Kids today constantly amaze us with the information they know so it should come as no surprise you can learn more about the Internet from your average first grader than you can from some adults. Like what are the advantages of high speed internet, or in first grade language why is it better to have faster internet. Here’s a look at a few things that your child may about the Internet know that “grandma” may not.
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Enhancing Your Internet Experience
Ask any first grader why people use different browsers and you might not get a clear reason, but you will get a good answer. While some adults know that certain browsers provide better security, faster speeds and more user-friendly options, your average first grader can probably tell you the best ones to use out of the following list:
- Mozilla Firefox
- Google Chrome
- Internet Explorer
Not many first graders are using Internet Explorer, despite the fact that many adults still are. This is certainly one area you can learn a few things from the younger generation. Consider changing up your browser to get a better experience and more security while surfing the web.
You can find a detailed breakdown on browsers from Google.
Taking the Shortcut Home
Another task that first graders are fairly competent in is word processing. This has become increasingly true over the past few years as more and more classrooms get enough computers to go around. As such, some of the more “adult” processing practices are pretty outdated.
For instance, one thing that seems to be fairly rampant is the practice of either retyping copy from one document to another (i.e. a word doc to a spreadsheet) or doing the long form of copy/paste (which is quicker than the first way, but still slower).
Keyboard shortcuts such as Ctrl+C for copying text and Ctrl+V for pasting, cuts down on hand motion and thus, time. First graders are taught a wide variety of keyboard shortcuts for popular programs such as Microsoft Word and Windows. A few other popular keyboard shortcuts that work across most areas of the web are:
- Alt+F4 – Quit current program (i.e. open browser or app)
- Ctrl + A – Select all (text) to clipboard
- Ctrl + B – Bold highlighted text/turn on bold text
- F5 – Refreshes current window
- Ctrl + Tab – Cycles through open tabs
- Ctrl + Z – Undo last action or command
For a detailed list of Windows shortcuts (which work just about everywhere, including Microsoft Word), visit Microsoft’s Support page.
Searching More Efficiently
Finally, one of the computer skills that the younger generation seem to have mastered is the art of using the search engine effectively (jokingly referred to as Google-Fu). There are a number of tricks to finding the information you desire faster. Here are a few that just about any first grader can show you:
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- Entering your keywords with quotes around them will ensure the search results only pull pages with the exact phrase (e.g. “red paint” will net you sites with the phrase “red paint” and not sites that just have “red” and “paint” in the copy with zero relation).
- Typing “define” before a word nets you the word’s definition.
- Entering math problems into the search bar will net you the answer.
- Adding “fileType:” to your query nets you only that particular type (e.g. typing “fileType:pdf” will only net you pdf files).
- Typing “weather” and then your zip code nets you the current weather in your area.
- Typing an asterisk in place of unknown words nets you possible results (e.g. typing “john * jones” will net you “john paul jones,” “john allen jones”, etc.).
The Internet is a constantly changing landscape; it’s a good thing our young are here to keep us informed!