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TECH TALK: Tech support made quick and easy

Donovan Hoggan
By Donovan Hoggan
December 15th, 2010

 Anyone who’s comfortable with technology is accustomed to questions from friends and family. There are some horror stories out there and a lot of long-running jokes, but most of us enjoy the chance to be helpful to the people we care about. One thing I’ve noticed is that many of the questions I get have been asked over and over again. What if there was a way to centralize these commonly-asked questions and pair them up with easy-to-use answers?

 
If you haven’t guessed by now, I’ve found just such a resource. On the other hand, if you haven’t guessed by now, you may also want to check your pulse or, at the very least, your blood alcohol level.

 
Google just set up a site called TeachParentsTech.org. It’s got a really straight forward interface that begins by allowing you to choose who you’re sending to. You can choose Mom, Dad or fill-in-the-blank. Be sure to put the person’s name in the box. Otherwise the email comes addressed to “Dear Sister”.

 
Next is a brief, canned greeting and then a choice of 51 different videos. Topics include setting up a group email, changing desktop backgrounds for PC or Mac, finding restaurants, using Google as a calculator, etc. There are some really interesting possibilities in there and, if history is any judge, Google will be adding piles of new ones on a pretty regular basis.

 
While you’re here, you are able to attach multiple videos if you like.

 
Before you send it, you get a preview of the page that’s going out. I’d recommend watching the videos to make sure that they are what you’re looking for. None of the ones I looked at were over a minute, which is a definite plus for simplicity. They were all very simple but still gave all of the details that were necessary to get the job done.

 
The email comes with the videos clearly labelled. it also has an option at the bottom to block future emails from TeachParentsTech.

 
The only change I’d like to see is somewhere I can put a brief comment.
 
Otherwise, I see this as an excellent public service that will save me HOURS of walking people through the same thing again amd again. It’s also a great place to go if you NEED tech support. There’s nothing that prevents you from sending yourself videos.

 
So for any tech questions you have, please check TeachParentsTech.org. If you can’t find it there, give me a shot at it at donovan@castlegarsource.com.

Categories: Op/EdTechnology

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