It’s that time of year again – back to school season. As we prepare to send our children back to school, whether it’s to Kindergarten or college, here are some tech tips to keep in mind.
Apps for Safety
Whether your child is at school, driving to a friend’s house, or at a game, the app Life360 offers location tracking and driving summaries. There is also a feature that allows a user to ask for help without having to say anything, Fox News reported. The free version includes an SOS Help Alert feature by which a child can send their emergency contacts their location. The app also offers two paid versions, Gold ($14.99/month) and Platinum ($24.99/month), that include additional safety features to consider like driving reports and 24/7 roadside assistance.
Another good option is Noonlight. A child can press a button to call for help silently. However, there is an extra step that makes it more suited to older children and teens. Children can hold down the button that says “hold until safe.” And if there is no emergency, they can simply enter a four-digit pin to cancel it. The Safety Network feature also allows parents to request a check-in with their child and, if they don’t respond, the app will help trace them.
Here’s a few helpful gadgets to consider for the school year:
- GizmoWatch is a great smartwatch for kids, according to Verizon. It has timers and alarms that can help them stay on track with homework or chores at home. Additionally, a built-in step tracker helps make active play part of the after school routine by setting step goals for free time.
- Smart speakers can be great tools for homework support questions, story reading, creating music ambiance for concentration or support for restful sleep routines.
- Tablets can be a great addition for children’s learning routines. There is also typically the option for parental control features built into the devices.
- A smart nightlight is a good replacement for the traditional alarm clock. They allow users to wake up gradually to a soft glow, instead of abruptly, setting the right mood for the school day.
Keeping Kids Safe Online
It is important to take a closer look at the parental controls on tech devices, especially when it comes to younger children. For example, consider connecting smart devices, such as speakers, to a family account like Amazon Kids for Alexa devices or Digital Wellbeing for Google smart speakers. This allows parents to limit calls and messages to only approved contacts among other kid-friendly features
In addition to the parental controls on tablets, you can usually limit screen time for kids, or Wi-Fi access. You can also control whether they are able to make in-app purchases. Even when it comes to education apps, it is important to review parental controls and even dismantle chat options if possible.
Back to school is an exciting time and these family-friendly technologies can help to make it a bit safer and less stressful.