Is there a teenager at your house playing the role of family CTO (Chief Technology Officer) or doing tech support for the entire extended family? Well, this is pretty cute (and useful): something to that tough job a little easier: TeachParentsTech.org, created by employees of Google who know first-hand what it’s like, according to Mashable.com. [Here is a sample list of tech-support tasks the typical kid CTO can come home from school to, any given day.] Now your family CTO can go to TeachParentsTech and create and send Grandma a little “tech support care package.” Mashable says it “allows users to select more than 50 basic how-to videos” like how to take a screenshot or how to change the screensaver that the sender chooses to be collected into the “care package,” which arrives in the form of an email from which the recipient can click to the videos selected for him or her.
Encouraging kid tech expertise is a great parenting tool. Of course it could certainly blossom into successful careers in software, videogame design, computer security, etc., it’s also a wonderful catalyst for the parent-child communication that’s more important than ever in this digital age. Put kids’ tech literacy with parents’ life literacy (or tech smarts + street smarts) and you get a fantastic foundation for building mutual respect and opening up conversation about just about anything.
Meanwhile, if parents are looking for a different kind of tech support (more like tech parenting support), here’s a kind of Kid-Tech 101 from Canada’s fantastic Media Awareness Network. The five modules of “e-Parenting Tutorial” are “Online research and homework,” “Online relationships,”, “Inappropriate content,” “Online marketing,” and “Too much time online” (hopefully all the family tech support isn’t the lion’s share of that “too much time”!).