Google has launched a web site which is says is designed to teach parents technology this Christmas but which in reality is thinly veiled marketing initiative for Google services.
“Millions of tech-savvy children descend on their homes and get asked to ‘fix the computer’,” opens Google’s introduction video. “They want to help,” Google points out but also would rather not “spend SO much time acting as tech support.”
The premise is reasonable enough and the new site at www.teachparentstech.org offers an amusing opportunity to “Send your parents a tech support care package” with a mock vintage form which allows sending of links to parents to a variety of YouTube videos on basics tasks within categories such as The Basics, the World Wide Web, Communication, Media and Finding Information which we presume will do a good job of plugging Google.
However each of the videos is extremely short and basic. While some, such as copying and pasting content from a web page into email, appear almost reasonable, other videos are laughably inadequate.
For starters, all of the tasks that use computer features rather than web services appear to be aimed at Macs, or roughly five per cent of the market. Perhaps Google is suggesting that the Mac is the best platform for the parent generation?
The most developed of the videos are those which talk about tasks such as finding a business phone number or setting up an online calendar, unsurprisingly those which use Google services. Even the useful sounding “how to set up an email auto responder,” automatically assumes the user is using Gmail.
Teachparentstech.org follows another Google initiative last month, the illustrated guide called “20 Things I learned about Browsers and the Web.” The sites differ in that the “20 things” guide was a genuine attempt to be useful.