PTW1Before the Spring Break, we held the fourth installment of our Parent Technology Workshops here at SAS – Pudong. We hold the workshops once a month for parents so that they can feel up to speed in their child’s education. As technology is a tool for their learning, the Parent Technology Workshops give parents time to have discussions around the use of technology and to give them the skills they need to stay informed about their child’s technological journey.

The last Parent Technology Workshop was the first in a two part series called Mac OSX Scavenger Hunt. The scavenger hunt format introduced parents who are new to the Mac environment to important and useful features on the Mac so that they are better able to guide their children and gain a better understanding for themselves. We are finding that many parents have gone and purchased their own Mac and we want to support them!

PTW2The Scavenger Hunt has nearly 30 items and we talked in depth about 6 of them in depth in the 80 minutes we spent together. Below are the notes from our session. We’ll repeat and expand on the Mac OSX Scavenger Hunt during our next Parent Technology Workshop Sessions over Parent/Teacher Conferences on April 7th and 8th.

We’re looking forward to future Parent Technology Workshops as there is definitely a need in our community. Each time I do one, we have at least 50 parents that want to come and learn with technology.

What kinds of workshops have you done with your parents in your communities? What do they want to learn?

Mac OSX Scavenger Hunt Items Discussed:

How to take a screenshot on your Mac
Hold down the keys Command, Shift, 4. The curser will turn into crosshairs. Click and drag the cursor over the area you would like to capture on your screen. The image will save on your desktop. Drag it to your iPhoto icon to save it into iPhoto.

How to use Time Machine
We recommend purchasing a separate hard drive that you can dedicate to Time Machine in order to back up your Mac. The hard drive does not need to be an Apple hard drive but should be between 500GB and 1TB. Once you purchase the hard drive, plug it into the computer and open Disk Utility. Select the hard drive on the left menu and then select Erase. Set the Format to Mac OS Extended (Journaled). This will erase and format the hard drive for Time Machine.

Next, go to the Spotlight to search for and open Time Machine. Turn the slider to the ON position and select your new hard drive as the Time Machine Backup hard drive. Your first back up will take a lot of time so I recommend letting it work overnight. After your first back up, plug in your hard drive at least once a week to update the backup. This will take less time.

How to right click on a Mac
There are two ways to right click on a Mac. The two handed method is to hold down the Control button and click on the trackpad. The one handed method is to put two fingers on the trackpad and then click on the trackpad.

How to create a PDF
You can turn a document into a PDF easily on a Mac but using the print function. I use the shortcut of Command P to print or you can go to File and select Print. When the print window opens, look to the bottom left corner for the PDF button. Click on it and select Save as PDF. PDFs are useful because they are smaller files that can be read on almost anybody’s computer (Mac or PC).

How to do Software Updates
There are two items we ask our students to do one a week and one of them is Software Updates. We ask them to put a recurring evening on their iCal with an alarm to remind them even though the the computer automatically checks for software updates. The fact is that many people click on the Not Now or Later button and find themselves behind in updates. Software Updates are important to extend the life of a computer’s Operating System (OS. It updates a computer’s applications, Security Updates, device drivers and firmware.

To do Software Updates, go to the apple icon in the top left corner of the screen and select Software Updates. The computer will check for new software. If you have not done this in awhile, you’ll have several updates available. It’s then sometimes best to click on the Show Details button and do a few updates at a time. Especially in China, the internet speed impacts how quickly and successfully software updates download.


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