TECHNOLOGY FOCUS: A safe place to get on board

Whatever your age or experience, the Marion County Learning Center can be handy and affordable place to begin or enhance your involvement with computer technology.

The center, located along Hillsboro’s Main Street, is open year-round to students of any age. It uses computers to teach computers, said Sharon Suderman, who will become the center’s new director next month.

“We have what we call computer-based training,” Suderman said. “Students learn on the computer. They read through the lesson on the computer, they do the lesson on the computer, and then the computer grades it.”

One good thing about the Learning Center, Suderman said, is the scheduling flexibility it offers students.

“They can take off, even for months at a time, then come back any time they want and take up right where they left off,” she said.

A prospective student interested in learning more about computers and computer programs can enroll in courses that range from very basic word-processing, which can be used to write simple or complex documents, to “Advanced PowerPoint,” which can be used to prepare animated multi-media public presentations.

The center also has programs for learning desktop publishing, which is useful for creating publications and brochures, and programs for creating spreadsheets for accounting purposes.

The center also offers an introductory course on using the Internet, and teaches the beginner how to get around on the World Wide Web and to send and receive e-mail.

“You can learning absolutely everything you want to learn,” Suderman said. “We’ve got it all and students can start at any level they feel comfortable in.”

Suderman said it’s never too late for someone to become familiar with computers.

“You’re never too old to learn,” she said. “I didn’t really know much about computers coming into this program. I have just learned so much just being here. If people have an interest, of if they have a computer at home, we can sure help them get started.”

Each course the Learning Center offers costs $25.

“They just need to come in and get enrolled,” she said. “We would like to see our computers in use here.”

The Learning Center is open every week day, generally from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., Monday through Thursday, and 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Fridays. For more information call 316-947-3210.

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