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Google has launched a new site today, TeachParentsTech.org, saying that it aims to alleviate some of the burden many of us shoulder as the go-to person for home and family tech support.

The site lets you send a "care package" -- a rather sarcastic email (Mom, "I'm really shocked/impressed/worried/jazzed that you've been using your computer these days.") to the recipient you think needs a little extra help with basic tech tasks, along with a link to watch a how-to video.

But don't let the sarcasm distract from what's a pretty cool project from Google.

TeachParentsTech.org contains more than 50 how-to videos, detailing basic (but fundamental) things like how to copy and paste, how to crop pictures, how to identify phishing scams, and how to set a strong password. These aren't all commercials for Google. There's a video on how to upgrade your browser that uses Firefox as an example. (It does, incidentally, not show Internet Explorer as an option, although maybe that's what you're upgrading from in the first place.)

Will this project be used by tech savvy kids to email easy-to-follow instructions to their parents? I don't know. But it is interesting to see Google's creation of a series of very basic how-to's for the Internet. Why, it's almost as if Google's planning to launch an operating system or something. (That's my sarcasm.) Seriously though -- it's never a bad thing to have more of these sorts of easy-to-follow guides available, so that more people can grasp Internet fundamentals.

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Audrey Watters


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