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Windows 8.1 for Seniors: For Senior Citizens Who Want to Start Using Computers (Computer Books for Seniors series) Paperback – Large Print, December 6, 2012
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About the Author
Studio Visual Steps is a team of experienced professionals dedicated to producing useful and informative technology titles. The authors work together on the development of Visual Steps books along with a team of editors. The name Studio Visual Steps stands for the excellent quality found in every Visual Steps product. Whether that is a book, booklet or software guide, you can be sure that they are always written and constructed according to the Visual Steps Method.
The Visual Steps Method (or Visual Steps concept) distinguishes itself in a number of ways from traditional instructional methods. Attention is made to the special needs and requirements of the mature individual. Take a closer look at some of the features of the Visual Steps Method.
- Allows you to start right away learning in a friendly, fun, hands-on manner.
- Uses a larger print format that is easier on the eyes.
- Contains easy to understand, visually oriented, step-by-step instructions.
- Has an extensive use of screen shots and illustrations.
- Features practical, useful information, tips and helpful hints.
- Offers special help topics for do-it-yourself error correcting.
- Includes follow-up exercises to reinforce your new skills and increase your confidence.
- Offers an extensive index.
Top customer reviews
We at Cary SeniorNet were evaluating this manual for the purpose of teaching senior citizens to use Windows 8.1 computers at our computer lab. This is the internal memo I wrote which I am sharing with you.
Evaluation of Studio Visual Steps
Windows 8.1 for Seniors
Evaluation Criteria 1-10 Multiplier Score
1. Easy to understand terminology 10 x2 20
2. Covers Key Topics 5 x2 10
3. Reasonable Cost 3 x2 6
4. Modifiable (will adapt to our style) 1 x1 1
5. Chapters fit our class schedules 1 x1 1
6. Organization 1 x1 1
My initial impression upon first looking through the manual was quite positive. There are many images and many of the topics are covered. Once I started digging more thoroughly into it, however, I quickly became disappointed. Yes there are many images, but there are TOO MANY. For example, there are 7 separate images of the keyboard where one image with supporting text would do. Even worse there are about 36 separate images of the Wordpad screen showing every screen for every step of a simple activity. There are also no exercises for Wordpad but they have you type a few lines in and then work with them.
There are no good mouse practice exercises. Instead they have you open the calculator and have you use that window to do your mouse practice. It takes them about 75 pages to cover using the mouse (from page 24 to page 100).
There are two chapters on word processing, One on working with text, and one on word processing. On the surface it soundss like what we do, however, I feel they over emphasize trivia and gloss over much of what we teach as being imortant. For example, they make an issue of dragging and dropping a paragraph. Much of what we teach they regard as an incidental “TIP”. Such as clicking, highlighting, swiping across a word etc. to select. The insertion point isn’t even mentioned. You can’t even find it inthe index.
They then go into Files and Folders in Chapter 5. We reserve this for Beginning skills 2. Then they go into Files and folders, (Our CS2). There is no coverage of Using the Paint program, Setting up and administrative account, adding new users, Personalizing your desktop, and other items we cover in CS2. They then go into surfing the internet in Chapter 6 (our CS3) .
Chapter 7 covers working with e-mail, however, you have to have a Microsoft account and one of the following e-mail providers: hotmail.com, outlook.com, or live.com. The also try to steer you into a Microsoft account. They point out that Microsoft does not support a POP3 account. I question if this is false information. You can access other providers through internet explorer.
Certainly you can go to google to access Gmail.
Chapter 8 covers working with photos, videos, and music which we mostly cover in CS3. They also go into a lot of what we cover in Digital photography including connecting your camera to your computer and importing pictures from your camera.
Chapter 9 “Useful Settings” covers some of what we usually cover in CS2 including working with the start screen and lock screen, changing backgroud color of the start screen, going into the control panel to change mouse settings, desktop backgriound, letter & icon sizes and a few other options we cover in CS2.
There are 3 additional bonus chapters which are available on line for download. These cover:
Working with a touchpad
Working with a touchscreen
They also have practice files available for download but these only include 10 pictures and two videos.
After spending $22.95 for this book, some of the material we cover requires the purchase of a second book “More Windows 8 for Seniors” which covers:
● Adjust your workspace
● Create user accounts
● Work with photos
● Play and manage music
● Burn CDs and DVDs
● Use system restore options, create backups and clean up the computer
for an additional $22.95
I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend this book as a reference book. It has a great Appendix called “How Do I Do That Again?”. It also has a great index sorted alphabetically.
As a teaching tool for us, I feel that the Que book that Dave Cree mentioned in an e-mail sound a lot more promising.
Most recent customer reviews
I am very disappointed.