Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Lesson 1

Lesson 1 -It Pays to Get Familiar

Firstly and most importantly you need to get familiar with your computer. You need to bond with it and get to know what makes it tick, so that you can understand it that little bit better.

This includes knowing whether your computer is feeling at its best or not. Is it fully charged and ready to go for the day or are its batteries low and it's running out of energy.

When the computer is on, this symbol will be illuminated green.

Next to that you will see an orange battery light, this indicates that your machine is not fully charged. The battery changes to green when the computer is fully charged.

To find out exactly how much charge there is left in your battery you need to hover your mouse over the battery icon at the bottom of the screen (when the charger is not plugged in.) This will tell you what percentage of power you have remaining. 100% = about 3hrs.

You will see a flashing green light at the right side of your machine (next to your charger plug in point)to indicate your machine is charging. The green light will stop flashing once your machine is fully charged. When your battery goes below 30% the battery icon will change to white and the battery symbol will start to flash. When you hear the low beeps you only have about 5mins of battery life left so you really do need to plug your machine in and let it charge.

After a short time of no use your machine will go into standby mode ie it is still on but the screen has shut down to save energy. At this point the power control will start to flash green to indicate that your machine is still on. Pressing the on button once will power up your machine fully again.

To change the power down options i.e time before your machine goes into standby mode you need to go to the control panel,from the start menu, select power option properties and set the turn off and standby times for when your machine is plugged in and running on batteries.

Next you need to make sure your computer is feeling safe and secure.
If you click on the Windows security centre settings shield on the icon bar(could be any colour from green to red depending on how safe your computer is feeling)it will tell you whether the Firewall is on and Virus protection is up to date. Make sure the windows firewall is on and use the recommendation options (arrow button in white circle) to ensure your Virus Protection is up to date.

Clicking on the AVG Anti- Virus icon at the bottom of the screen will give you the option to update your anti virus when needed. One important point here thou - before student's anti virus update will work at school - students need to have logged in to the internet - just because the wireless light is on - doesn't mean you are connected to the internet. If you are not using the wireless/internet the system will drop you off after about 20mins (it seems - I will need to check the exact time with Dave) so if you haven't used the internet for a while you will need to reestablish the connection.

If you haven`t installed the AVG anti virus yet follow the walk through Dave sent you, which he has placed on Moodle-Yr7-Computers-Netbooks. If you have students with their own laptops they need to install this too (the program is in the Netbook section of Moodle as well).

Make sure you also have automatic updates on too then your computer will be feeling looked after and kept up to date. This will automatically update Virus Protection/ Windows when you are connected to the internet. You can check for updates by clicking the windows security setting icon at the bottom of the screen too.

If you've done all this your computer should be in the zone and performing to the best of it's potential. The time should automatically update the next time it updates but you can set the clock now if you wish by hovering over the time icon at the bottom of the screen.

And last but not least you want to know if your machine is feeling sociable and wanting to collaborate with others.

The wifi antennas on the control panel should be green to indicate the wireless is on. If not press fn f1 to turn it on or your machine won't be ready to connect to the internet. Pay special attention to whether the wifi antenna is on or not as this will stop the constant complaining from children and dare I say it teachers when they say they can't connect to the internet.

As mentioned above just because you can see the wifi control on the icon bar doesn't mean you are connected to the internet. After the wifi/internet has timed out you will need to reestablish the connection. To do this you need to right click the wireless icon, disable it first, then double click the wireless connection and reestablish the connection again.

If that doesn't work and anything else goes wrong to that matter use the old and trusted method - TURN THE COMPUTER OFF AND TURN IT BACK ON AGAIN - It solves a multitude of problems and saves a lot of teacher time if you can get the kids into this habit.

That should be enough to get you started and familiar with your machine but if you need to know what any of the other controls/icons or function keys mean don't hesitate to leave a comment here for a prompt reply.

I`ve put the full reference manual on Moodle too under Yr7-Computers- Netbooks. The kids can access this too - so don't worry if I'm talking double dutch - they'll work it out.

Next - Lesson 2 - We all Need Time to Play

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