Monday, December 20, 2010

Teach Parents Tech

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 On the personal side of things, my parents are in their 80s and love to use their computer to keep in touch with the family & the rest of the world, especially during the Winter months.  When they need a little assistance, guess who they call?  ME!  How many times have I been in the other room helping Mom figure out how to open that attachment from Aunt Mildred while one of my nephews plants himself in the comfy chair watching SpongeBob instead of the Rose Bowl???

Now, I think it's always important to make time for family, but if you're anticipating a busy Holiday season you maywant to deliver a pre-emptive strike to your parents' inbox.   That's where this cool little site from Google called Teach Parents Tech comes in.  Here's a little about the site, from their "About" page:
Every December, millions of tech-savvy young people descend on their homes only to arrive to a long list of tech support issues that their parents need help with. A few of us at Google thought there had to be a better way that would save us all a few hours each December...

The result of our brainstorm was, a site that allows you to select any number of simple tech support videos to send to mom, dad or uncle Vinnie. The site is not perfect and hardly covers all the tech support questions you may be asked, but hopefully it’s a start!

 Teach Parents Tech is simply a quick form you fill in to create and send a holiday greeting card to your parents or loved ones.  The trick is, there's a how-to video embedded in the card that shows the recipient how to do some of those simple little things, like changing wallpaper or screensavers, making the text larger on web pages, and so on.  There are also some important  safety tips, too, like how to create strong passwords, how to tell if an email is legitimate, and how to stop getting online newsletters, etc.  There are also some great suggestions for more advanced users on how to find information on the Web, how to manipulate photos and other media, and even how to make a blog or use VOIP and Internet chat services.

Teach Parents Tech might be a nice way to helpout the folks and spend a little more quality time with your family over the holidays!

PS: They are YouTube/Google videos, so they're blocked from our school computers.  If you trust YouTube's & Google's content, you can send them from your school computer, but you'll just see an empty space where the video should be.  Don't worry - the video will be there when your folks receive it at their home.  However, if you want to preview the video before it's sent, you'll have to do it from home.

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