iPads for Parents
Parental Controls and Resources
Many parents have found that reviewing and putting in place some fundamental restrictions on the iPad is a good way to make expectations clear for young people who are using mobile devices for the first time.
Children can be captivated by electronic devices and their content, and we have always benefited from the great advice and resources we find at Common Sense Media, hands-down the best, biggest and most current clearinghouse for all things media and internet. Taking a few minutes to read their ten beliefs about kids and media is a great introduction to the amazing work they do.
As you know, when students use the internet at school, their browsing is filtered for content which is inappropriate or not educational.
You may or may not have that capability at home. I find a great deal of interesting reading at a site called Be Web Smart which is a resource for parents who like to keep current with the internet kids live in. At Be Web Smart you can also find reviews of apps kids are using, and learn more about not only the lure of the apps, but also about the positive things kids might be using them for.
At the website, you will find a page dedicated to parental control tools for parents who want to limit both time kids spend on their devices and the content they access. As you will see, some of the tools are designed for mobile devices, allowing you to tweak your home internet settings and filtering on the fly. Other subscription services are also available. And hardware is also available.
Torch, for instance, is a newly designed wifi router which may be a game changer for parents who’d like some basic tools for supervising and limiting device use in the home. Reviews suggest that it is very easy to use. Torch seems pricey, but could work nicely for parents who want a hardware solution more like what exists here at school.
We agree with the Be Web Smart belief that while "parental control tools can certainly assist you, they don't replace you. Meaning, you can’t just rely on a parental control software product alone. Ongoing discussions with the kids is key to establishing healthy internet and device usage habits."
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