Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Computers and Kids: Return of the Sequel

This continues the micro-saga of how my 11-year-old son's effect on a 3d render last Monday has helped me learn a few things about how to managing business and family under one roof.

The story to date is in Computers and Kids: the Sequel (June 26) and Computers and Kids: Home-Based Business vs Bionicles (June 25).

There were one or two moments earlier this week when I felt like restricting all access to the 'work' computer, except for vital, by-appointment-only tasks. That wouldn't have been reasonable, though, and would have violated my policy of letting the kids learn by doing. Hair-raising though that may be.

So, I sat down and thought of what was actually needed to maintain a safe working environment for me and the software. I came up with a five-point list, the third point of which was my responsibility to put a prominent written notice up whenever a critical software operation was running without supervision.

Having keyed my five points into a text file, I gathered the kids around the 'work' computer and discussed them. I learned about three sites for the 'white list' of acceptable game and/or video downloads. Looking up ownership of the sites, I decided they were okay, and added them.

The five-point reminder sheet is posted by the computer now, and I'm fairly confident that we've got something better than a temporary solution.

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