Our Courses

ParraPals MAC Course

At ParraPals, we run a variety of courses that cover everything from learning how to use a computer and finding your way around different operating systems through to learning new programs, fine tuning your skills in areas of special interest and understanding smart phones and tablets. Our courses are offered for both Windows and Apple computers and mobile devices. Whilst our courses are not designed to teach ‘job-related’ skills, many members find the skills they learn are not only highly beneficial in their personal lives, but also greatly expand the assistance they can provide in any volunteer positions they hold.

ParraPals Photography Courses

Our courses vary in length depending on the topic. Our longest courses cost $45 and consist of five, two-hour sessions whilst our shortest courses cost $10 and consist of one, two-hour session. All sessions include a short break in the middle with tea, coffee and biscuits included in the cost. Participants receive a course manual for each course which they can take home and refer to as they continue to develop their skills.

In addition to our courses, we convene regular Special Interest Groups for students who have completed a course and are interested in regularly getting together to share their experiences and further their skills in a particular area. Running for two hours, these cost just $2 and are offered every month or alternate month.

Courses are offered during the NSW school terms, with breaks during school holidays. The timetable changes each term to meet members’ needs. Click here to review course descriptions or check our latest timetable here for details of courses currently on offer.

Course Descriptions

Our courses are separated out into five main categories as described below and,
in addition to these, we also run periodic practice sessions around specific subjects.

Courses will vary throughout the year so please check our latest timetable here for details of courses currently being offered.

Windows 10 and Apple Mac Courses

These courses are designed for people who have a Windows or Apple computer or laptop. Courses vary from introductory through to more advanced skills including using files and folders and keeping your computer running smoothly.

Introduction to Windows Computers

Duration: 2 hours a week for 3 weeks

Cost: $30

Suitable for anyone who has no experience using computers and may not yet have purchased one.

Learn about the different options available including PCs (personal computers) and laptops. Explore the types of things you can do with computers and which ones will suit your needs.

Apple Mac: Beginners

Duration: 2 hours a week for 5 weeks
Cost: $45
Description: Suitable for people who own an Apple iMac computer or MacBook laptop.

Learn how to use your Apple iMac or MacBook including navigating the desktop, accessing menu items, exploring applications, finding files, using the internet, working with the dashboard and customising the dock and system preferences

Apple Mac: Beyond the Basics

Duration: 2 hours a week for 5 weeks
Cost: $45
Description: Suitable for people who own an Apple iMac or MacBook computer and already have some experience using Apple computers.

Learn more advanced features of your Apple computer and how to use a variety of useful applications

Windows 10 Made Easy

Duration: 2 hours a week for 3 weeks
Cost: $30
Description: Suitable for people who own a laptop or desktop computer with Windows 10 and have limited experience using Windows computers.

The course will introduce you to Windows computing including how the hardware, software and operating system interact, using the mouse and keyboard, accessing files, folder management, using the internet, opening and closing software applications and more.

Keeping Your Windows Computer Happy

Duration: 2 hours a week for 5 weeks
Cost: $45
Description: Suitable for people who have experience using Windows computers.

Learn the basics for keeping your computer running smoothly including security, cleaning up your hard drive, backing up and restoring data and programs, checking disk health and fixing performance and software problems.

Backing Up Your Windows Computer

Duration: 2 hours
Cost: $10
Description: Suitable for people who have experience operating a Windows computer or who have completed our Windows 10 Made Easy course.

Learn how to easily and regularly back up your computer to keep your files, photos, emails, contacts and other items safe if your computer malfunctions.

Files and Folders - Saving and Finding in Windows

Duration: 2 hours a week for 3 weeks
Cost: $30
Description: Suitable for people who have basic experience operating a Windows computer or who have completed our Windows 10 Made Easy course.

This course underpins many of the more advanced courses offered by our club and is a great refresher course for those who feel their computer skills are somewhat rusty or have had little experience with saving and locating files. Learn how to save files (photos, documents, music) to your computer and find them again, organise files into folders, find items you’ve downloaded from the internet, attach files to emails, download attachments you’ve received in emails and move or copy files from your computer to a USB memory stick or external hard drive and back again.

Using the Internet and Cloud Computing Courses

These courses are designed for people who already have basic knowledge of how to use a computer and want to use the internet and cloud computing more effectively.

Internet: Searching and Finding Online

Duration: 2 hours a week for 5 weeks
Cost: $45
Description: Suitable for people who have basic experience operating Apple or Windows computers or mobile devices.

Learn how to use the internet to find information on any topic. Areas covered include understanding website addresses (URLs), navigation using hyperlinks, making your searches more effective, customising your web browser, using history and bookmarks, and copying, saving and printing information from web sites.

Apple Safari

Duration: 2 hours a week for 2 weeks
Cost: $20
Description: Suitable for people who own an Apple computer, iPhone or iPad and are familiar with the basics of using it.

Learn how to search the internet using Safari. This course includes understanding the website address (URL), navigation using hyperlinks, making your searches more effective, customising Safari, using history and bookmarks, and copying, saving and printing information from websites.

Cloud Computing: Overview

Duration: 2 hours
Cost: $10
Description: Suitable for people who have access to the internet and want to understand what cloud computing is.

Learn about various cloud computing services and the benefits and costs of using cloud computing to store and access your data.

Cloud Computing - Microsoft OneDrive

Duration: 2 hours
Cost: $10
Description: Suitable for people who have basic experience operating Windows computers and are familiar with using files and folders.

Microsoft OneDrive offers free storage of files such as photos and documents in ‘the cloud’ instead of on your computer. Learn how to save files to OneDrive, access them from multiple devices, share files with others and easily retrieve them.

Cloud Computing - Dropbox

Duration: 2 hours
Cost: $10
Description: Suitable for people who have basic experience using computers and are familiar with using files and folders.

Dropbox is a popular form of cloud computing that enables you to store your files on the internet instead of your computer. Learn how to save files to Dropbox, access them from multiple devices, share files with others and access files others have shared with you.

Cloud Computing – Google Drive

Duration: 2 hours
Cost: $10
Description: Suitable for people who have basic experience using computers and are familiar with using files and folders.

Google Drive allows anyone with a Google (Gmail) account to create, edit and share documents, spreadsheets and slideshows in the cloud. You can also upload other files and organise them into folders.

Cloud Computing – iCloud

Duration: 2 hours
Cost: $10
Description: Suitable for people who have basic experience using Apple computers and devices and are familiar with using files and folders.

iCloud allows anyone with an Apple account to save documents to the cloud. Learn how to upload files, organise them into folders, and share them with others.

Cloud Computing - Evernote

Duration: 2 hours
Cost: $10
Description: Suitable for people who have basic experience using computers.

Evernote is an application designed for making notes and creating and organising information. Learn how to save and organise websites, emails, files and other records in the cloud as well as accessing them from multiple devices and sharing them with others.

Communication and Social Networking Courses

These courses are designed for people who already have basic knowledge of how to use a computer and want to use the internet and cloud computing more effectively.

Email: Using Windows Mail

Duration: 2 hours a week for 2 weeks
Cost: $20
Description: Suitable for people who have basic experience with Windows computers and can use a web browser.

Learn the basics of sending, receiving and replying to emails using Windows Mail. Then progress to personalising your email settings, sending emails to multiple people at once, protecting your privacy, preventing spam, creating and using contact lists and keeping your inbox uncluttered. This course includes sending, receiving and saving email attachments.

Email: Using Gmail

Duration: 2 hours a week for 3 weeks
Cost: $30
Description: Suitable for people who have basic experience using a computer and a web browser.

Learn the basics of sending and receiving emails. Then progress to personalising your email settings, sending emails to multiple people at once, protecting your privacy, preventing spam, creating and using contact lists and keeping your inbox uncluttered. This course includes sending, receiving and saving email attachments.

Skype

Duration: 2 hours a week for 2 weeks
Cost: $20
Description: Suitable for people who have basic experience using computers to access the internet.

Skype enables you to make local, interstate and international audio and video phone calls from your computer, smart phone or tablet. Easily call friends and family members for free, if they also use Skype, or for a fraction of the cost of regular telephone calls if they don’t.

Facebook: Beginners

Duration: 2 hours a week for 2 weeks
Cost: $20
Description: Suitable for people who have basic experience using a computer or mobile device to access the internet.

Facebook is a website and application which allows you to share photos, videos, messages and comments with friends. It’s a great way to keep up with what’s going on in the lives of friends and family members, particularly those separated by distance. Learn how to set up a Facebook account, protect your privacy, create your personal profile, find your friends on Facebook, upload pictures, post updates about your status and manage your newsfeed to follow other people’s updates.

You can also join the Parramatta Computer Pals for Seniors group on Facebook to keep abreast of all our news, activities, social events and technology hints.

Facebook: Beyond the Basics

Duration: 2 hours a week for 2 weeks
Cost: $20
Description: Suitable for people who have some experience using Facebook and want to learn more.

Expand your basic knowledge of Facebook by learning how to personalise your settings, manage your Facebook profile, tag people in your posts, upload pictures and videos, use chat and video calling, set up groups and use Facebook on mobile devices.

WhatsApp

Duration: 2 hours
Cost: $10
Description: Suitable for people who have basic experience operating Apple or Android smart phones or tablets as well as experience using the internet.

WhatsApp is a popular messaging app that enables users to send messages and images as well as making audio and video calls free of charge. Learn how to download the app, create contact lists, send messages and make calls.

Instagram

Duration: 2 hours
Cost: $10
Description: Suitable for people who have basic experience using a computer or mobile device to access the internet.

Learn how to create an Instagram account and then upload and share photos.

Pinterest

Duration: 2 hours a week for 2 weeks
Cost: $20
Description: Suitable for people who have basic experience using a computer or mobile device to access the internet.

Learn how to create a Pinterest account to share interesting things you’ve found on the internet as well as your own photos.

Twitter

Duration: 2 hours
Cost: $10
Description: Suitable for people who have basic experience using a computer or mobile device to access the internet.

Learn how to create a Twitter account to share your thoughts and learn what other people are thinking.

YouTube: Watching videos

Duration: 2 hours
Cost: $10
Description: Suitable for people who have basic experience using a computer or mobile device to access the internet.

Learn how to sign into YouTube with your Google account, then find your way around YouTube and search for and view videos.

YouTube: Posting videos

Duration: 2 hours
Cost: $10
Description: Suitable for people who have some experience watching videos on YouTube.

Learn how to create a YouTube channel and then upload and edit your videos using various YouTube tools.

Smart Phone and Tablet Courses

These courses are designed for people who have a smart phone or a tablet. Classes are separated into Apple devices (iPad or iPhone) and Android devices (phone or tablet) and teach students how to make the most of their mobile device.

Apple iPhone: Beginners

Duration: 2 hours a week for 5 weeks
Cost: $45
Description: Suitable for people who have an Apple iPhone and have little experience using it.

Bring your iPhone with you and get to know how to use it including connecting to Wi-Fi, making and receiving phone calls, making and receiving Facetime calls, downloading and updating apps, exploring the internet, sending and receiving emails and messages, operating the calendar, taking and editing photos, enjoying music and videos and playing games.

Android Smart Phone: Beginners

Duration: 2 hours a week for 5 weeks
Cost: $45
Description: Suitable for people who have an Android smart phone and have little experience using it.

Bring your smart phone with you and get to know how to use it including device familiarisation, connecting to Wi-Fi, navigation and gestures, making and receiving phone calls, downloading and updating apps, exploring the internet, using the camera, sending and receiving messages, working with calendars and managing files.

Apple iPad: Beginners

Duration: 2 hours a week for 5 weeks
Cost: $45
Description: Suitable for people who have an Apple iPad and have little experience using it.

Bring your iPad with you and get to know how to use it including familiarisation with the device, connecting to Wi-Fi, basic navigation, customising settings, receiving and responding to notifications, setting up contacts, communicating via mail, message and Facetime, exploring the internet using Safari, operating the calendar, taking and editing photos and organising your Home screens.

Android Tablet: Beginners

Duration: 2 hours a week for 5 weeks
Cost: $45
Description: Suitable for people who have an Android tablet and have little experience using it.

Bring your tablet with you and get to know how to use it including device familiarisation, connecting to Wi-Fi, downloading and updating applications, exploring the internet, taking and editing photos, using the calendar app and managing files.

Apple iPhone: Beyond the Basics

Duration: 2 hours a week for 5 weeks
Cost: $45
Description: Suitable for people who have an Apple iPhone and have some experience using it or have completed the Beginners course.

Explore the more advanced features of your iPhone including buying apps, changing notification settings, using Siri, syncing and backup using iCloud, organising the Home screens, customising settings and exploring apps such as Safari, Mail, Calendar, Notes, Maps and iBooks.

Android Smart Phone: Beyond the Basics

Duration: 2 hours a week for 3 weeks
Cost: $30
Description: Suitable for people who have some experience using their smart phone or have completed our Beginners course.

Become more confident transferring files between your phone and computer and choosing between storing on SD cards or the internal memory. Explore the features of the Contacts and Maps applications and learn how to play music on your phone.

Android Tablets: Beyond the Basics

Duration: 2 hours a week for 3 weeks
Cost: $30
Description: Suitable for people who have some experience using their Android tablet or have completed our Beginners course.

Become more confident transferring files between your tablet and computer and choosing between storing on SD cards or the internal memory. Explore the features of the Contacts and Maps applications and learn how to play music on your tablet.

Apple iPad: Beyond the Basics

Duration: 10 hours
Cost: $45
Description: Suitable for people who have some experience using their Apple iPad or have completed our Beginners course.

Explore the more advanced features of your iPad including buying apps, changing notification settings, using Siri, syncing and backup using iCloud, organising the Home screens, customising settings and exploring apps such as Safari, Mail, Calendar, Notes, Maps and iBooks.

Apple iPad/iPhone Camera and Photo Functions

Duration: 2 hours a week for 2 weeks
Cost: $20
Description: Suitable for people who own an Apple iPhone or iPad and are familiar with the basics of using it or have completed one of our Apple iPhone or iPad Beginners courses.

Learn how to take the highest quality photos possible with your Apple iPhone or iPad. Areas covered include panoramic and landscape photography, zooming, cropping, editing and filters as well as saving, sharing and uploading photos.

Android Smart Phones and Tablets: Texting and Instant Messaging

Duration: 2 hours
Cost: $10
Description: Suitable for people who own an Android smart phone or tablet and are familiar with the basics of using it. Note that students need a connection to the internet in order to use texting and instant messaging.

Learn how to send and receive text messages and use instant messaging apps, including sending and receiving attachments.

Specific Skill Courses

These courses are designed for students who already have basic knowledge of how to use a computer and would like to use specific applications (such as Word and Excel) and perform specific tasks (such as editing audio files, card making, buying and selling on eBay, making photo books, and researching family history).

Excel: Beginners

Duration: 2 hours a week for 5 weeks
Cost: $45
Description: Suitable for people who have basic experience operating Windows computers and are familiar with using files and folders.

Learn how to create simple spreadsheets, perform mathematical and financial calculations and set up a basic database.

Budgeting Using Spreadsheets

Duration: 2 hours a week for 2 weeks
Cost: $20
Description: Suitable for people who have basic experience operating Windows computers or have completed our Windows 10 Made Easy course.

Learn how to create a spending plan that includes your daily living allowances as well as allocations for treats, savings and holidays. Learn how to manage and update your budget on an ongoing basis as well as create and forecast savings goals.

Word: Beginners

Duration: 2 hours a week for 5 weeks
Cost: $45
Description: Suitable for people who have basic experience operating Windows computers and are familiar with using files and folders.

Learn simple word processing techniques to create and edit a variety of documents. Areas covered include font size and styles, inserting tables, inserting photos and other images, copying and pasting, general formatting and more.

Transferring Photos from Camera/Android Device to Computer

Duration: 2 hours a week for 2 weeks
Cost: $20
Description: Suitable for people who have basic experience with managing files and folders on a Windows computer or who have completed our Files and Folders Course.

Learn how to transfer and organise photos from your digital camera or Android device to your computer using both direct connection and cloud computing methods.

Digital Photos: Managing and Editing, Beginners

Duration: 2 hours a week for 3 weeks
Cost: $30
Description: Suitable for people who have basic experience operating Windows computers or have completed our Windows 10 Made Easy and Transferring Photos to Computers courses.

Learn how to edit your photos to achieve professional looking results. Areas covered include cropping, colour adjustments, special effects, borders, personalised messages and more.

Google Photos

Duration: 2 hours a week for 2 weeks
Cost: $20
Description: Suitable for people who have basic experience operating a Windows computer or who have completed our Windows 10 Made Easy course.

Learn how to use Google Photos to manage the photos and videos on your Android device and access them from any computer. Areas covered include searching for photos, editing photos and videos and sharing photos with other people.

Scanning Photos, Negatives and Slides

Duration: 2 hours
Cost: $10
Description: Suitable for people who have basic experience with files and folders on a Windows computer or who have completed our Files and Folders course.

Learn how to scan old photographs and other documents, crop and edit them and save them to your computer using the club’s Epson scanner.

Windows 10 Photo App

Duration: 2 hours a week for 2 weeks
Cost: $20
Description: Suitable for people who have basic experience using Windows computers and digital cameras or mobile devices.

Learn how to use the Windows 10 Photos app to manage the photos and videos on your Windows computer. Organise photos into albums and folders, edit them and share photos with other people

Audio Editing

Duration: 2 hours a week for 5 weeks
Cost: $45
Description: Suitable for people who have basic experience operating Windows computers and are familiar with using files and folders.

Learn how to use free programs such as Windows Media Player to create music libraries and rip CDs for personal use. Also learn how to edit sound files and find out what hardware and software you need to convert your LP records to digital files and save them to your computer or MP3 player.

eBay – Buying

Duration: 2 hours
Cost: $10
Description: Suitable for people who have basic experience using a computer and have previous experience using a web browser.

eBay is a popular website that enables you to buy and sell new and preloved items of just about any description across Australia and internationally, either via auction or immediate sale (‘buy it now’). Learn how to grab a bargain by setting up an eBay account, signing in and out of eBay, searching for items, bidding on auctions and purchasing and paying for items, including via PayPal. Also learn how to understand more about the location of and trustworthiness of sellers as well as how to leave feedback.

eBay - Selling

Duration: 2 hours
Cost: $10
Description: Suitable for people who have basic experience using a computer and have completed our eBay – Buying course.

eBay is a popular website that enables you to buy and sell new and preloved items of just about any description across Australia and internationally, either via auction or immediate sale (‘buy it now’). Learn how to make extra money for yourself by setting up an eBay account, photographing items and uploading photos to eBay, setting the terms of your sale, receiving payments, arranging for delivery or collection of your items and more.

PayPal

Duration: 2 hours
Cost: $10
Description: Suitable for people who have basic experience using a computer and accessing the internet.

Learn about how PayPal works, what sort of fees are involved, how you can use it to send and receive payments, how to set up an account, how to transfer money from PayPal into your bank account and more.

Genealogy

Duration: 2 hours
Cost: $10
Description: Suitable for people who have basic experience operating Apple or Windows computers or Apple or Android smart phones and tablets.

Learn how to discover more about your ancestry using various websites and apps on your computer or mobile device. Genealogy is offered as a series of short, two-hour courses with each focusing on different topics. The course consists of both structured and flexible components to allow for individual variations in areas of ancestry interest. Courses include:

  • Starting family history research
  • Organising family history research
  • Australian ancestors
  • Convict ancestors
  • English and Welsh ancestors
  • Scottish ancestors
  • Irish ancestors
  • Using Family Tree Maker software
  • Using FamilySearch
  • Using Ancestry.com
Smart TV and Streaming Entertainment

Duration: 2 hours a week for 2 weeks
Cost: $20
Description: Suitable for people who have a smart TV and have basic experience using the internet.

Learn how to get the most out of your smart TV by accessing ‘on demand’ streaming services such as Netflix and Freeview. Areas covered include paid versus free services, book-marking and recording favourite shows, ‘catch-up’ TV and more.

Photo Books

Duration: 2 hours a week for 3 weeks
Cost: $30
Description: Suitable for people who have completed a Files and Folders course and who have experience editing digital photos.

Learn how to upload digital photographs to create your own, personalised photo books using popular photo book websites. Edit and decorate your book, adding your own style, comments and messages to commemorate birthdays, holidays and other special events.

Travelling with Technology

Duration: 2 hours a week for 2 weeks
Cost: $20
Description: Suitable for people who have basic experience operating computers or mobile devices and as well as experience using the internet.

Learn how to remain connected on your interstate and international travels without incurring exorbitant fees. Areas covered include accessing local Wi-Fi networks, purchasing local SIM cards, differences between cellular and data charges and more.

Tech Talks

Duration: 2 hours
Cost: $10
Description: Tech Talks are run periodically throughout the year and present information on a variety of topics.

Check our current timetable for details of the latest Tech Talks on offer.

Special Interest Groups

These are regular, two-hour sessions that offer a more informal way for members who share an interest in a specific topic to continue learning and help one another. Special Interest Groups meet under the guidance of a convenor with experience in the topic of interest. Usually participants will have completed a relevant course before joining a Special Interest Group.

Special Interest Groups meet in our regular training room and include areas such as:

Apple iPads and iPhones; Android smart phones and tablets; Digital photography; Creative crafts and card making; Genealogy; Windows 10; Creative writing; FacebookPhoto Books

Apple iPad and iPhone

Cost: $2
Time: Meets bi-monthly on the second Friday, 9.30 am – 11.45 am.
Description: Bring your iPad or iPhone, engage with other members and learn how to get more out of your device.

Android Tablets and Smartphones

Cost: $2
Time: Meets on the first Thursday of each month, 1.15 pm – 3.30 pm.
Description: Bring your Android tablet or smart phone along, exchange experiences with other members and learn how to get more out of your device.

Craft and Card Making

Cost: $2
Time: Meets on the fourth Friday of each month, 9.30 am – 11.45 am.
Description: The group employs computer software, embossing and cutting equipment and handcrafts to create cards for special occasions, Christmas decorations and more.

Digital Photography

Cost: $2
Time: Meets bi-monthly on the third Thursday of the month, 1:15 pm – 3:30 pm.
Description: Members bring along photos to share and gain tips about using their cameras and photo editing software.

Genealogy

Cost: $2
Time: Meets bi-monthly on fourth Thursday of the month, 1:15 pm – 3:30 pm.
Description: Members interested in family history research meet to share their experiences, explore useful websites and resources and discuss areas of interest.

Creative Writing

Cost: $2
Time: Meets on the second Thursday of each month, 1:15 pm – 3:30 pm.
Description: Members meet regularly to discuss projects they are working on, share ideas, compare work and discuss opportunities for online publication.

Facebook

Cost: $2
Time: Meets bi-monthly on the third Friday of the month, 9:30 am – 11:45 am.
Description: Members get together to continue building their understanding of Facebook, share tips with each other and learn how to make the most of all Facebook’s features.

eBooks

Cost: $2
Time: Meets bi-monthly on the third Thursday of the month, 1:15 pm – 3:30 pm.
Description: Members meet regularly to discuss reading ebooks and using e-readers.

Google

Cost: $2
Time: Meets at irregular times.
Description: Members share their experiences and tips whilst continuing to expand their skills around using the internet, Google accounts, Gmail, Google Drive and other Google apps.

Windows 10

Cost: $2
Time: Meets on the first Friday of each month, 9:30 am – 11:45 am (and at other times by arrangement).
Description: Members share their experiences and tips whilst continuing to expand their skills around using Windows computers.

Photo Books

Cost: $2
Time: Meets at irregular times.
Description: Members who have completed the Photo Books course continue to work on their personal projects, sharing ideas and tips.

Join ParraPals today and discover the world of fun, entertainment, convenience and communication that technology can bring to your life.

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