An iPad for my mother, the computer newbie?
June 21, 2010 10:06 AM Subscribe
My mom wants a simple computer for internet use, email and word processing, and she's interested in an iPad. The question: would this work? The problem: she's computer illiterate. (Related question: any good systems for teaching an older newbie about computers?) More details inside.
posted by filthy light thief to Computers & Internet (33 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
Background: my brother and I are the technical/computer savvy ones of the family, trouble-shooting and suggesting appropriate things to buy. My parents are late to the computer age, and even though my father has been using computers with what seems to be decent skill for a few years, he still doesn't know some of the basics (copy and pasting was new territory to him last month, which was surprising for me).
My mother has left computers to their own devices, for fear of mucking things up. My dad bought her a new laptop with Windows 7 for Christmas, and my brother spent a few days trying to teach her how to turn it on and run basic applications. Unfortunately, she didn't use it much, and now my dad is using it on the road for work. My parents also have a nice big iMac G5 (cinema display style, used), as he was fond of the old G4 (lamp-style) that died a while back. Even though it's sitting at home, she doesn't use it.
The questions: could an iPad be a suitable "beginner computer" for my mother, or maybe a way to nudge her into "standard" computer usage (relationship between applications and files, management of files and folders, etc)? Should she try to use the iMac? Are there any good systems for teaching my mother how to use computers without my brother or I walking her through every step? I love to help her, but she'd need a few intensive weeks of assistance, judging from past attempts at getting her onto the laptop. My father isn't always the best teacher, and I'd like for my mom to learn good computer habits and have a decent understanding of the system as she learns how to use it.