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Computers Arenít THAT Hard

 

WHY?   Learning how to use a computer can seem like a daunting task at any age. Computers Aren't THAT Hard proves that it does not have to be.  Through an entertaining story and clear illustrations this book can have anyone, six or sixty, pointing and clicking like a pro in just a few hours or even minutes.  No other book on the market teaches so much - from how to turn a computer on and off, to running programs, saving files, surfing the Net and more - in so few words.  It literally turns using a computer into child's play.

WHO? There is a great need in both the home and school market for a children's computer book like this one.  More and more people are buying home computers than ever before, often for their kids.  According to experts, it is a common misconception that children learn computers "naturally".  Children learn by copying what they see others do, but they are at a loss when confronted with something new.   Few can take what they have learned about one program and carry it over to another.  Most do not know the rules or even that there are rules.   They also do not "naturally" learn the words they need to explain what they are doing, so that they can share what they know with others and ask the questions that will help them learn more.

My book teaches both the rules and the words that will be most helpful to them.   It also encourages children to explore and gives them the confidence that they will need to teach themselves.  In addition, it directs them to the kinds of programs that will be the most beneficial to their development: writing, art, imaginative and educational ones.  

So What's New?  The children's market today includes several books that explain what a computer is or offer teachers classroom projects to do on the computer.  Computers Aren't THAT Hard is the first true computer "how to" book for kids.  I plan to make it the first of a series with a potential to do to the children's and school market what the Computers for Dummies series did to the adult one.  I have spoken  with elementary school computer science and library arts teachers.  All have expressed a great need for a book like this one.  Here in New Jersey, a state with one of the best public education systems in the country, there is no elementary school computer curriculum.  I believe that this series could fill a great void in New Jersey as well as many other states. 

WHAT?  The lessons in Computers Aren't THAT Hard are conveyed through a story about a child, Imogene Mouse, teaching her grandfather how to use the computer.   Imogene presents readers with a positive role model.  Although her Grandpa starts out wary, she manages to teach him all he needs to know in just one day.   The story makes children feel less embarrassed about their lack of knowledge, since there is nothing wrong with their not knowing things that even adults like Grandpa do not know.

Computers Aren't THAT Hard teaches Windows 95, 98, 2000, ME and XP - the most common operating systems today.   Most of the things described in the book are true about Mac computers, as well.   However, it is my intention to follow up this book with one specifically dealing with Macs, as well as others dealing more in depth with the Internet, word processing, and art programs.  I would also like to create a series of companion workbooks for classroom use.

 So Who Are You?   I have twelve years combined experience in journalism, working as a cartoonist, illustrator, children's magazine editor, arts and entertainment writer and consumer columnist.  I also have a teacher's certificate and have helped friends learn computer skills.  To make sure that the book is technically correct, I consulted with my siblings - three programmers with degrees in computer science.   They were also very helpful when I wrote a two part consumer column for The Jerusalem Post, entitled "Computer Shopping for Dummies"( www.jpost.com - search under "shevi computer").  I have been using computers for about 20 years.

It is my belief that children will be drawn to the delightful illustrations in Computers Aren't THAT Hard and will return to the book again and again to pick up things that they missed or to look up words in the dictionary.   I also believe that many adults will buy it for themselves on the pretext that they are getting it for their children or grandchildren.

Click on the "to the book" link above if you would like to read Computers Aren't THAT Hard by Shevi Arnold.  

An Imogene Mouse First Computer Book
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