Help! I am SO Not Tech Savvy! Tech Tips for the Parents at Home!
Term Two in Queensland is moving online, and for some, this can be really daunting – even for teachers! We’re living in unprecedented times, and this calls for unprecedented use of technology when it comes to educating our kids. The Queensland Department of Education is utilising an online resource called Learning Place to help students and teachers alike navigate their new online classroom, but if you’ve never used it before, what do you have to do? What programs do you need to have on your computer to make sure it’s all smooth sailing? And what do you do if it all goes belly up?
Never fear, we’ve done a bit of investigating and come up with some handy troubleshooting tips to help make your first foray into the digital classroom super easy. Read on to find out more!
What you need to know
The Queensland Government’s Learning Place site is a comprehensive online learning environment that provides secure access to a range of innovative learning tools, resources, and online spaces. Everything is available in this one space to help make this move from face-to-face learning to an online classroom as seamless and as easy as possible. From this site, teachers have access to a dedicated staff space, which supports the discovery and creation of resources, online networking, and professional development. Students have access to a student space, which gives students access to digital resources, teacher-approved blogs, and the ability to collaborate online. Students and staff also have access to the online classroom, and a range of other digital resources to help make online learning easier.
What you need to download
In order to access these resources, staff and students should join the Learning Place Affiliates Program. You should also ensure that your browser is either Google Chrome (the versions prior to 80) on a PC or Safari. Otherwise, you can test your browser here. Education department devices now include a desktop icon to open eLearn directly, which should help make things easier!
From home, you need to make sure you have the latest version of Microsoft Office. All Queensland State School staff and students can now download this program for free.
To ensure that you can access all of the digital content you need, you should have the following programs installed:
- Adobe Reader DC. Make sure you don’t have the Touch version, or you won’t be able to save anything.
- Adobe Flash Player, for playing any videos.
- Powerpoint, for slideshows.
You should also make sure that Downloaded 3D content is enabled in Adobe. To do this, go to Preferences in the menu, select 3D and Multimedia, and enable the playing of 3D content. The files must be unzipped, so right click on the file you need to download and save it. Once you’ve downloaded it, you can right click on the folder and select expand.
Again, to ensure your computer has all of these programs downloaded, as well as making sure they’re the correct version, you can test your device here.
How you can fix anything that goes pear-shaped
As anyone who uses any kind of technology can attest, there are probably going to be issues when you first attempt to use Learning Place. The majority of these seem to occur with signing in. To gain access to Learning Place, you will need a username and a password. If you don’t know what this is, you need to contact the computer help desk at your school, as the Learning Place site itself can’t help with these questions. If you don’t know who to contact, look for the technology office on your school’s website.
Other issues tend to be growing pains associated with an influx of users that the site just isn’t used to. For this, we’d recommend the old tried and true method of turning it off and turning it back on again. Deleting and reinstalling the programs you need to allow the site to function properly is also an excellent way of fixing any issues.