Education that demystifies technology empowers our community
Join us for volunteer-powered classes and workshops on open source technology topics.
What can you learn at Free Geek?
All of our classes are open to the public. No experience is necessary and everyone is welcome. Free Geek offers a wide variety of free technology classes. Topics include:
Linux Computer Basics | Privacy & Security | Programming | Creative Media & Design | Hardware & DIY
To sign up for class:
- Register online (for most classes)
- Call us at (503) 232-9350
- Visit Free Geek and register at the front desk
Under 16? Please bring a responsible adult with you.
Linux Computer Basics
Getting Started with Your Free Geek Computer: In this class, you'll pick up your computer, set it up, and learn about Free Geek's Tech Support policies. You'll also learn about the operating system, Linux Mint, including: key vocabulary, system settings, how to download new software, and where to find additional resources.
Intro to Linux Mint: Learn to use a Linux Mint computer! Understand key vocabulary, system settings, how to download new software, and where to find additional resources.
For all other classes, register online!
Hardware & DIY
Anatomy of a Computer: This is an introductory course designed to teach you the main components of a computer, what function they serve in the computer, and how to connect everything together. This course is a prerequisite for Reuse Beginner Workshops.
DIY CNC Mill: Learn how to create a computer-controlled wood mill using parts harvested from recycled electronics. Students will have a hands-on chance to work with the materials and understand the underlying concepts behind creating and using a computer-controlled machine.
Make a DJ Push Pad with Raspberry Pi: Become a DIY DJ with Raspberry Pi! Come tinker with us using the Raspberry Pi, a powerful open source micro-computer that is revolutionizing the DIY landscape. By writing code and building circuits, you will create and customize a simple DJ push pad (much like the controllers used to make electronic music).
Privacy & Security
Online Safety & Privacy for Beginners: This introductory class will help you understand the basics of staying safe online, and how to avoid problems. You'll leave with a toolkit of resources for staying safe online.
Digital Privacy Primer: Maybe you already know a few online safety practices, but you'd like to go further! This class is a broad overview of online privacy and security threats, how they work, and how you can protect yourself. Learn about encrypted communication, email and mobile privacy, and more. This class provides tools and resources to navigate the web securely.
Special Workshops: Rotating topics on wi-fi security, onion routers, virtual machines, DIY firewalls, and more. Check the calendar for latest listings. Feel free to bring your own computer.
Web Development 1: Interested in creating a website, but don't know where to start? Join us at Free Geek for an introduction to the building blocks of the web: HTML and CSS.
Web Development 2: Learn how to publish and maintain a multi-page web site and enhance your design with CSS! This class builds on the lessons learned in the Web Development 1 class. It covers the text editor, web hosting, file uploading, project file organization, and intermediate CSS.
Programming with Python 1, Programming with Python 2, and Programming with Python 3: Have you ever thought programming was interesting, but don't know where to start? Do you want to unlock the true potential of computers? This class series is for you! Class 1 begins with the basics of what Python is and how to use it. After that we'll talk about computer science theory in an approachable way. No prior programming experience required.
Command Line Basics: The command line is a tool for typing computer commands, instead of clicking menus or buttons. Learning the command line is a great way to get familiar with core concepts of programming. Students will learn the basic parts of a command, listing, linking, tab completion, file system structure, and more.
Advanced Command Line: Go further with the command line! Get to know grep, bash shortcuts, and other resources for working quickly and accurately in the command line.
Intro to Shell Scripting: Control your computer, make your own programs, and make timed actions by learning to shell script. You will need to have knowledge of the command line.
Creative Media & Design
Simple 3D Animation with Blender: Blender is a free, open source 3D creation suite. This class is an introduction to Blender. Learn how to navigate within Blender and add basic lighting to your art. Bring a project to work on!
Graphic Design with GIMP: Learn the basics of graphic design, using an Open Source software called GIMP, a program similar to Photoshop. You can use this program to create posters and art, edit photos, and more. Bring a project to work on.
Creative Projects Workshop: Join us for bi-monthly peer learning and co-working on creative projects in Blender, Audacity, KDENLive, Krita, GIMP, and other open-source design tools. Bring your latest project and get help from supportive and knowledgeable tutors!
Social Media for Organizations: Learn about online social media, not just for your own use, but to engage supporters, volunteers, and donors at your organization! Specifically designed for people who work in or with organizations, and activists or community organizers who are working for a cause. We'll cover best practices for the big social networks, and principles that will apply to any social network.
Other Things to Know
Interested in bringing your community or school group to learn about technology at Free Geek? We offer regular tours and can accommodate a range of group sizes in our classes. Please submit an intake form to get started.
Become an Instructor
Are you interested in teaching a class? Learn how to apply.