Our Family & Technology

Tuesday Tech Talk


We have an almost-10-year-old and a 6-year-old in our house. Our 4th grader is required to have an iPad for use at school and for homework. She likes to watch YouTube videos of people playing Minecraft and finding cute pics of baby bunnies on the Internet. Our six-year-old is in kindergarten and obsessed with anything Lego. He loves making stop motion videos with his Lego mini figures and watching similar videos on YouTube. Right now Batman reigns supreme. My wife/partner and I both have laptop computers and iPhones that allow us to work on-the-go and keep in touch with out-of-town family. Social media allows us to keep up with high school and college friends’ comings and goings.

So, with all of that going on, we used some common sense to keep our family safe online. Since our daughter is required to have an iPad for school, the school provides an Acceptable Use Policy for each student and their parent to review and sign. It spells out things like: students are not allowed to download or install material unless under supervision. Or, the student will not send any personal information (photos, addresses or phone numbers) to anyone else on the Internet. We’ve also had some conversations with her about appropriate material and what she should avoid online.

Additionally, we set it up so my wife’s Apple account is the one that manages all of the kids’ devices. The kids don’t have access to the username and password and can’t download or install anything without assistance from an adult.

Since our kids watch YouTube videos pretty regularly, we’ve become familiar with the kids version of YouTube and the regular version. We are always logged into both accounts with our Gmail email. This allows us to keep an eye on what the kids are watching by having access to the history and viewed videos.

Our kids are like sponges and surely we’ll need to revisit our plan again soon. Keep in mind what is appropriate for your family and put your plan in place.

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