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Tips for Computer Buddies

Computer BuddiesTM*
by Nexuskids
Through the Eyes of the Child

Technical Tips for Computer Buddies

COMPUTER BUDDIES are volunteers responsible for the technical aspects of the Computer Buddies program in addition to encouraging academic success for the child.  The following tips are suggested to help the Computer Buddy be successful in setting up and maintaining the computer and software:

·         COMPUTER BUDDIES must be supplied with the following:

o        A complete CD-Rom disk set, consisting of one “ Image disk,” one “ software disk,” and one “ 3 1/2 floppy” formatted as a start up disk

o        A color Computer Presentation Handout by Nexuskids

o        A color Wiring Guide

o        Addresses of the Nexuskids websites:  www.Nexuskids.org and www.help-net.com

·        COMPUTER BUDDIES must be comfortable in doing the following before they enter the home for the first time.  In addition to training that is available, complete instructions are available on the Nexuskids Software CD-Rom under “Help Guides.”

o        Assemble the computer and know where all of the wires go (including the modem wire)

o        Explain the following terms: ZIP file, EXE file, Shareware, Demoware

o        Copy a file from the CD-Rom to the hard drive

o        Install an EXE file and re-image the hard drive

o        Unzip and install a ZIP file and run and understand WinZip

o        Replace the CD-Rom

o        Understand the various software packages well enough to be able to provide the children with the proper software.  Remember there is little software on the computer.  It is the job of the Computer Buddy to provide additional software from the CD-Rom for the children.

·        COMPUTER BUDDIES going into homes must work with the children and the parents to decide which software packages are appropriate for each school-age child in the household (be sure to respect the decision of the parents in choosing software; some parents, for instance, will not allow card games on the computers).  As Nexuskids continually updates software for the children, it is imperative that the COMPUTER BUDDIES contact their County Technical Manager (for Computer Buddies) in order to maintain up-to-date, effective software.

·        COMPUTER BUDDIES are responsible for maintaining the computers to the best of their ability.  If something is not working, try to fix it.  If it is software related, re-image the machine after taking precautions not to erase any files created by the family.  Remember to ask if the family has added any software on their own, so you will not erase important program files. If you need any help in this, feel free to call your County Technical Manager.

If the problem is hardware related, do your best to fix it.  If you cannot fix it, however, then call your County Technical Manager.  If he or she cannot help or cannot be reached, please page David Fellows at (803) 698-8278.  After you hear the beep, enter the area code and the phone number where you can be reached immediately, then press the pound (#) key.  If the pound key is not pressed the page will not go through.  If you do not get a response in 15 minutes try again - the page was not received!  David will be glad to help you.

Most importantly, have fun and help the kids!  Answer as many questions as you can—there are likely to be a ton of them.  If you do not know an answer, tell them you will get back with them later.  Do not forget them, your credibility is on the line!  If you need anything, contact your County Technical Manager, the DSS Computer Buddies Coordinator, call Nexuskids at (803) 576-5896, or visit the Nexuskids’ websites, www.nexuskids.org and www.help-net.com!


A program of the
The Center for Child and Family Studies
College of Social Work
226 Bull Street Suite 130
University of South Carolina
Columbia, SC 29208
http://www.nexuskids.org    http://www.computerbuddies.us

 *Trademark of the Computer Buddies program by Nexuskids is in process (February 2002).




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Last modified: June 04, 2008