(Contributed by Andrew Coulston)
So many kids have headed off to school this year with an iPhone (or perhaps even a iPad with cellular capability) in their pocket or school backpack. Whether that phone is on a pre-paid or monthly plan, or perhaps on a shared data plan, a key concern for most parents is that their child does not spent a fortune on mobile data.
No sooner does one School Year finish and we’re thinking about the next.
For many parents with children heading off to secondary school for the first time, it is perhaps time to consider a first mobile phone for their child. It is also very common these days for even primary school children to carry a smartphone.
It may also be the year that your child starts using an iPad, Mac or Windows laptop at school.
Here are some things to think about before you hand over any of this type of technology to your child.
Avoid iCloud Confusion
Whether it’s the latest iPhone X or a hand-me-down iPhone from Mum or Dad, there are some critically important things to consider when setting up a new smartphone for your child. The same applies for an iPad or Mac.
If these devices are not correctly set up from the start, iCloud confusion can take hold in the family, resulting in messages, contacts, notes and more ending up where they’re not intended - and, in some cases, the unintended deletion of vital information! Don’t let it happen to you!
Here is a previous iTandCoffee articles on this topic:
If you are 'handing down' a mobile device to your child, the best approach is to completely wipe it. On an iPad and iPhone, this means going to Settings -> General -> Reset - Erase All Contents and Settings.
Protect your children from inappropriate content
Before any piece of technology is put in the hands of a child, it is essential that appropriate parental controls are established. Even smartphones and tablets are powerful computers that give children access to the sometimes dangerous online world - and may give the dangerous online world access to them!
Failure to establish parental controls on your child's device not only puts your own child at risk of seeing inappropriate and sometimes highly damaging content - it also puts other children at risk.
Here are some previous articles on this topic:
Make sure your child's school work is safe
Whether your child is starting secondary school or entering those final critical high school years, now is the time to make sure that they have their own cloud storage and that all of their devices are being regularly backed up!
Countless times we’ve seen students who have lost critical work because they have not backed up and do not store their work 'in the cloud'. At VCE and university level, this can be an absolute catastrophe.
No-one need suffer the stress and anxiety arising from the loss of school and homework in addition to the pain of a lost or damaged device.
A current backup and use of a cloud storage solution is the best way to secure what cannot be replaced. As the proverb goes, ‘A stitch in time, saves nine’.
Here are some past iTandCoffee articles on this topic:
Don’t know where to start? iTandCoffee Can help!
We've put together a checklist for setting up your child's iPad or iPhone. View this checklist here »
If you need assistance, iTandCoffee can help with back-to-school set-up of Macs, laptops, tablets and phones.
Why not take advantage of our New Year special - receive a $10 discount off the first hour of all private appointments in January 2018.
Call 1300 885 420 today to book your place.
We have a workshop for parents in January
Why not come along to our 1-hour ‘Getting School Technology Ready’ information session / workshop. We are running it twice - on Tuesday January 23rd (evening session) and Wednesday January 24th (daytime session).
Bring your devices and stay for some hands-on help to make sure your family is ‘School Technology Ready’ in 2018.
For further information about these sessions, select the session name below.
So often during the 'Keeping kids safe on iPad and iPhone' sessions that iTandCoffee runs for school parent groups, we get asked for advice about parenting in this sometimes daunting technology world - questions like
So, we sought some advice from a clinical psychologist and cyber expert named Tena Davies (tenadavies.com), who regularly presents to school parents about parenting and technology.
We have recorded three short videos in which Tena addresses each of these questions.
Tip 1: Dealing with peer pressure relating to apps
Tip 2: Regulation vs. self-regulation - at what age
Tip 3: Negotiating with a child about technology use
Related Handy Hints and Articles
Handy Hints (for iTandCoffee Club members - find out more about our Club here)
Several weeks ago, I shared an article about Google's new accounts for under-13's. These accounts allow parents to monitor and control their child's use of their Android device using something called Family Link. Unfortunately, at that point, these accounts were not yet available in Australia.
The good news this week is that Family Link is now available in Australia. So, for those of you who are interested in exploring how you can keep an eye on the kids' activity and usage of their mobile devices, here is an article on the topic from the Sydney Morning Herald.
Related handy hints and articles
Handy Hints (for iTandCoffee Club members)
When we run our 'Keeping kids safe on the iPad and iPhone' information sessions in local schools - where we look at how to set up parental controls on iPhones, iPads and iPod Touches - we are often asked whether similar parental controls can be set up on Android devices.
For those parents whose children have Android devices, here is an interesting article that appeared online in the past week or so - about a Google app that allows parents to control what kids can do and see on their Android device/s, and to even limit the time they spend on these screens.
The article does mention that the app is available in the US - but I am assuming it is also available in Australia.
If you are an Android user interested in this app, let me know in the comments below if you are able to install and use it!
8/9/2017 0 Comments
Today we were discussing kids and technology, and the issue of teenage sleep being disrupted by technology. In particular, the discussion was around the impact of screen brightness on sleep.
Melbourne psychologist Tena Davies writes about this in her blog article: Night time technology use and sleep.
A key suggestion Tena makes is to be sure that all iPhones and iPads in your household use a feature called 'Night Shift' at night.
The Night Shift feature changes the colour spectrum of your iPhone's/iPad's screen to a warmer, less blue 'temperature'.
It is not just teenagers who benefit from using this feature.
I had a client recently who told me she had found she could not read at night on her iPad because of the impact the device's light had on her sleep pattern. She would find herself waking up very shortly after falling asleep.
After showing her the Night Shift feature, she was able to once again use her iPad for reading at night - it made all the difference!
Once you have used the Night Shift feature at night, you will be amazed at how bright the screen looks when it is not in Night Shift mode.
Setting up Night Shift on your iPad and iPhone
Night Shift can be set up to turn itself on and off according to a schedule.
This is done in Settings -> Display and Brightness -> Night Shift.
Slide the Scheduled setting to On (green), then set the from and to time that you would like Night Shift to start and end.
You can also adjust the Colour Temperature slider if needed. I just leave mine at the 'maximum warmth' setting. You can see in the image above the difference in the screen lighting.
Night Shift can also be manually turned on and off at any time during the day from the Control Centre (accessed by swiping up from below the bottom of the screen).
25/8/2017 0 Comments
iTandCoffee ran another two 'Keeping Kids Safe on the iPad, iPhone and iPod touch' sessions at local primary schools this week, at St Rochs in Glen Iris and at Ashburton Primary.
A question asked at one of these session was about whether there is an app that allows kids to hide apps that they don't want parents to see. One of the parents had heard about an app that looks like a calculator, but that actually hides things the child doesn't want parents to see.
Apps that can hide photos and videos
There are apps available in the App Store that do allow for the hiding of photos and videos that the device owner doesn't want others to see.
Here is an article about such apps:
Method for hiding Apps
However, these apps do not allow for hiding of other apps - and there is no such app available in the App Store. (On Android, it is possible to get an app that locks other apps - but this is not possible on Apple devices.)
Instead, anyone wanting to 'hide' apps on an Apple i-Device can use 'app groups'.
By getting apps into the 'wiggle' mode (holding your finger on an app until it wiggles), one app can be dragged on top of another app to create an app group.
Apps within that group can then be 'hidden' on second and third screens of that app group, so that the App does not appear as a little icon in the group that is on the Home Screen.
Need further information on this?
For those who need to understand this area better - just how one would achieve this 'hiding' in groups, we have recorded a short tutorial and made it available to iTandCoffee Club members, and added it to our library of iPad and iPhone Handy Hints.
Not yet a member of our iTandCoffee Club? Find out more here »
Related Handy Hints and Articles
While assisting a client to set up Parental Controls on her 12yo child's new iPhone this week, discussion turned to the topic of the 'Ask to Buy' setting in the Family setup of iCloud.
This setting allows a parent to remotely authorise (or not) a request from a child who is a member of their iCloud Family, to purchase/download content (even free apps).
In this particular client's case, her child was very keen to get onto the social media platforms that her friends were already on.
This mum was considering allowing her child on Instagram (as a Private account of course), so we installed it and set up the app so that it is a Private account.
She was happy that she had control over what other social media Apps her child could download, through the Ask to Buy setting.
But there is a catch to this setting that meant her child could have downloaded Apps or other content without having to ask for permission.
All parents need to be aware of this 'back door'.
How your child can bypass 'Ask to Buy'
If another member of your iCloud Family has already purchased/downloaded an app, any member of the family (even a child who normally has to Ask to Buy) can also download that same app - without the usual parent authorisation.
This means that, if you as parent have already downloaded Facebook, Instagram or any other app, your children can download the same apps without your permission. If your older teenager uses Snapchat, the younger members of the family could also download that app without your permission.
How to prevent downloads of apps purchased by others in family
You can prevent your kids from downloading apps purchased by others in the family by 'hiding' those apps in the Purchased area of the App Store. The person who purchased/downloaded the app must do this 'hiding'.
If you are a club member, you will find further instructions on how 'hide' apps here.
Preventing kids from downloading/viewing iBooks purchased/downloaded by others in family
Annoyingly, it is not possible to do the same sort of 'hiding' of iBooks just using your iPad or iPhone.
This means that, if you have a heap of trashy romantic novels in your own iBooks library, the kids can see these books in the 'Purchased' area of iBooks. They can even download them without you being 'asked to buy'.
The only way to 'hide' iBooks that you don't want others to see is using the iBooks app on a Mac, or iTunes on Windows.
See the above handy hint (for iTandCoffee Club members) for details of how to do this.
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The iTandCoffee Club is a paid subscription service that unlocks access to all sorts of handy hints, videos, guides, special offers, free sessions and more.
Find out more about The iTandCoffee Club here »
I know we've published quite a few articles lately about protecting your kids on their technology, but I thought I just had to include a link to an article in today's Age newspaper.
The article talks about the dangers of popular games, games that could open up the possibility of your child being targeted by a predator.
Games like Musical.ly, Roblox and even Minecraft can leave your child vulnerable.
Here is the article from The Age: 'They're getting in through our computers': Predators using games to groom kids:
Have a read, then check what games your child is playing on their mobile device/s.
Always remember that devices that may only be used as a 'toy' could provide an open door through which a predator can enter their life and yours.
24/6/2017 0 Comments
If you have a child who uses Snapchat (which is rated as a 12+ app in the iTunes App Store), you should be aware of a new feature that appeared in this week's update to the app.
After the update is installed, the user (e.g. your child!) will be asked if they would like to use the new 'Map' feature, which will allow them to see their own location and that of their friends on a Map.
Read the article below, then make sure you check that your child is not giving away their location - even to friends. You just never know who might end up on their 'friend' list!
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