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Baker's Dozen: Online Self-Paced Computer Classes

Released: 09-01-11

Baker's Dozen is 13 things to learn about on the web. The things range from music sharing to website construction and everything in between. Each week on Wednesday (for 13 weeks) a new self-paced class will be posted. Learn at your own pace, discover new things, and practice things you already know about.

If you're just getting started you may want to begin with Welcome to Baker's Dozen!

Week 13

Website Construction

Time was, putting together even a simple website was something only web designers or computer programmers could do. Fortunately now things have changed. Nowadays, a good-looking website can be yours for the making. Come on along in this last of the Baker's Dozen series to see how it's done.

Make a website for yourself.


Week 12

Online Image Editors

In this class, we'll be using a free online program called Picnik to help you change your favorite images from geek to chic. Picnik will allow you to remove redeye, brighten up smiles, crop and resize you photos and a lot more.

See how Picnik can jazz up those pics.

Week 11


Remember years ago how we knew that we would soon enter the "pushbutton age" and that there would be flying cars and robots would clean our houses and we'd be talking to people face-to-face on our phones? Well, we've got two out of three! Check out Skype for long-distance video calling. And, don't worry, until we get those robot housekeepers Skype works perfectly well without the video feature too.

What's the hype about Skype?

Week 10


Wikis are web sites that can be viewed and edited directly by the people who use them. Wikis are great for online collaboration and communication, and are super easy to use--no techie skills necessary!

How to make a wiki quickly.

Week 9


Photos are powerful. They communicate feelings, thoughts, concepts, and ideas. Flickr allows you to share photos with your friends, or even the whole world!

Learn how to get set up on Flickr.

Week 8

Digital Books

Digital downloads come in different formats, but they're all basically online versions of the same kinds of things you would check out in a library—books, audiobooks, videos, and/or music.

Learn how and where to get your digital downloads.

Week 7

Cloud Computing

If you've heard about "computing in the cloud" but what you've heard makes it sounds like so much hot air then this week's lesson is for you. You'll learn about the whys and hows, the advatages and disadvantages of cloud computing and how to set yourself up "in the cloud."

Up, up and away into the cloud we go.

Week 6


Ever wish you had your own home page? How about a personal assistant? Need a way to organize your online information? Want to integrate your Gmail with the rest of your internet experience? Or maybe you just want to be able to take the information you need from computer to computer without having to pack around a disk or USB drive. iGoogle can help.

Get started with iGoogle now.

Week 5


What can you get for free these days? Gmail, that's what. Gmail is a free web-based email service provided by Google. This week's Baker's Dozen will introduce you to Gmail and walk you through sign-up, should you decide that you don't know how you've gone this long without it.

Gmail for email is here.

Week 4


Me, tweet? Why would I want to do that? Basically, Twitter is conversations going on all over the world, right now. Check out week 4 of Baker's Dozen to find out more about the whys, hows and what-fors of Twitter.

Twitter me this.

Week 3

Privacy and Avatars

An avatar is simply an image you use to represent yourself when you're online. It's also sometimes called a "profile image" or, less frequently, a "member icon." If you plan to spend much time online, you'll find your time is much more fun with an avatar. Learn about using an avatar to protect your privacy, then learn how to create one for yourself.

Go straight to privacy and avatars.

Week 2


For our second week, we talked about blogging. All blogs are web pages, but not all web pages are blogs. What's the difference? That's one of the things we'll be learning. Other topics: Why blog? What are some blogs to read?

Go directly to blogging.

Week 1

Music Sharing: Pandora & Playlist

Music sharing is a type of online social networking, sort of like Facebook for music. Social music sites allow people to share what they're listening to, find out what their friends are listening to, get music recommendations, create their own channels, and find new music.

Check out what music sharing is all about.

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