Oct 06

What’s a Selfie? And why do I need to know?

So I posted a while ago about Positive Selfies – and got a few questions about what they are. Fair enough. Sorry for assuming it’s a universal word!
Did you know that Selfie is officially in the Oxford Dictionary now? Imagine 15 years ago – we would have had no clue what this is and now it’s part of our ‘official’ language. Mad.
What's a Selfie? Parents learn tech

Source: Oxford Dictionary

Don’t you love that definition sentence?  You can post everyday but you don’t need to people. Oxford Dictionary may accept that Selfie part of our language – but don’t overdo it people. Please. Love it!

So it’s a photo you take of yourself. Maybe by holding the camera yourself or using a selfie stick.  Yep. That’s a purpose-made stick that you attach your phone to and use the button in the stick handle to take the photo. I think this *may* be the most narcissistic invention of the past decade. It’s basically designed so that you can take your own photo with a fancy sweeping background or with lots of people.

Why do we care? Well, our kids take lots of selfies. As the Oxford Dictionary politely suggest – we are taking A LOT of photos of ourselves these days in all sorts of emotional, dressed or undressed states. We need to know what they are talking about and what they are doing online.

  • Selfie of your and your hockey team after winning the finals? Probably ok.
  • Selfie of you with your best cats-bum face pose and low cut top? Definitely not.
Let’s help kids stay kids a bit longer and keep reminding them about why selfies aren’t always a great idea!
So – my challenge! Can you use the word ‘Selfie’ with your kids today? Without sounding like a d**khead?  Give it a go :0) Let them know you speak the lingo (?!?)

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Oct 17

Tech-Know Lingo – Re-Imaging a Computer…

No – you didn’t read that wrong and I didn’t spell imagining incorrectly. This is a key term for parents to understand when their kids begin with a computer program at school. Technicians do seem to talk another language sometimes. But ‘imaging’ is a new-ish verb that is used a lot in the schools I work in!

To make it easy – re- imaging means to take off all the data on a computer device and replace with a fresh set of data (called an ‘image). So Wiping It Clean ! Hence the image at the top of the post :0)

That data usually includes:

  • The operating system ( e.g. Windows or OSX on a Mac)
  • The software the school owns and has the licensing rights to give you
  • Settings to connect the computer to the wireless network at school
  • Settings to let the computer access the printers
  • Default settings like what the desktop picture is and what size/colour the cursor is
  • Other hidden settings to get your computer working efficiently at school

In schools we often have  a large number of laptops and computers to look after. So when a kid plays around  – and does something like rotate the entire screen so it’s  upside down or change the cursor into a barking dog (these have both happened to me many times!)  – it can be a long job to get the settings back to normal – try accessing anything on a computer with a cursor that just flashes and barks at you!!

So we usually do a full “re-image” of the computer – so we take everything off, including the messed-up settings, and reinstall the schools ‘image’ of software including the correct settings.

What this means is that – sometimes – kids lose any documents or files they might have on the computer.

Your kids need to understand backing up their own data, just as you do now you’ve read this post ;0)

What do you need to do?

Ask your kids if they have backed up their data on a regular basis – at most schools they have a school server they can store the data to and their teachers should help them do that.

So – now you know!

Re-imaging a computer means  re-installing a big package of software, settings and permissions onto a computer!