Nov 28

10 Tech-Know Gifts for Christmas – iPod Shuffle

Tech-Know gift ideas for your family this Christmas.
Some are big, and some are little. All will be appreciated by your tech-know loved ones!

Welcome to our Tech-Know Christmas! For the next ten days I’ll be sharing some great gift ideas for your family and friends. Especially those tricky tweens and teens who really seem to have everything they need, right?

On the Fifth day of Christmas… iPod Shuffle

Apple iPod shuffle 2GB Silver (4th Generation) NEWEST MODEL

ipod shuffle christmas gift ideas

Why?

This is great little music player will let your younger kids – who maybe don’t have a (more expensive) iPod Touch or iPhone  – to listen to their music. Most of us have music in digital form these days – maybe in our iTunes software or in Windows media player. An iPod Shuffle will play all of your music and any that the kids like too. This is a great gift to give on it’s own but if Aunties or Uncles want a gift idea, tell them to buy an iTunes voucher and then your kids can choose, buy and download their own music.

They can also get audio-books and podcasts too – you’d need to supervise what they download but there’s a huge range out there. Each kid can choose what they listen to – without bothering each other!

The iPod Shuffle comes in a number of colours – different colours for different kids is always a good idea!

I  do like this best for younger kids (maybe 8 and under) because it doesn’t have Internet access so we can be fairly comfortable that they wont be exposed to anything dodgy (which can be a concern with this age group and iPod Touches/iPhones)  Whatever music/books/podcasts you let them download is up to you of course :0)

*As a bonus – the included headphones mean we don’t have to listen to the soundtrack to Frozen in the car all the time too!

Who for?

Kids 8 and under. Also great for that relative who loves to run – this small device is perfect for clipping to their running top without annoying them with the bulk of and iPod or iPhone.

Cost?
About $50 in Australia – there are good bargains online at the moment. The one below is the newest model , comes in a range of colours and is $55 including free shipping.

**I’m an Amazon affiliate. That means that if you click on a link and end up buying something, I get a (very) small kickback. Go here for more info on my disclosure policy.
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Nov 27

10 Tech-Know Gifts for Christmas – Apple TV

Tech-Know gift ideas for your family this Christmas.
Some are big, and some are little. All will be appreciated by your tech-know loved ones!

Welcome to our Tech-Know Christmas! For the next ten days I’ll be sharing some great gift ideas for your family and friends.Especially those tricky tweens and teens who really seem to have everything they need, right?

On the Fourth day of Christmas… Apple TV

Why?

Cos it’s fun! Easy answer but true. This little black box connects your TV to the Internet – and also lets you connect your mobile iDevices to it.

So you can watch Internet TV channels through your TV or wirelessly present your photos/videos (or anything on your iDevice) to your TV. Kids can share a movie on your iPad by sending it to the TV or you could send your Powerpoint to the Apple TV to  see it on a big screen. You can access YouTube to watch that funny dance video or you can subscribe to the USA Baseball channel (my husband and his American mate love this!). You can also play your music from your Macbook or iMac through your fab surround sound on the TV. Great for Chrissy parties :0)

Who for?

Older kids probably – but kids from about 11 -12 appreciate it. Especially if there’s a TV in the house that they use as ‘theirs’, maybe in a rumpus room or family room. Adults love these too. Especially to show holiday videos and photos they’ve created on their iPads or Macbooks :0) Hours of fun there!

Cost?

About $100 – slightly less on sale at Christmas!

Dick Smith have them on sale right about now and with Black Friday this week in the US, many online sellers have sales beginning this weekend. Worth keeping your eye out!

Apple TV - Christmas Gifts

 

**I’m an Amazon affiliate. That means that if you click on a link and end up buying something, I get a (very) small kickback. Go here for more info on my disclosure policy.

 

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Nov 26

10 Tech-Know Gifts for Christmas – Emergency Power Charger

Tech-Know gift ideas for your family this Christmas

Some are big, and some are little. All will be appreciated by your tech-know loved ones!

Welcome to our Tech-Know Christmas! For the next ten days I’ll be sharing some great gift ideas for your family and friends. Especially those tricky tweens and teens who really seem to have everything they need, right?

On the Third day of Christmas…Emergency Power Charger

Why?

This one might not be the most exciting parcel under the tree but it will be the most popular come day two of your camping or beach holiday! This funny looking thing gets charged up at home through a normal wall socket or through your laptop USB port. Then you carry it with you and when you run low on battery in your mobile device you simply plug it into the charger. Great for road trips – so that Frozen doesn’t stop with 10 minutes to go and cause a major kid-meltdown! Also good for kids at school who maybe forgot to charge their iPad at home last night (no? Just me?).

Great for the tech-know parent too – this one’s a lifesaver if you are out and about with kids all week and Saturday morning. Your phone runs out and there’s still  an hour of swimming/baseball/tennis/footy left to go… A bit of Facebook to go with a coffee on the sidelines is just necessary, right?

Who for?

Kids with mobile devices and adults who are out and about away from power!

Cost?

There are tonnes of different ones out there – check which connection you have so that you buy the right charger for your device.

The one below is a cheap and cheerful one at about $15 with $8 shipping to Australia

**I’m an Amazon affiliate. That means that if you click on a link and end up buying something, I get a (very) small kickback. Go here for more info on my disclosure policy.

PS If you liked this post, you might enjoy keeping up with the blog through our weekly newsletter. Receive all our posts delivered right to your inbox! Sign up here!


Nov 25

10 Tech-Know Gifts for Christmas – Wireless headphones

Tech-Know gift ideas for your family this Christmas.
Some are big, and some are little. All will be appreciated by your tech-know loved ones!

Welcome to our Tech-Know Christmas! Over ten days I’ll be sharing some great gift ideas for your family and friends. Especially those tricky tweens and teens who really seem to have everything they need, right?

On the Second day of Christmas… Wireless headphones

Why?

These are great for a number of reasons. Both for your sanity and your kids entertainment. They are great for road trips over holidays. And for your kids they are an easy way to listen to their music on the bus or train on the way to school – or maybe in their room so the whole house doesn’t have to listen to their music too!

These work via bluetooth so any device that has bluetooth will work. So maybe your laptop or tablet or phone. They are usually small and, best of all, don’t get tangled in your (hand) bag. Bonus!

 Who for?

Tweens, teens and grown ups! In ear headphones aren’t as good for your younger kids’ ears – so I’m told – so I wouldn’t give these to little ones :0)

Cost?

The ones below are about $32 with about $8 for shipping. You can find them at JB HiFi and Dick Smiths too :0)

 

**I’m an Amazon affiliate. That means that if you click on a link and end up buying something, I get a (very) small kickback. Go here for more info on my disclosure policy.

 

PS If you liked this post, you might enjoy keeping up with the blog through our weekly newsletter. Receive all our posts delivered right to your inbox! Sign up here!


Nov 24

10 Tech-Know Gifts for Christmas – The iPad Mini

Tech-Know gift ideas for your family this Christmas.
Some are big, and some are little. All will be appreciated by your tech-know loved ones!

Welcome to our Tech-Know Christmas! For the next ten days I’ll be sharing some great gift ideas for your family and friends. Especially those tricky tweens and teens who really seem to have everything they need, right?

On the first day of Christmas…The iPad Mini **

Why?

A great gift for those who love to read. An iPad mini is not only a mini computer with access to all 500,000 + apps, it’s a great e-reader too. I love the Kindle app. Looks just like real paper.

For your kids, you already know that they will love an iPad – or maybe an iPad mini. You can control their access to apps using the parental settings. And be sure to turn of in-app purchases, just in case! Read why here.

There are now over half a million iPad apps – so they’ll definitely find something that appeals to them.

Who for?

Anyone! Well, many kids will be using iPads at school, starting from Grade Prep (or Kinder). But if your kids don’t use them at school, I’d say this is a great gift from age 9 up. And don’t forget the adults in your life. An iPad mini is a bit cheaper than a full iPad but does the same thing. A good gift idea for a dad or mum – especially if your siblings all chip in.

Cost?

From around $240 on Amazon  – but add about $15 for shipping to Australia.

 

**I’m an Amazon affiliate. That means that if you click on a link and end up buying something, I get a (very) small kickback. Go here for more info on my disclosure policy.

 

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Nov 23

That was a busy week!

So last week I had a fab day driving to the country to run a workshop for Principals and ICT leaders. I managed to take a few pics along the way  and thought I’d share :0) What did you get up to last week?

5:45am – I was up (too) early to drive to Seymour in regional Victoria. Had to be there by 7:30am, so left home by 5:45. At least it was a pretty drive.

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8:00am – Then it was a rush to set up for the full day workshop I was running. We were in an exam room at a school – so very plain walls that I ended up covering with quotes about education to liven it up a bit!  The wifi worked AND there was an auditorium too – :0)

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9:00am – We always begin with my colleague presenting for about 90 mins. Then I run the rest of the hands on workshop for the day :0)

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11:00 – Gave away a lot of freebies. Every time, people take out the nice notebook and pen and leave the empty bag on the floor. What happened to the ‘don’t use plastic bags’ debate? I have lots of these at my house now. Keep trying to give them away. They keep coming back!!

IMG_1545

 

2:00pm – Lots of arm waving and talking happened….

IMG_1559

 

4:30pm – Then it was (finally) time to drive home. Time for a coffee in the little town of Yea first – Yay!

IMG_5030

 

5:30pm – Almost home! In time for late dinner :0) and off to a play reading at my local theatre group!

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Hope you have a good Monday :0) I’m off to do this all again tomorrow – wish me luck!

 

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Nov 21

Tech Tip Friday – who owns your pics?

Who owns photos on Facebook? You do, right? Afraid not. Well, kind of. What you share in FB can be seen by others of course, that’s the problem. Facebook can use your photos or videos whenever they want. They might use it in advertising or to promote pages or to invite other people to join (so I’m told). So we need to think about what we are posting. And again, if your kids are under 13 they shouldn’t be on Facebook anyway – this is another reason to make sure that’s enforced at your house!

We need to know about this is that if you or your kids upload something – it’s never gone and that photo can be used elsewhere.  We need to remember that when you upload photos/videos to Facebook, you give them permission to “use any IP content that you post on or in connection with Facebook”.

Here’s what Facebook says, in full, about those photos you are uploading and sharing:

You own all of the content and information you post on Facebook, and you can control how it is shared through your privacy and application settings. In addition:
For content that is covered by intellectual property rights, like photos and videos (IP content), you specifically give us the following permission, subject to your privacy and application settings: you grant us a non-exclusive, transferable, sub-licensable, royalty-free, worldwide license to use any IP content that you post on or in connection with Facebook (IP License). This IP License ends when you delete your IP content or your account unless your content has been shared with others, and they have not deleted it.

 Sharing your favourite pics online -  who will really see them?

 

We love Facebook – well I do! And I know many of you have found your way to my blog through good old Facey. I’m not going to stop using it. But I am going to think about what I’m sharing – photos of friends and family in particular. That way I’ll at least be thinking about where it might end up.

Are you happy to keep sharing photos on FB, even knowing they own those pics?

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Nov 19

Mobiles and your kids

Mum, can I use your phone? Sound familiar? Yep, our kids are all about getting their hands on the technology whenever they can. So at what point do you get them their own phone? It comes down to a family decision of course but there are a few things to consider before you rush off to buy that sim card for your old smartphone.

First of all, how old are your kids? Are they old enough (physically and maturity-wise) to look after something expensive? And are they old enough to use it responsibly.

‘Using it Responsibly’ doesn’t mean that there won’t be any issues but it means theres a better chance of them managing their phone and their use of it in a sensible way.

What to consider  before giving your kids a pocket  computer

A few tips to remember when giving a phone to your kids:

Check out the cost – if they go over their limit, what are the costs? Does the phone provider limit the use or just charge extra for each phone call, text and download? Know this will save a lot of headache when the phone bill comes in!

Turn off in-app purchases. Limit what your kids can download within an app so there’s no nasty surprises. If they are getting a smartphone this is particularly important! As any purchases will likely be taken off of your credit card attached to the account! I’ve written more about this here.
Set up some at home rules first. Are you ok with them using phones at dinner? In the car? In their bedrooms? It depends on their age and your family rules – but set them up first!

Whatever you decide about where and when they can use the phone, keep them out of bedrooms at night. Set up a central charging station in a public place and phones/iPads/computers get left there before bed. Read more about this here.

If you are giving them a smartphone – be sure to use a voucher (iTunes, Google Play) and NOT your credit card to set up their account. And make sure you keep the password to yourselves. Once they can pay for their own account – then they can have their own password to buy what they like, until then they should ask to download apps first.

Another option is to buy a second hand phone from ebay & paypal. Often just after a new model of a phone comes out there are loads of ‘older’ models for sale for a much cheaper price.
Finally, don’t forget to check with your school. Do they allow phones at school? Can they be used in the classroom? (all those apps can be great for learning) Or do they need to be turned off and in a bag? Will that be safe? A few things to think about!

 

I know a lot of parents giving their kids mobile phones – often as a safety thing. So that they can call home or we can call them if they need picking up or their ride is late. All good reasons. But we do need to think about a few things before we send them off with expensive pocket-computers!

Do your kids have a phone? Does it work for your family? Let us know your tips :0)

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Nov 17

Storing those passwords…

Passwords!!! Aahh! Too many, too complicated. May as well make them all them all the same, right? Unfortunately, not. Too easy to crack. And once someone has one, they can get into everything – and putting all those personal details together means they will know WAY too much about you and can do all sorts of damage.

So what’s the solution? Well, a couple of things. Firstly, stop storing your passwords on your computer – too easy to find them.

Next, get an app for your tablet or smartphone – I like iPass Safe.  This will encrypt your passwords and store them safely.  iPass Safe has a free version (good for checking it out) and a paid version ($5.99, but if you want to use it a lot, it’s worth it).

ipass safe secure password store

iPass Safe

 

iPassSafe secure password store

iPassSafe – what it looks like on iPhone

 

Your passwords should be hard to guess too. So no pet names or addresses. No birthdates or using your own middle name….

Go for a phrase instead – something like ‘I love cats and bacon’

But change out some letters for numbers – 1lovec3ts3ndb3con

Much harder to guess but easier to remember than something like – jiojl2089du8ojZ rT !!!

Sometimes a website wants to be extra secure and asks for a ‘Complex 7’ password:

This just means at least 7 characters, including upper case and lower case letters, numbers and symbols. One of those phrases we looked at up there would do, add an exclamation mark to the end or a star/asterix between words.

 Give this system a go, but remember that while these apps are much safer than a Word document or a notepad, anything can be hacked – but this just makes it that bit harder. And we know that the nasty folks prefer the ‘low hanging fruit’ (i.e. easy to crack passwords)!

I would advise against saving credit card numbers in one of these apps, just to be extra safe. And bank account numbers, with their passwords is a total no-no!

 

Got too many passwords? Yep, I hear you.

Using one of these apps can save you time and add a bit of security – give them a go and let me know how you go :0)

Nov 14

Tech Tip Friday – what’s public mean?

***Each Friday we share a quick tip for computer and Internet use. It might be something to do with your kids, or something to explore or learn about this weekend. It might be serious (think cyber-safety or internet hacking prevention) or just plain fun. If there’s a topic you’d like to see, leave us a comment below***

Do your kids know the difference between Public and Private and what it means online?

I’ve found that often kids don’t really get the difference. They might know that online means to everyone, but because they post from their phone or their laptop, in their own time, from their own space (that they think is safe) to their own social media pages, they forget who will see what they are sharing.

I know we often have other conversations about ‘private’ things – especially talking about stranger danger and things like talking to people at the shops. Our kids know that they wouldn’t just walk up to someone in Coles and announce their name, where they live and what they are going to be doing tonight – BUT they do that online all the time!

They’ll post an Instagram photo, with the location and say

“Footy game tonight, here’s my uniform” (with club name showing) or “great sleepover at Sam’s, now I’ve got to walk home, but going to Kmart on the way” (and in the comments are their arrangements about when and where they are meeting a friend)

TMI – too much info. Of course.

Public or Private info online cybersafety kids online

So, this week’s Tech Tip is “Talk to your kids about what’s private online and what’s not”

It’s not quite that easy though – as a rule of thumb, anything you post online is public. Even if it’s behind passwords – they can be hacked. And even if it’s on an app like SnapChat* – people can take screenshots of your photos or posts and then share them anyway… But there are ways to be safer.

So, the conversation this weekend should be about what it’s ok to share and what’s not.

Do you need to actually use the location feature to show where you are – or will your friends know anyway (so strangers or ‘friends of friends’ don’t know)

What are you actually sharing? Is it NECESSARY – or can you save it for a face to face chat?

Can it be seen in another way? Is that sarcastic comment actually clearly sarcastic? If not – rephrase it, so you don’t upset someone. Or again – save it for a face to face chat.

 

While things might appear Private online, they aren’t or at least might not stay that way. Best not to post things you don’t want seen widely.

What’s going on at your house this weekend? Hope you are enjoying some quieter time before the season of madness fully begins!

*SnapChat, if you’re not sure, is an app that lets kids send messages and photos and then pretty much instantly deletes them. It’s designed so people can’t see what you’ve sent or what you’ve received. Can get a bit dirty. Think your kids might be using it? Best have a chat about using it and the point above – screenshots make the whole thing so much less safe.

 

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