Well, I can tell you that I was quite disappointed in the computer classes that I tried at Berkeley Adult School. My skills were minimal also, but the Word class I took was so slow and tedious that I hardly came out with anything at the end. I haven't tried Albany adult school, maybe they're better.

My computer consultant charges $50/hr for tutoring in computer applications. This may sound out of your budget, but he's so efficient and friendly that I think you might actually learn faster and cheaper in the long run with his individualized help. He's Corey Head at 415-586-4227 Cece

You might try Berkeley Adult School or one of the community colleges. The easiest way for me to learn is to get a project, and then get a book about how to do it and work through that way. Compumom

Computer Animation Class

May 2003

Our 12-year-old son would love to learn computer animation. Any summer classes out there for his age group--or possibly a tutor? shaka

College for Kids is a program run by California's Community Colleges. They often have challenging, unique programs for kids-- television production, robotics, etc. Your local community college may offer computer animation classes in their College for Kids program. Give them a call! Christina

There are a couple of computer camps that are listed on BPN that have animation as part of their curriculum. iD Tech Camps, Giant Campus. If you are looking for something more customized or one on one for your son, I'm available for tutoring. I just finished working for an elementary school in Castro Valley as their Computer Lab Manager/Computer Instructor. Best, Beth

Hardware Class

March 2002

My son (15 years old) is looking for a class or tutor this summer where he can learn to build his own computer. He's already lined up with Cyber Camp but they don't have this specific activity. Can anyone send me in the right direction? Thanks, Karen

While browsing for something else, I came accross the spring & summer course offering described below in computer assembly at West Contra Costa Adult Ed. (I have shortened the course description to its bare essentials, here, so get a catalog for full info.) Parental approval, or school approval may be required for adolescents taking these courses. Under Computer Technical Courses:

  PC Compatible Basic Computer Assembly Students work in groups of three to build a 32MB, 2.1 GIG hard drive, PC w/ Windows 98.  Lots of special topics covered re accessories, keyboards, mopnitors, etc.  Class size limited to 12.  Offered at: Alvarado Campus, 5625 Sutter, in Richmond   Saturday classes start 5/11 & 5/18 Serra Campus, 6028 Ralston Ave, Richmond   Tues/Th evening class starts 6/18  Course fee is $60, plus $8 book fee  Site maps Registration in person at Adult & Continuing Ed office, 6028 Ralston, Richmond. Phone 215-4666.  Spring & Summer Registration opened March 16, and is open now.