[mixcloud https://www.mixcloud.com/WJCTNews/apps-for-school/ width=660 height=120 hide_cover=1 light=1]
While you’re out shopping for pens, pencils, and paper, don’t forget to get your kids’ laptops, tablets and smartphones ready for back to school too! Taking a little bit of time now can save you lots of headaches later.
Nothing could be worse than finding out that not only did Johnny forget that he has a research paper due this Friday, but also his computer crashed because he has a ransomware virus and all of his research is encrypted on the hard drive!
Here are a few tips to get your child’s technology ready for a fantastic school year.
Clean it up!
Get rid of the games, movies and music (at least some of them), and make room for school work.
Over the summer, your son or daughter has probably downloaded tons of games, movies and music on their laptop, tablet and smart phone.
Back-to-school time is the perfect opportunity to go through it and help them decide which ones they absolutely must keep and which ones are good to uninstall.
On an iPhone or iPad just tap and hold until the app icons start wiggling and then tap the “X” button on the left to delete it.
On Android, tap and hold the app icon until a trashcan appears on the screen. Drag the app there to delete it.
On a Mac, follow these instructions to uninstall an app. On a Windows laptop or desktop use the built-in uninstaller or use a good program uninstaller like Revo Uninstaller to make sure it’s completely removed.
Make sure their devices are running the latest operating system updates and the latest virus definitions.
You probably already know that technology is changing every day. New viruses, malware, ransomware and other vulnerabilities are always in the news.
The best way to help reduce your risk of becoming a victim of the latest attack is to make sure your operating system is up to date and you have the latest virus definitions.
The operating system is the basic software that allows you to work with the computer or mobile device. The company that creates the operating system releases new versions and patches to fix vulnerabilities and to secure the devices from attacks when problems are discovered.
Antivirus software keeps up to date on the latest viruses and malware by getting new “definitions” from the company that makes the software. You can think of them like vaccine booster shots. These definitions help the software detect new viruses and eliminate them.
Each antivirus software has its own way to update its definitions, but you can usually find out how to update it in the help section or just by googling “how to update _____ antivirus definitions.” Many antivirus software programs can be set up to download new definitions automatically.
Now that you’ve cleaned everything up, turn your kids’ devices into learning machines.
There are great apps for mobile phones and tablets that can make school easier. Here are some examples:
- Evernote & Google Keep — take better notes,
- Brainscape & Study Blue — study on your phone with flash card apps,
- VitalSource — buy cheaper college textbooks,
- Desmond Graphing Calculator — free, fully-functional graphing calculator,
- MyHomework — keep track of homework and project assignments,
- Socratic — homework help from artificial intelligence.
- DuoLingo — learn a foreign language for free and it’s fun!
Is this all over your head? We can help.
If your kids’ devices need more advanced help, like a broken laptop screen, virus removal or hard drive repair, Bold City IT’s mobile technician are the best in the business for computer repair in Jacksonville, Ponte Vedra and Orange Park. Chat with us here online or call us at 904-638-8863 to set up an appointment. Mention this article to save $20 off your next appointment.
Tom Braun contributed to the article.