University of Massachusetts Amherst

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Fall 2014 Computer Classes

Our computer classes help UMass staff gain practical skills for work, home or in the community. The small classes allow hands-on time to practice. Learn new computer skills or add to those you already have, even with little previous computer experience.

USA/MTA only computer classes - further below.

Computer classes meet in Dickinson Hall (the former Police building), Room 210. Classes are taught by Fran Fortino and staff assistants.

Introduction to Computers
Tuesdays, 9 to 10:45 a.m., October 7 to December 2 (No class on November 11)

Overcome your fear of computers. Start from scratch in this beginner class and you’ll learn the basic parts of a computer, how to buy one, improve keyboarding skills, and create simple documents. You’ll get a free UMass email account and practice sending email while keeping it secure. We’ll also explore the wonders of the World Wide Web, and search it to find useful as well as fun information.

Digital Photography Basics
Thursdays, 9 to 10:45 a.m., October 2 to October 30

In this 5-week class, we will discuss camera choices, their basic use, controls, menus, and taking good digital photos for work or home. We’ll cover how to transfer your images to a computer; then crop, edit, and resize them for email and websites. You’ll learn about online digital photo storage and print options as well.  Topics may be added based on participant needs. Prerequisite: participants should own or have access to a digital camera to bring to the first class.

Introduction to MS Office Pro
Tuesdays, 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., October 7 to December 2, (No class November 11)

UMass staff can now install MS Office 2010 or 2013 Pro for Windows on their home computers (for $9.95) or free on work computers. This beginner class will get you up to speed with many new features in Office 2010/2013.  You’ll learn Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and more.  We cover Word (Oct. 7–Oct. 28) and Excel (Nov. 4–Nov. 25, no class Nov. 11), then PowerPoint (Dec. 2). Register for the whole class or just blocks. No previous MS Office experience is required.

Introduction to Drupal at UMass
Wednesdays, 9 to 10:45 a.m., October 1 to October 29

Drupal is a powerful and flexible web content management system that lets users more easily manage the content on their Web sites.  UMass now provides a Drupal-based service and templates to groups and departments hosting their Web sites on  In this 5-week class, you’ll learn basic Drupal to navigate and develop your site, including adding and editing pages, changing the layout, adding image galleries, and building webforms.  No previous Drupal experience required.

Adobe Acrobat Pro
Thursdays, 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., October 2 to October 23

Acrobat Pro, part of the Adobe Creative Suite (available free for UMass staff) allows users to easily make PDFs, delete, extract, reorder or replace pages in a PDF, edit contents of PDFs, and more. In this 4-session class, you will learn how to use Acrobat Pro tools to create, combine, and split PDF files, to add, highlight and replace text, and insert bookmarks, comments, buttons and links. No previous Acrobat Pro experience is required.

Introduction to MS Excel
Thursdays, 9 to 10:45 a.m., November 6 to December 11
(No class November 27)

This 5 week class will cover the basic functions and terminology of MS Excel. You will learn worksheet data entry, editing and formatting, saving and printing options, basic formulas and functions, mail merge and some chart options.  Topics may be added based on participant needs.

Computer Courses for USA/MTA Members Only 

Two 5-week classes taught by Alexandra Martines. Classes meet in 210 Dickinson Hall. For information, contact the USA office at 545-0165 or

Introduction to Adobe Photoshop
Wednesdays, 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., October 1 to October 29

Have you ever wanted to wow your family with a photo greeting card you designed or impress your friends with stunning image effects? If you do, then join us in this beginner class using the fabulous photo editing software Adobe Photoshop. No previous experience with Photoshop is required. We will introduce you to the essential Photoshop tools that you can use to create amazing graphics with photos, designs and logos. Topics include an overview of common toolbar features, creating images using layers, adding text to images, cropping and editing pictures, retouching & healing, and basic color correction.

Introduction to InDesign
Wednesdays, 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., November 5 to December 3

This course will let you discover the robust, easy-to-use design and layout features to create incredible posters and flyers. With InDesign you can create documents of many types, from single page advertisements, to complex multi-page color publications. In this course, you will learn the basics of creating documents with InDesign. We’ll show you everything you need to start building high quality InDesign documents, including inserting text and graphics into your page, and readying your pages for final output, whether that's for print, PDF, or web. No previous experience with InDesign required for this class.