When young children begin to use technology, families take what they perceive as the most secure and expedient path toward setting them up. They often put their own username and passwords into their child’s device. But before they know it, those small children get older and want or need usernames of their own — and everyone’s user identities, passwords, preferences, and settings become a technology tangle. Kids lose their usernames. Adults lose their own. Multiple devices. Forecast says stormy iClouds ahead.
If you’ve got kids and devices, I know you’ve white knuckled more than a couple of times the turbulence known as managing screen time. It’s often the first hurdle right up there with preventing inappropriate content. As your kids develop and grow, they start having more logins, more devices, and more options. Things get complicated fast. You want to be able to maximize and monitor their options and freedoms, without pulling your hair out in the process.
Ever been watching something on Netflix only to be interrupted by your child using the same media system in another room? Or had a link that your child needed to click but discovered it trapped inside of your personal email? How about copying something on your document only to find your child pasting it onto her document in the other room? These moments, and others like them, are becoming more and more common — and they’re possible to solve.
There’s a lot to understand with kids and families active online, particularly with social media. It’s too easy to share sensitive data without realizing it. Photos contain GPS locations, captions contain names and ages, and the big idea that “the Internet is forever” needs healthy dialogue at home. With all the databases storing information that we voluntarily submit and the possibility that someone could always screenshot what we post, digital citizenship and safety has never been more important.
It has been really interesting in my work as an educator and technology specialist to have this need from families evolve. Technology folks come into their homes and fix their devices but often do not understand the full picture of how the technology interacts with the educational and parenting philosophy of the home. I’m excited to bring my expertise as an educator of technology, as a parent, and as a technology specialist as we figure out your personal home goals with technology for your family and make your systems work for you.