skip to main content

Leading adult education through support for and the effective application of technology.

GCF LearnFree: Online Learning for ABE Students - Tech Savvy Tips and Tricks


Activity Website:
Tech Product/Equipment:
Computer and projector, Mobile devices for students

Activity Description

GCF Learn Free Internet Safety
Source: GCF Learn Free Internet Safety Lesson (License: Protected by Copyright (c) [i.e. screenshot])
This site is particularly good for ABE, ASE, or ESL students who struggle with using the Internet or their devices because of their reading level; the site offers clear instructions, images, and video presentations.


  1. Preview the site. You may also want to review Teaching tips and  Teaching technology tips for suggestions for teaching and creating assessments when presenting tech topics in class. 
  2. Download, print, and copy the class handout titled GCF Tech Savvy Tips and Tricks.
  3. Decide which topic(s) you would like to present to the whole class.
    • Tech Skills which include Taking Screenshots, Finding Your Downloads, Working with Zip Files, Tech Lifehack Vines, Create Your Own Screencasts, Edit and Merge PDFs, Clean Up Messy Formatting, and Save Time by Batching Computer Tasks.
    • Safety and Security which include Password Tips, Backing Up Your Files, Sharing Photos Privately, and Browsing Privately.
    • Shortcuts which include Keyboard Shortcuts, Keyboard Shrtcut Vines, Mouse Shortcuts, and Speed Up Your Worflow with the Tab Key.
    • Prepare to assign student pairs or small groups of students to a particular topic or tutorial or let them choose. Mix reading levels allowing beginning readers to work with other levels so all can participate in the group project.


This site is rich in possibilities for in class work or individual self-paced lessons.

  1. Engage students in a discussion about how the Internet can help students.
  2. Visit the site as a class.
  3. Demonstrate Tech Savvy Tips and Tricks section. (See Example Web Site link, above.)
  4. Assign individuals or groups to choose one of the topics, preview and prepare a presentation to share with class on one of the topics. Distribute the handout. (See Example Document, above.)

Teacher Tips

 Flesch-Kincaid Grade Level readability 4.0 - 5.6

More Ways

GCF Learn Free offers self-paced courses and online tutorials in Microsoft, Basic Skills, Internet Skills, Google, Work and Career, Skills for Today, Creativity and Design and Core Skills (Math, Reading, Grammar, Language Learning, Writing, Personal Finance and GED) 

At this website they also offer Computer Basics Tutorials and Social Media such as Blog Basics, Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn Basics, Meetup, Pinterest, Skype, Snapchat, Twitter, WhatsApp, WordPress Resources, YouTube and Zoom.

Program Areas

  • ABE: Adult Basic Education
  • ESL: English as a Second Language
  • ASE: High School Equivalency Preparation
  • ASE: High School Diploma
  • CTE: Career Technical Education


  • Intermediate
  • High
  • Intermediate High
  • Advanced

Lesson Plan


Lead a discussions about  current technology and devices. Have students name all the devices that are available today. Which ones do they have? Do they have difficulty with any of them? Turn to your partner and discuss what difficulties you have and how you solve them. Share with the class

Engagement Enhancement

Thre are a lot of tech skills needed today. What are some of them? Turn to your neighbor and make a list of ten skills you think are critical at home, at school or at work. Share the list with the class. Gather the list and tally how many had similar items. What are the top 10? (Students can take notes or take a picture of the list on their devices to use later)

Take a look at Tech Savvy Tips and Tricks at the website GCFLearnFree. There are 16 topics available: (also check out basic Mouse and Typing Tutorials at the bottom) Taking Screenshots, Finding Your Downloads, Working with Zip Files, Tech Lifehack Vines, Create Your Own Screencasts, Edit and Merge PDFs, Clean Up Messy Formatting, Save Time by Batching Computer Tasks, Password Tips, Backing Up Your Files, Sharing Photos Privately, Browsing Privately, Keyboard Shortcuts, Keyboard Shortcut Vines, mouse Shortcuts, Speed Up Your Workflow with the Tab Key. 

If the list the class created does not include these topics look at the Topics list at the top right of the screen. More topics available include Skills with Microsoft, Basic Skills, Internet Skills or Google.

Compare the list with the list the class made of tech skills they feel are needed. After looking at this list add any new skills to those you want to learn.


Engagement Enhancement

Select one of the Topics. Demonstrate how to get to the site, and open the topic. If students have devices help them access the site. (For example Finding your downloads) Divide students into small groups, mixing reading levels so students can assist each other. Have groups read the topic together. Have them gather questions they may have. Share the questions on the board. Discuss answers to the questions.

Engagement Enhancement

Have students work in pairs to practice the skills outlined in the topic chosen by the class. If you had chosen the "Finding Your Downloads" assist the practice by sending a file/photo/image to all the students. Gather questions from each group and discuss the practice as a class.

Engagement Enhancement
  1. Have student pairs or small groups select a topic from the Tech Savvy Tips and Tricks or other GCF topics (at the top).
  2. Groups will read and practice the topic together.
  3. Groups will share what they learned with the class.
Engagement Enhancement Extension

Working in pairs, use the document template and write a summary of one of the tech tips. Follow the outline:

  1. Paragraph 1: summarize the tech tip
  2. Paragraph 2: explain two ways you can use this tip
  3. Paragraph 3: extend your tech tip application into ways you can use it on a job or at school.
Engagement Enhancement Extension

Have students share what they learned with the class. This can be done in several ways.

  •  Post on a Padlet or Flipgrid. 
  • Create a Google Slide presentation and have each group prepare one slide and then orally share what they learned.
  • Student groups create a Google Doc summarizing what they learned. Share their docs on a Google doc for all students to access.
Engagement Enhancement Extension

After the shared presentations gather ideas about ways you can use the tips and tricks learned. Creaate an activity to share with someone who has not learned the tip to help them practice it.



  • Electives
    • Intro to Computers
  • English Language Arts
    • English 1-4
  • Language Arts - Reading
    • Analysis
    • Comprehension
  • Language Arts - Writing
    • Organization of Ideas
    • Writing Conventions
  • Reading
    • Consumer Skills
    • Employability
  • Writing
    • Paragraph Skills

CTE Anchor Standards

  • Anchor Standard 4: Technology - Writing Standard: Use technology, including the Internet, to produce, publish, and update individual or shared writing products in response to ongoing feedback, including new arguments and information.


  • Reading
    • CCR Anchor 2 - Determine central ideas or themes of a text and analyze their development; summarize the key supporting details and ideas.
    • CCR Anchor 4 - Interpret words and phrases as they are used in a text, including determining technical, connotative, and figurative meanings, and analyze how specific word choices shape meaning or tone.
    • CCR Anchor 7 - Integrate and evaluate content presented in diverse media and formats, including visually and quantitatively, as well as in words.
    • CCR Anchor 10 - Read and comprehend complex literary and informational texts independently and proficiently.
  • Writing
    • CCR Anchor 2 - Write informative/explanatory texts to examine and convey complex ideas and information clearly and accurately through the effective selection, organization, and analysis of content.
  • Speaking and Listening
    • CCR Anchor 2 - Integrate and evaluate information presented in diverse media and formats, including visually, quantitatively, and orally.
    • CCR Anchor 4 - Present information, findings, and supporting evidence such that listeners can follow the line of reasoning and the organization, development, and style are appropriate to task, purpose, and audience.


reading, Writing, blogging, browsing privately, career, computers, digital literacy, email, e-mail, Facebook, finding downloads, GCF, gcflearnfree, Google, Google docs, Instagram, Internet, keyboard shortcuts, life skills, LinkedIn Basics, Meetup, Microsoft Office, money, mouse shortcuts, password tips, Pinterest, resume, sharing photos privately, Skype, Snapchat, social media, taking screenshots, technology, Twitter, WordPress Resources, working with zip files, YouTube, backing up your files, WhatsApp, basics, Blog Basics



Creative Commons License

CC BY-NC:This license allows reusers to distribute, remix, adapt, and build upon the material in any medium or format for noncommercial purposes only, and only so long as attribution is given to the creator.


"Any presentation of content must retain all GCFGlobal attribution and marks, and include the following attribution: “All® content is available for free at”
Scroll To Top

OTAN activities are funded by contract CN220124 from the Adult Education Office, in the Career & College Transition Division, California Department of Education, with funds provided through Federal P.L., 105-220, Section 223. However, OTAN content does not necessarily reflect the position of that department or the U.S. Department of Education.