23 April 2008

PC.com: When your kids know more about your computer than you do

In: 6+ Years

PC.comBefore kids, I was a writer of computer books of the how-to variety. How does a relatively non-tech person qualify as technical book author? By sending a proposal for a "teach yourself HTML" book to publishers in 1996, back when Yahoo! was a page full of text links and the Web was still something spiders built in the corners of garages. That bit of lucky timing combined with my love of writing made for a good career for several years.

Then my kids came, and all I could write about (once the brain fog cleared a bit) was parenting. There was so much to say, so much to work out, so much to ask. More lucky timing placed the bulk of my parenting writing online, just as blogs were starting to come into the fore. Hence, our lovely Parent Hacks.

And now, I've stumbled into yet another alignment-of-the-planets situation. I get to combine by computer how-to experience with my parenting writing in a series of posts for Intel's newly-launched computer help site PC.com. PC.com aims to answer the basic questions everyone has when they first start using a computer...which is good because there are so many MORE of those questions now because there's so much more you can DO with a computer. (This, by the way, is how I was able to propose an HTML book in 1996 -- HTML was a much smaller animal then so it didn't take much to learn it.)

Have a look-see at my first post: When your kids know more about your computer than you do

I plan to write more PC.com articles about the intersection of family and technology, and I'm hoping you'll help me come up with some interesting ideas. What sorts of family/tech/how-to topics would you like to see me cover?

Your comments

I would love to learn about blogs.
Im just starting one, but I think We us parents, can do so much with it, specially having family and friends overseas!

Internet Safety, teaching 'Net etiquette to your kids, social networking for parents, cyber bullying, 'net lingo...as a teacher, these are things I think should be taught at home and some parents are clueless.

Choosing games for/with kids (required skills; "educational" games vs purely entertainment games; age/appropriateness; playing games together)

1. blogs and details like how to underscore, cross out, change the html format (took me two weeks to get your PH widget on my site!)

2. email for kids - how to make it safe. I'd like to continue using our email program, but have an address for him that is screened first by me. Possible? Other ideas for parents.

3. online family photos and privacy issues.

4. good software for kids- by age. We got Pook started on touch typing b/c the school recommended a program but wouldn't have found one easily on our own.

your link to the article isn't working "an error has occurred..."

5. a list of error codes and what they all mean!

How to easily set up alternate log ins (both Mac and PC) for the kids so they have restricted options but the parents have the full access to all applications and all internet.

Internet Safety.

Blog about how to guide our children on how to use our PC and laptop with proper way..

Whitelisting. I use Glubble on the kids' computer now, but are there other good (and still free) options? Especially for older kids.

My 2 year old doesn't have any notion about the computer yet, but my 7 year old sure does. Of course, she also wants a cell phone and IM priveleges . . . Uhhhh, no.

I love my iGoogle page - so I recommend writing an article explaining how others can setup their own iGoogle page. (You need a gmail account to create one though).

I second (third?) the software recommendations -- my 3 year old is getting into the computer now and I don't know where to start!

Also -- programming for older kids (See Why the Lucky Stiff for some good stuff).

How about: how to use Web 2.0 for families: twitter, flickr, blogs, delicous, etc.

great idea asha!

I'm hanging my head a bit because I used to do all the tech stuff for my parents (setting the VCR clock was *always* coming up). Now I've been supplanted by my 10 year old cousins. My ego has taken a serious hit.

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