CCTV Family Computer Literacy Program Syllabus

During this class, we encourage you to do your homework at CCTV. You just need to sign in and there is always a CCTV intern waiting and willing to assist you. There will be homework each week, and those who do not come to class prepared will slow the learning for others. We have made a commitment to teach you how to use a computer. If you miss a class, or do not come to class prepared we cannot guarantee that you will pass this class.

(Our entrance is located on "Prospect Street")
675 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02139
(617) 661-6900

Click here for CCTV Home Page


Computer Lab Hours

Sunday: 6-9:00p.m.
Monday: 6-9:00p.m.
Tuesday: 3-6:00p.m.
Wednesday: 12:00-6:00p.m.
Thursday: 6-9:00p.m.

Computacion en Español
Viernes 10-12:00am

Informatique en Francais
Chacque Samedi 10-12:00pm


Class 1: Introduction

CCTV Community Programs Coordinator: David Zermeno

  • CCTV Orientation
  • Membership application
  • Experience: Where are we?
  • Class Assessment
  • Ensuring your Success with a “Contract for Success”
  • Defining Computer literacy: The ability to write and communicate using a computer.
  • Why is it important?
  • Getting to know the computer: An introduction to the CPU, mouse, keyboard and monitor

Class 2:


In this class:

Today we will buy a disk (for $1.00) from the Library so we can save our documents. The Library does not allow you to leave with these diskettes, so you must return these diskettes to your instructor at the end of each class. They will be returned to you at the end of the program in October.

  • Review of the parts of a computer
  • Practice using the mouse by pointing and clicking on different icons on the desktop.
    Open a program (with a shortcut on the desktop):
  • Double-click on the icon.
  • How to minimize, maximize, resize the window and close the program.
  • Open a program by going to: Start-Programs-
  • Open Microsoft Word, a popular word processing program that allows you to create, edit and print documents.
  • Practice typing different sentences and use the Shift key, Enter key and Space bar.
  • Save documents
    • Why it is necessary to save documents
    • Where documents are saved by the computer: on the hard drive: on a diskette
  • Type your name and today’s date and save on a diskette

Bring to the next class, the below information on a piece of paper:
  1. Your name.
  2. Where you were born.
  3. What was it like growing up?
  4. How long you have lived in Massachusetts.
  5. Have you used a computer before?
  6. What has been your experience with a computer?
  7. How do you feel when you think about learning how to use it?
  8. How did you hear about this class?
  9. Why do you want to learn how to use the computer?
  10. What are your expectations after you learn how to use a computer.

Class 3:

In this class:

  • Review opening and closing programs, and minimizing and maximizing windows.
  • Open up Microsoft Word. Review saving documents by opening the document saved last week.
  • Type out your homework on the computer.
  • Print your homework when you finish typing it
  • Practice using menus: bold, italic, and underline.

CCTV Homework
1. If you won the lottery what are the first five things you would do with the money?
2. Go to CCTV and type your answers.
3. Practice formatting text again using Bold, Italics, and Underline.
4. Bring the print out to the next class.


Class 4:

In this class:

  • Review last week’s homework
  • Open a document from a diskette
  • Practice more typing with exercises given by instructor
  • What's the difference between a business letter and a personal one?
  • What are the parts of a letter?
  • Discussing opening, body and closing of a letter
  • We will also discuss the difference in formatting these differences in Microsoft Word.
  • Type a personal letter to a friend. Tell them what kind of day you have had today.
  • How to manage a floppy disk.

CCTV Homework

  1. Go to CCTV and type a letter to your child’s teacher explaining that your child is sick and will not be in school for 2 days.
  2. Print the letter and bring it to the next class.

Class 5:

In this class:

  • Review typed homework.
  • During class, we will write additional letters, (for example, to the electric company explaining that they have already paid their last bill, yet the current bill says they have not paid).
  • Write a sample letter
  • Finish biographies for the remainder of the class, if necessary.

CCTV Homework: Business or Personal letter
1. Look for an advertisement for a job that you would like.
2. Go to CCTV and type letter to apply for that job.
3. Print the letter and bring it to the next class.
1. Write a personal to a friend or family member.
2. Print the letter and bring it to the next class.


Class 6: Introduction to the Internet

  • What is the Internet?
  • Why is it important?
  • What is the World Wide Web?
  • What is email?
  • What is a browser?
  • What is a search engine?
  • What is a website?
  • What is a url?

During class we will discuss the importance of the internet. We will then open a browser and surf the World Wide Web. Then we will use search engines for information. We will also discuss the uses of the Internet, such as e-mail (electronic mail), entertainment, shopping, looking for information, distance learning

CCTV Homework: This should be ready in Class 7

  1. Go to CCTV and ask spend 2 hours practicing using the internet.
  2. Ask the CCTV intern to look for (shopping, news, or any other information) that interest you.
  3. Ask at least 5 of your friends and family members for their email addresses and bring it to the next class. Make sure you write it down correctly. If necessary, have them write it for you.

Class 7: Intermediate Internet

In this class:

  • Discuss the format of a web address
    • File, open, location in Navigator.
    • In the box (search engine), type:
    • Do your family and friends ask you for your email account and you don't know what to reply? Now you will have one.
    • Next we will get access to the World Wide Web by gaining a free email account at by typing into a URL.
  • Set up email account
    • Please write down your email name and password on a piece of paper and give it to your instructor!!!!
    • Your Yahoo Email Name:_____________________________________
      Your Yahoo Email Password: _________________________________

CCTV Homework:
Go to CCTV and practice using a search engine (it's the name of the box where you type "key words" to get information from the internet. Go shopping online. Look at news from the United States and from other countries. Any questions? Just ask the CCTV Interns. They are there to help you.


Class 8:

In this class we will:

  • Open up the CCTV website (
  • Answer instructor’s questions about CCTV based on information from the website.
  • Send email to someone in the class or to the friend whose address you brought.
  • What is a cc: and a bcc?
    • How to use them.
  • Read email from the instructor, and reply.
  • Forward and edit email messages.
  • Learn about junk mail (spam).
  • Discuss how to use email without offending other people (Netiquette)


Your instructor will send you email asking a question whose answer is on the CCTV website located at Go through the website and answer these questions:

  1. Go through the CCTV staff webpage.
    1. Who is John Donovan What is his title?
  2. Now go to the computer courses webpage.
    1. When is the next "How to Buy a Computer class?"
    2. When is the next "Introduction to Photoshop" class?
  3. Now write down the answers and send them in an email to (the address of the instructor).
    1. In the body of the email, ask any question regarding CCTV's computer lab or community programs. What would you like to know about CCTV?

Class 9:

In this class we will:

  • Learn how to search for information on the internet.
  • Discuss topics of interest to everyone in the class and look for the information on the internet.

CCTV Homework:
Go to CCTV and use the internet to look for information on topics given by the instructor.


Class 10:

In this class we will:

  • Use as a search engine.
  • Discuss shopping over the internet.
  • Discuss privacy on the internet.
  • Discuss online learning and look at examples on the internet.

Class Assignment

Today you are going to write an article regarding your experience in this class. We will include some articles and your pictures and publish them in the next issue of the CCTV Newsletter.
Open your email account and send an email to and (whatever the address is of the instructor).

In the email, answer these 10 questions:

  1. What is your first and last name (This may be published in the CCTV newsletter, so please make sure that your first and last names are spelled correctly
  2. Did you enjoy this class? Why?
  3. Describe your experience.
  4. How much experience did you have before this class?
  5. Had you ever used a computer before taking this class?
  6. Were you comfortable or afraid using a computer before this class.
  7. How do you feel now?
  8. Would you recommend this class to another parent?
  9. Write a brief letter to a parent who has never used a computer before
  10. What would you say to them?


Practice at your home computer or the CCTV Computer Lab.


Class 11:

In this class we will:

  • Review what has been learned previously.



Practice at your home computer or the CCTV Computer Lab.



Class 12:

  • Review Questions and reflections on the class.
  • How can this class be improved?
  • What was your experience?
  • Evaluations