EdTech & Parenting Part 1: The Homemaker
Want to read more? Check out the rest of the series:
EdTech & Parenting: An Introduction
EdTech & Parenting, Part 1: The Homemaker
EdTech & Parenting Part 2: The Curator
EdTech & Parenting Part 3: The Digital Citizen
EdTech & Parenting Part 4: The Enforcer of Rules
EdTech & Parenting Part 5: The Cheerleader
Establish rules and boundaries for technology use in our home.
This is one of the most difficult tasks that I encounter as a Homemaker. My daughter always wants to use the devices a little longer, try a new unknown app, or push the boundaries a bit further. There are a few rules that help me make a safe tech-friendly home:
- We have tech-free times, e.g., during meals, when there are no adults around, and when a babysitter is in charge.
- We have tech-free zones – most importantly, the bedrooms.
- And we have off-limit devices – no headphones! I want to monitor noise level, and I can listen for unapproved content while I’m making dinner.
I am always striving to strike a balance between school time, family time, tech time, and play time. These rules help keep that balance.
Manage parental controls on devices and accounts.
In our house, the motto is “Passwords are for Parents.” I am in charge of app management. Each device will have different controls – a quick Google search will help you determine which controls you can access on your device. On our iPad Mini 2 and iPhone 7s, my daughter can unlock the screen, she can go into the App Store, but she cannot buy any apps without my fingerprint or the Apple ID password. (See my post on being the Curator for details on how I evaluate apps.) This provides a layer of security – I know she won’t download anything I haven’t seen first. My daughter also cannot access account-driven apps, like Facebook or Twitter, unless they are logged in. Again, Passwords are for Parents, and I decide when to sign in and sign out.At my parents’ house, my daughter has access to an Amazon Fire: Kids’ Edition tablet. I love that this device has different profiles for multiple users. My daughter can’t see or access apps on her grandparents’ profiles. My parents pre-load apps to her profile, but my daughter can’t add them without adult permission.
Maintain devices and make appropriate devices available.
Each home will have its own rules about technology use. And at our house, we modify the rules as technology changes, and as my daughter grows. I try to keep these three indicators – boundaries, controls, and maintenance – in mind when helping my daughter develop a healthy relationship with technology and feel safe with the digital world in our home.Comment below: how do you build a home where your family understands the benefits & risks of technology use and feel safe with the digital world in the home?
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