Need Help: Who Ya Gonna Call? TeachParentsTech

By Marilynne Rudick on March 16, 2011

Do you use your kids or grandkids as your Help Desk? If so, you are not alone. In fact, Google staffers were so frequently presented with a how-to tech list when they visited their parents, they created a website It provides under two-minute videos to explain common computer and web tasks.

TeachParentsTech was set up so that kids could send an e-mail to their parents, attaching the appropriate video. Mom, here’s how to change your e-mail address.

But you don’t have to wait until an under 30 e-mails you a how-to video. You can go directly to the site and choose from the 50 videos. Some of the how-tos are basic–cut and paste. But others explain tasks or apps you might not know. The site is hosted by Google. So it’s no surprise that it focuses on Google apps, such as gmail and Google video for chat. But on the plus side, Google apps are free.

Here are some of the videos I found most helpful:

  • Upgrade your browser. (Yes, you do want to so this! Upgrades normally make web surfing faster, and they contain security fixes.)
  • Shorten a long url. You want to do this, for example, if you are including a long URL in a tweet and are limited to 140 characters. Using Google’s URL shortener, you can take this long URL

And shorten it:

  • Translate text. Using Google Translate you can translate text into 52 languages: English to Arabic, or Swedish to Swahili.
  • Set up an e-mail auto-responder. You can tell friends you’ll respond to their e-mail when you return from the South Pacific.
  • Share photos. Use Picasa to share your South Pacific photos.

The videos are presented by upbeat under 3os. They explain things clearly and don’t have an attitude.

Categories: E-Mail & Messaging, eLearning, Video


  • It looks like they keep adding new how to videos. So this is a good site to bookmark and check out from time-to-time.

    Posted by: marilynne Rudick on May 4, 2011 at 11:07 pm

  • Thanks for including this fabulous help site: I thought I was a fairly savvy over-50 user but this site has great suggestions, including things I had never thought about.

    Posted by: Peggy on May 4, 2011 at 9:45 pm

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