School is back in session. And while you may have a temporary relief period during the day, the homework assignments, impromptu projects, and other schoolwork will undoubtedly pile up.
But don’t let the teachers have all the fun. You can teach your kids a thing or two that will set them up for success for the rest of their lives.
And since this is a computer column, let’s talk about what you can teach your kids about computers. These skills, believe it or not, can be the deciding factor for future jobs, school admittance, and lots of other things. You may think that your kids know more about computers than you do … and you may be right. But here are some things you can pass down that will hopefully make a difference.
Not just for games
When your kids think about computers, their first thought is probably “ooh, games.” But they need to learn that there are lots of other [fun] things you can do on a computer.
Teach them how to solve problems (i.e. search for how to replace an alternator on YouTube). Teach them how to use software (like Excel or QuickBooks) to create a budget. There are lots of things you can do to show your kids the power of a computer.
Lifelong computer skills
Now is the time to teach basic computer skills that will last a lifetime (and across the changing technology landscape).
Some important things to teach include typing (with all of their fingers, not just thumbs), file management, simple macros and shortcuts (such as Ctrl V for copy, etc.), browser customization (bookmarks, auto fill, etc.), and maybe even some simple HTML.
Computer best practices
Now is the time to teach your children about computer best practices. You can help them understand why opening links from unidentified sources is a bad idea.
You can also teach them about ways to spot a suspicious e-mail and what to do with it. And of course, it’s always a good idea to remind your kids that they should never chat or communicate with anyone they don’t know.
Don’t frighten them, but let them know that there are bad guys out there that hide behind an Internet persona to do bad things.
It’s a good idea to go over how to restart your computer, how to check settings, and a few other basic maintenance procedures. Don’t go too in depth, though, and emphasize that settings shouldn’t usually be messed with.
If you need any help teaching your kids about computers (or simply need a little education yourself), don’t hesitate to give the Computer Guys USA a call at (928) 468-0000.
Daniel Taft is the senior network administrator and member/owner of Computer Problem Specialists, LLC and CEO of “The Computer Guys USA, Inc” with a degree in applied computer science.