Wednesday, March 6, 2013

ITonRamp Computer Course and a Giveaway!

"For me, whose husband and daughter would tell you I knew nothing, it was a great learning experience. Most importantly it took away a lot of the fear I had in working with my computer and gave me the confidence to figure some things out by myself without calling for help."

I need computer help.  All of the time.  I know, this is not new information to most of you.  As a matter of fact, many of you have answered my endless questions.  Many of you have gotten tired of answering my endless questions.  So when Sarah Maxwell from Titus 2 Ministries contacted me about reviewing one of her brother's online computer classes, it was a huge blessing- for me and many of you! ;)

The company- ITonRamp.  What is it? ITonRamp consists of online, mentor-guided computer courses of varying levels.

Immediately I thought that my 15 year old would take the course.  After a quick perusal of the course content, it was decided I was outvoted and THE FAMILY decided I needed this course more than anyone else.  Hmmmm, thanks.  Luckily for me, one of the advantages of these courses is that multiple people in a family can use the program.  While one person is enrolled and takes the final, all family members can work through the hands on projects together and read the ebook.  Even at the level of computer expertise my husband is at he admitted to learning several new things along the way.  I asked the primary teacher, Nathan Maxwell, about the age range of his students and he said mostly teens through adults, but he does have an occasional sprinkling of preteens and even grandparents that have been enrolled.  Some of the technical information was a little over my 11 year old's head, but I would imagine that will not be the case in another year.

Let me tell you a little bit about ITonRamp and how it got started.  Nathan Maxwell, the oldest of the Maxwell family, has been in the IT business for over 15 years.  I love how Sarah puts it,
"My parents gave my brothers a vision of purchasing homes debt-free before marriage, and they have excitedly embraced it. The ability to purchase their home debt-free did not come by pursuing their vocation after they graduated from high school. Rather, their skills were being developed in their teen years as part of their vocational learning. As a result, each of my five brothers, when they graduated, jumped into earning a full-time income. They already had the training they needed."
Nathan Maxwell family
Nathan, his wife Melanie, with Abigail, Bethany, and Christina
Nathan later began IT On Ramp with the purpose of passing on those income producing skills to other young men and women in a safe, Christian environment.  Since then they have slowly expanded their courses to include various other levels, some of which earn you certification or the knowledge to then take a certification test.

 Courses being offered now:
A+ On Track
Home Track
HTML - Step One in Website Design
CSS - Step Two in Website Design
PC Reloading

I had the privilege of being in the course Home Track (formally Computer Essentials).  This 5 week webinar takes you through the basics of computers.  Topics include:

Operating Systems
Purchasing Computers
Computer Safety

After an easy sign in and set up, students have the opportunity to watch the webinar live or access it at a more convenient time if needed.  When you watch the webinar, it is expected that you will have already read the corresponding chapter or chapters in the ebook that Nathan provides.  Each chapter supplies the basic information that Nathan will go over in class, as well as some extra tidbits here and there.

At the beginning of each online class Nathan begins with a prayer and an overview of what he will be teaching.  This program and this family are unapologetically Christian, something that has drawn me to them for years.  Their hearts' desire is to share the gospel and to live the gospel in all that they do.  It is obvious, and it is refreshing!

After a quick warm up/get to know you question in which you can type in an answer that only Nathan can see, you are ready to begin.  Each webinar session lasts about an hour.  Throughout that time Nathan will review key concepts learned the previous week, show you "real  life" examples and encourage you to ask questions.  One of the things I liked about this program that I think separates it from others I have seen is that the only communication you have while online is that with Nathan.  This is not a time of chatting with other students, it is a time to learn, and so there is no interaction online except with that of the teacher.  For those that are allowing their children to take these type classes, I think this is a fantastic safety measure.  There is a forum you can post to for conversations with fellow students if you have questions outside of the live webinar time or you can email Nathan at any time during the week.  He is very prompt in returning emails.

In addition, once a week Nathan, or a female mentor in the case of female students, will call you at a predetermined time to just check in with you and answer any questions you have.  Because I am a busy homeschooling mom, I opted out of that call.  Instead Nathan would just pop me a quick email to say hi, got any questions.  If I was enrolling any of my kiddos in this program I would allow them to take place in these weekly calls.  They are a quick opportunity for your child to be able to speak to an instructor and engage in a back and forth dialogue.  Good practice for real life!

Shortly after each week's lesson, a "quiz/homework" link is sent to you of which you have several days to complete and turn in.  Some of the questions are strictly memory work from what you just learned.  Other parts are a "try and do" concept, asking questions like, what is the pathway to ..., what kind of router do you have, etc.  These type questions allow you to test your knowledge of your own computer, but more importantly for me, I found, challenge you to try out your newly learned skills.

Yes, Home Track (Commupter Essentials) is considered a basic level course, but it is loaded with valuable information.  Once again, for me, whose husband and daughter would tell you I knew nothing, it was a great learning experience.  Most importantly it took away a lot of the fear I had in working with my computer and gave me the confidence to figure some things out by myself without calling for help.    If you work at a computer regularly and have never taken a computer course, may I suggest this one?  If you have a child 12 and up, I would recommend this course as well.  After that, the sky is the limit.  Because ITonRamp offers such a diversity of classes, there is almost guaranteed to be one for your interests and level.  Whether simply wanting to learn a little more about your computer or wanting to start down the career path of computers, this is a great place to get started.  Check them out!
Now, time for the giveaway! 
 ITonRamp and Titus 2 Ministries has graciously offer to allow one of my readers to take the 5 week Computer Essentials Course for 1 student, for the April 22-May 24th date.  Yes, that is a $200.00 value and I am so thrilled!  You can enter by using the rafflecopter below.  A winner will be chosen next Wednesday.  I pray it will be a blessing to one of you!

a Rafflecopter giveaway
 About Nathan Maxwell-
Nathan graduated from homeschool in 1995, and at the age of 24, bought a home debt-free. It has been a Maxwell family goal to have our sons purchase their homes without incurring debt and to be able to provide for their families (more about this in Preparing Sons to Provide for a Single-Income Family). Nathan went through a courtship and engagement before marrying Melanie. They have three little girls: Abigail, Bethany, and Christina. Nathan has done IT work for churches and small businesses for many years through CCI. In addition, he is currently leading distance-learning courses on It has been exciting to hear the students’ enthusiasm for what they are learning. Computer Essentials is a great "learn about your computer" course that both young and old enjoy.


  1. I had looked into this program a long time ago and forgot about it

  2. I am scared of the computer completely.

  3. When it messes up and I don't know how to get it fixed.

    1. That is me all of the time. I like the phone a friend option! ;)

  4. I am mostly nervous about design etc. I am thinking about blog and website design for a small business I am trying to start and I don't know where to start.(Sorry if this is a double comment, I am not sure what happened to my first one!)

  5. Fixing it without my husband's help! As long as he is around I'm set, though :).

  6. This looks like a neat resource. I missed the giveaway, but still wanted to comment. :)

  7. These classes seem really expensive to me. And besides this blog, I can't find any former student reviews. Has anyone else on here actually taken a class with this company?

    1. My experience has been that any computer classes you take at a higher level, taught by certified teachers, are pricey, but worth it! Their certification is not cheap. I do know that the Maxwells offer a quality product that I do not think you will ever regret taking. I am sure they would be happy to answer any concerns of yours. I do have a friend whose high schooler took the same class I did and I would be happy to see if what he has to say about it if you are truly interested.

    2. Here is a link for you for another review that might help! Feel free to contact Sarah at Titus 2 as well for any additional questions. I know she would love to help you sort through all of the choices!


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