I have made the joke often that there are more computers in the house than people. It’s kinda easy to do when there are only 4 people in the house, and I personally use 3 computers. I have my work desktop, because I work from home full time, and I have my main personal laptop where I do all my personal work, and last I have my XPS 13 Ultrabook, that I use when I travel or when I’m downstairs and I just want to keep up with my emails and what not. We also have a Dell Inspiron 23 that is the main family computer and sits in our kitchen.
When I was given a new Dell Inspiron 14z as part of the #DellDozen program I’m a member of (a group of 12 social media savvy women brought together to help get the word out about Dell products), I was curious if I REALLY needed another computer. The answer has become a resounding YES! Especially now that school has started, I had no idea that even in 1st grade, my daughter would benefit greatly from having a laptop.
We went to the “meet your teacher” the day before school started for my daughter, and to my pleasant surprise the top of one of the sheets we took home said “We are excited to tell you that as a First Grade team, we are going paperless (as much as possible) this year!!!” My daughter’s math homework will be done online, there is a reading program online, and they have even set up a blog to send out announcements! So now that my daughter was going to be spending a good portion of homework time on the computer, in addition to the typing software I got so she can start learning how to “touch type”, it was time to set up the laptop to be strictly for the kids. Daddy ends up taking a lot of the computer time on the Inspiron One 23 playing Diablo anyway.
So, now I need to set up this new Inspiron 14z as the main computer for the kids! What steps do I usually take?
Step One, setup my own account as the administrator account and create accounts for each kid. I do this by going to the start button, then click on Control Panel. From here you want to access the computer’s User accounts. If there isn’t already a password on your account (which should say “administrator” underneath it) then create a password by clicking “create password”. Now add accounts for each of your children. I like to make their profile picture be a picture of them, but you can have them select their own picture if you want.
Step Two. Now that they have their own accounts, set up the Windows Parental Controls on their accounts. This is where you can lock them out of specific programs, such as Quicken, or even lock their account entirely during certain time frames.
Step Three. Install programs from your administrator account. Next thing you will want to do is go find the programs they use, and install them from your account. So if you need to install KidZui, or FoozKids now is a good time to install those while you are signed in with administrator access.
Step Four. Now that all the programs are set up and installed, switch over to their account and enlist their help setting it up. I like to create bookmarks to their favorite websites on the task bar of the computer. This is easy to do in Internet Explorer. You just visit the site (such as www.starfall.com) and then click the tab that has starfall listed on it and drag it to the task bar. Now they have an easy way to access their favorite websites, and won’t have to go searching around Bing for them. Make sure to include shortcuts to the sites they will need to get their homework done!
Step Five. Education! Teach them how to take care of the computer. Tell them where it is acceptable to use the computer (such as not in your room with the door shut). Explain to them your families technology contract* and make them sign it before you hand over the reigns to the computer.
My kids are really excited about their Inspiron 14z from Dell! My husband is excited to not have to share his computer anymore, and I’m excited that the kids are learning more about technology!
I was given an XPS 13 and an Inspiron 14z in conjunction with my participation in the DellDozen campaign. I was not told what to write, and all thoughts an opinions are my own.
This post may contain affiliate links, which means I receive compensation if you make a purchase using the links.
Sarah Kimmel is a digital parenting coach and family tech expert. She has spent the last 16 years of her career as a Microsoft Certified IT Manager supporting over 100 small businesses. During that time she started Family Tech LLC to help families understand and manage the technology in their home. She has regularly appeared as a family tech expert on KSL News, BYUtv and Studio 5, and has been invited all over the world from tech companies like Lenovo, Verizon, Microsoft, Dell, and Samsung. Find out more on her website SarahKimmel.com