Hope you are all well and looking forward to Christmas.
Just before I close down for Christmas, I wanted to share this with you. Given how much this has helped me out, I'm hoping it will be of some use to other parents out there.
I've been on a steep learning curve over the past few months, getting my head around the world of Android tablets for children. I've had a devil and angel on my shoulder, one saying that this technology is part of life now and younger kids should have some access whilst the other has been nagging me to make sure it's done responsibly.
What do I mean by responsibly? Well first and foremost, making sure that our little one can't stumble across inappropriate content. After all, I wouldn't let her wander the streets on her own so why would I allow her to wander the world wide web without some form of supervision. Secondly, there are probably some apps installed by default on a tablet that aren't really appropriate just yet at this age. Do I really want my little girl sending emails just yet? And finally, technology is great, but it can have a nasty habit of taking over, so some control around this was also what I was looking for too.
So whilst I do see that there is some place for this stuff in the lives of our children in terms of their education and enjoyment, I want to make sure it's balanced with other activities, used appropriately whilst protecting innocence.
Being slightly geeky and fairly technically competent, my lack of knowledge on tablets has just recently made me feel like a novice. And when I went to other parents to ask their advice, it would seem like everyone is in the same boat not knowing what do to do to protect their little ones. So I thought I would share with you what I've discovered and if this helps at least one other parent out there, I'm happy!
Here are the top apps/programs that I've found to protect our young children when using tablets/laptops. Knowing that technology may feature in the Santa sacks of many young children this year, from one parent to the next, I really hope these help you too. If you know of any others, please comment below...
- Norton Family Safety - Works on Android tablets, laptops and PC's. Will block inappropriate web content but you can also customise other actions to prevent - e.g. instant messaging, texting etc. Install it on all devices your child accesses and it will notify you when attempts to access blocked content are made. There's a free version that does everything I need it to. There's also a paid version that does a little more.... https://onlinefamily.norton.com/familysafety/loginStart.fs
- MM Guardian Set time schedules to block chosen applications at specified times, or even block applications such as Play Store at all times, to ensure that you have control over what applications are installed. Also set time limits when the tablet can/cannot be used. Android App available on Google Play store.
- Windows Family Safety - Used with Windows PC's and Laptops, will control times computer can be used and what sites can be accessed. You'll need a Microsoft Account to use this. Sign up free if you don't have one... http://familysafety.live.com/
Have a great Christmas