When you're first starting out in photography, your camera's mode dial can mode dial can look like a myriad of strange letters and symbols. This great video will help you decipher them and get to shooting!
Coming to you from Tony and Chelsea Northrup, this helpful video will run you through what the general camera modes do and when you should consider using each one. I'm generally not a big fan of the "put it in manual and figure it out" school of thought when one is starting out. Photography has so many variables: lighting, composition, posing, etc., that I think it can be overwhelming to also throw every camera setting in there all at once. Rather, I think it's better to tackle things bit by bit and slowly wean off automatic settings as one gains more confidence and understanding of all the parameters that go into a successful photograph. And even so, pros frequently shoot in a mode other than manual mode, most often aperture priority. Learning which modes are most useful at different times can go a long way in helping you take control of your shooting and in turn create better images that more closely match what you envisioned when you picked up your camera.