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!