The download on downloads

Just a geeky parenting tip. Skip if you’re not into such things.

Teachers post a variety of text documents, presentations, and spreadsheets on their course pages for your child to download at night, and your child is probably better than you at getting and manipulating these files.  But not always — sometimes teachers will post files that not all kids can open, and sometimes that kid is yours.  Teachers do this because school computers are pre-loaded with software that the school has purchased, and thus teachers might be unaware that parents have to buy software (e.g., see cost of Microsoft Office for sale on Amazon).  So when your child is trying to download something from a course web page and they can’t easily open it, just get your kid to ask the teacher for a PDF version, which is vastly preferred for sharing documents (file size smaller, virus free, better for visually impaired students, etc.).  Alternatively, they could ask the teacher to provide a link on their course page to software that can easily convert the files, and to alert parents to this link.  E.g., teacher could link to Open Office (free, can open Microsoft Office documents) or Google Drive (that also has ability to convert). So have the “software talk” with your kid if you are unsure of any of this.


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