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Tech Tip #33: My Desktop Icons are Messed Up

As a working technology teacher, I get hundreds of questions from parents about their home computers, how to do stuff, how to solve problems. Each Tuesday, I’ll share one of those with you. They’re always brief and always focused. Enjoy!

Q: I have several kids/students who share the same computer. Kids being kids loving moving the icons around on the desktop. Sometimes they create the first letter of their name in icons. It’s cute, but makes it difficult for the next student to find the shortcut they need. What’s the best way to handle this?

A:  I’ve tried everything. Refusing to allow them to play doesn’t work and asking them to undo their play at the end of their time doesn’t either. The best solution is to teach all students how to organize their desktop:

  • Right click on the desktop
  • Select ‘arrange icons’
  • If you’re in Win &, pick ‘sort by’ and ‘type

This can be part of their start-up maintenance when they sit down to begin their class. They’ve learned a new skill. They feel empowered to solve their own problems. Life is good.

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Jacqui Murray has been teaching K-8 technology for 15 years. She is the editor of a K-6 technology curriculumK-8 keyboard curriculum, creator of two technology training books for middle school and six ebooks on technology in education. She is the author of Building a Midshipman, the story of her daughter’s journey from high school to United States Naval Academy. She is webmaster for six blogs, an Amazon Vine Voice book reviewer, Editorial Review Board member for Journal for Computing TeachersCisco guest blogger, a columnist for Examiner.comTechnology in Education featured blogger, IMS tech expert, and bi-weekly contributor to TeachHUB. Currently, she’s editing a thriller that should be out to publishers next summer. Contact Jacqui at her writing office or her tech lab, Ask a Tech Teacher.

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One thought on “Tech Tip #33: My Desktop Icons are Messed Up

  1. I’m posting this comment from a reader. It got me thinking:

    I need tech help in my classroom? Here’s my question:: I had forgotten that problem in my 1:1 environment. The only way I could monitor that was to assign certain students to certain computers.

    But, the more I work with young kids, the more I realize they need the time to “get over” the icon changes, font changes, emoticons, etc. Those things drive me nuts, but I suppose it is all developmental.

    Since I’m moving to a school with shared computers, I’m saving this article :).

    In 1:1 classrooms, this just isn’t an issue. Students decorate as they like.

    Since I wrote this article, I’ve morphed one more step. Now, I place all important links on the Start button so if students can’t find something on the desktop, they click Start and find it. Saves time and stress.

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