You may be worried about your kids using the computer online and your worries may be warranted, but like it or not, computer skills are necessary. So after addressing the dangers of the Internet and installing good parental time control and security programs you can help your child learn the skills they need to succeed in school and prepare for their future. Currently, junior high and high school teachers require computer generated reports and papers and most schools support their own webpage where students can login and check their grades and homework.
Before your kids leave the nest, you can teach them (or perhaps they can teach you) how to use the computer for writing reports, conducting research, communication and life management. Here are some things to cover before your kid leaves home:
The ability to find and cite online sources is a necessary skill. Rarely will you see students digging through books in the library to find information these days. Most general data can be found online from reputable sources. Through library, school or university logins, you can even access full text articles and useful databases. Teach your kids the difference between a good and bad source, generally your government pages (.gov) such as the USGS, science.gov, Bureau of Land Management and so on are good sources. Often education (.edu) and organization (.org) are good resources as well.
Kids should be proficient Microsoft Word users. Teach them how to run a spell check, save, print, cut and paste, format, bullets, tables, font format, view changes, edit, delete, undo, footnotes, insert, format images and so on. They should also learn excel basics such as simple formulas, tables and charts.
Teach your kids how to open an email account, send and receive email as well as send attachments. Discuss the difference between a fun email account and professional account. For example, it is not a good idea to use email@example.com on a resume. Additionally, give them some guidelines on how to manage junk email and warn them about the dangers of opening email and attachments from someone they do not know. In terms of employment, many companies use Outlook, so teach them a little about that if you can.
Many people use chat. Study or work groups can relay information through chat or many companies offer instant help through live help , which is chat. Teach them the dangers of open chat rooms and remind them to not give out personal information to people they do not know.
Many people manage their accounts and pay bills online. Teach your kids how to access their savings account online and manage their passwords. Show them how to use the bill pay features offered by your bank.
Help them write a resume and search for jobs online. Teach them how to use the state job boards, how to write a cover letter and how to submit a resume through email. Additionally, many companies require applicants to fill out an application online.
Teach them how to look for an apartment or roommate, where to look for blue book prices on cars, how to find online coupons, where to look up health information and more.
Through all of your parental tutorials, remind your kids to guard their personal information such as passwords, social security and credit card numbers and so on. Show them how to look to see if an Internet site is secured (https). Teach them how to lock down their computer and cell phone, so that other people cannot use their devices without permission.
There are many things to teach your kids before they leave to college or move out into the world, and you may never get through everything. Nevertheless, as long as they know how to find information, they should make it just fine.
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