Category Archives: Tech Tips

Online Resources to Keep the Kids Entertained

Getting outside and running around is the best way for children to burn off energy and keep fit and healthy. But there are times when it may not be possible to go outside. Current social distancing rules mean that parks are off limits and if you don’t have a large outdoor area, or the weather isn’t great, you may need some other ideas on keeping the kids entertained – and yourself sane!

The internet has vast amounts of information and activities your children can undertake while stuck inside on a rainy day or social distancing. Below are just several ideas to keep your children entertained in a somewhat educational manner.

eBooks – Reading, whether they are being read to or reading themselves, is very important for a child’s education. Apple Books is available for Apple devices and Amazons Kindle can be downloaded on Apple and Android devices. These apps allow you to download books directly to your tablet. Grenfell Public Library also offer a service called BorrowBox from which you can borrow ebooks as you would from the Library. The Library is also offering a ‘click and collect‘ borrowing system for physical books.

Best & Less Retro Colouring in fun – Colouring in is a popular activity among children and is a great way to get some simple ‘arts and crafts’ activities with minimal clean up. Crayola also offer some free colouring pages.

How To Make the Perfect Paper Airplane – Get creative and unleash your child’s inner Aerospace engineer. If Mum or Dad are handy on the tools there are also some plans for building a paper airplane launcher! This activity could be fun indoors or outdoors.

Create Stories, Games, and Animations with Scratch – Screen time often gets bad wrap, but technology is a great tool when it is used to create rather than consume. Scratch is an easy way to introduce your child to the world of programming. Some info for Mum and Dad can be found here.

Zoo Cams – There are plenty of Zoo’s live streaming their animals. You can see live streams from zoos close (ish) to home, such as Taronga Zoo. Or even travel abroad to San Diego Zoo. More Australian live streams can be viewed at at zoos.org.au. Typing ‘zoo live stream’ into Google brings up plenty of results.

Kid-Friendly Cooking – Cooking is a great way to teach children the importance of healthy eating. Having your child help out in the kitchen may even entice them to try those new foods – It was something they cooked after all! And with the measuring, adding up, and weighing of ingredients it counts as a delicious maths lesson. Doesn’t it?

YouTube – We all should get a chance to unwind at the end of the day. YouTube can be a great place to learn new skills with plenty of educational channels on the platform. YouTube kids is a safer version of YouTube that Mum or Dad will need to configure an account for first. If the family are going to unwind together some great channels are NasaTV, AustralianZooTube, and MinutePhysics.

These resources are only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the vast amount of information on the internet. The internet has plenty of material that children should not see, but could easily stumble across. The best way to prevent this is to ensure devices are used in common areas such as the living room and don’t leave children unsupervised when browsing the web.

Children may have a harder time adjusting to and understanding social distancing rules currently in place. This can have its toll on the whole family. Beyond Blue have resources on talking about Coronavirus with children. They also have a dedicated portal on Coronavirus for anyone who isn’t feeling 100%.

Take care, and stay safe!

Adding a Password to your Zoom Meeting

Zoom has quickly become the virtual meeting platform of choice for those who need to attend meetings but are currently self-isolating or working from home.

The default settings for Zoom leaves meetings open for anyone to join. This make it a lot simpler for people to join – but it also leaves the chance someone could stumble across your Zoom meeting accidentally. There have been reports of people abusing this for pranks, as well as more sinister activities.

To keep your meetings safe from pranksters, eavesdroppers, or other malicious actors you can set a password. As long as you choose a secure password, you should be able to avoid anyone Zoombombing your meeting.

Setting a Password

First all open up Zoom.

Zoom Main Screen

At the bottom of the main window click on the Meetings button. This will open up the Meetings page and will list all the meetings you have scheduled. It is possible to set a unique password for each individual meeting.

Zoom Meetings Screen

After you have selected a meeting, click on the Edit button to view the settings for that particular meeting.

Personal Meeting ID Settings

In the Password section tick the box labeled Require a meeting password. A password field will then be showed. Type a password in the password field, and click Save.

You will now need to share the meeting link and the password to anyone whom needs to attend the meeting. For extra security try to send the link and password via separate communications. i.e. emailing the meeting link and sending the password via a secure messenger.

Your meetings should now be more protected from prying eyes; whether accidental, curious, or malicious. Now you just need to concentrate of the other mishaps that may occur when working from home. While you’re here feel free to browse our other Tech Tips articles!

Restore Desktop Icons

An issue I see pop up every so often is where a users desktop icons disappear. This can be worrisome because many users store their files on the desktop and these files appear to disappear as well. I will show you now how to restore desktop icons.

A feature of Windows is the ability to hide the desktop icons. This is a handy feature if you are required to share a screen during a meeting or conference. It is handy too if you just wish to have a minimalist feel to the screen.

If, for whatever reason, the desktop icons have disappeared on your PC – don’t be alarmed – The process to restore the icons is very simple once you know how.

Restore Desktop Icons

To restore your desktop icons first make sure you are on the desktop. You can minimise all items and go back to the desktop by holding the Windows Key and pressing M.

Once you are on the desktop, right click anywhere on the screen. You will be presented with the following menu.

Navigate to the menu item identified as View – Once you hover over view, another menu will appear.

From the second menu, move your mouse cursor down and click on Show Desktop Icons.

restore desktop icons
Windows 10 desktop with icons restored

Your desktop icons will now be shown on the screen – to hide the icons follow the same steps.

These steps will not work if you have accidentally deleted a file or folder. This will only restore the items that are temporarily hidden from view.

More more tips, visit our Tech Tips page!