My oldest son will be entering high school next year and we were recently discussing been letting him have a cell phone to carry around with him. However, as parents we are concerned for his safety and the information he could possibly view on the Internet especially when he isn’t at home. We have an old cell phone that he can use on an as needed basis at the moment but it is just a basic phone. Even though it is a basic phone, it currently has access to the internet and since it is an older phone you can’t put apps on it unlike a smartphone.
Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links.
Smartphones do have a few advantages over basic cell phones. Plus, you don’t have to purchase them a brand new device. In fact, I don’t recommend purchasing them a brand new device since most kids are bound to lose a phone, drop it accidentally, or even have it stolen. Did you know that you can buy a certified refurbished phone in like new condition from Gazelle? Check out the collection of refurbished smartphones today on Gazelle.
Today, I wanted to share with you some of the advantages allowing your tween or teenager to have their own smart phone. Once kids get to high school, I have noticed that teachers are a bit more lenient and allow students to use their smartphones as long as it is helping them with their school work. I am sure there are strict rules for using a smartphone in the classroom but with permission here are a few ways that they can use their smartphone to their advantage in the classroom. Plus, as a parent you can ensure that they are going to use the device wisely too.
Take Photos of Teacher’s Notes
A smartphone generally has a better camera so students can take photos of the teachers notes from the smart board or overhead projector. My daughter was able to do this with her old cell phone but often times the photos were fairly small because it didn’t have a good camera. She would often refer to the photos while she was doing her homework.
Plus, I noticed that my daughter’s teachers often skipped around in their textbook or they were just sending home worksheets without any examples for the kids to do at home. Plus, teachers are teaching things a bit differently than when I was growing up. So even if I could help my child, it might not be the new way that they are being taught. The photos of the teacher’s notes were a great reference point for me so that I could help my child with any problems.
Use the Voice Recorder
Does your child struggle with taking notes in class while the teacher is busy lecturing? Try having your child record the teacher’s lecture. This give students the opportunity to focus on taking notes without stressing if they happen to miss something. I remember getting anxiety over taking notes in school especially if I felt like I missed something super important that the teacher was saying. If your child is recording the teacher’s lecture, they can easily go back and listen to it again. Plus, they can use the information to help study for an upcoming quiz or test too.
Use Google Calendar to Schedule Assignments
Your teenager can utilize Google calendar on their cell phone and use it to keep track of important dates. This is an awesome tool especially if your child is active in sports or other extra curricular events. Don’t forget to teach them how to add entries to the Google calendar and show them how to send you a calendar invite (if they don’t already know how). Calendar invites can keep you in the loop about your child’s activities and even their homework schedule.
Smartphones Allow You to Install Monitoring Software
The number one reason why my son isn’t allowed use the old cell phone right now is due to the lack of monitoring software or parental controls. There are a ton of apps such as Familoop that you can install on a smartphone or family computer so that you can control what type of content that your child is allowed to view. Familoop is available on iTunes, Android, and for your home computer.
Familoop allows you to set up strict parental controls for both your child’s smartphone and home computer. According to Familoop most of the time children weren’t purposely going on the Internet seeking out inappropriate content. However, they said that they accidentally stumbled upon it while doing research for school or while surfing the Internet. Take a proactive approach and prevent your child from accidentally viewing pornographic material or other undesirable content.
Monitor Social Media Accounts
If your child is over the age of 13 and is allowed to use any type of social media, you need to carefully monitor their accounts. Familoop can also help you monitor your child’s social media accounts. Just remember that teenagers, are a bit naive and don’t always realize the harm in sharing too much information with other people. Even if you have access to their passwords, it doesn’t prevent them from misusing social media.
I use social media accounts as a blogger and I know that my kids are constantly watching what I am doing too. I model the behaviors that I expect my own children to follow. Check out this great information on Familoop’s blog how how to talk to your children about the Internet. As a mom, I love to share internet safety tips for parents so that they are constantly informed about the things teenagers are interested in on the Internet.
Limit Screen Time
Most kids are spending over 8 hours a day on their smartphone and it is up to you to set healthy boundaries. You can allow your child a set amount of screen time per day using Familoop. Even if your child is allowed to use their phone at school for educational purposes, you can set up specific app restrictions which would limit game time, chatting, social media usage when it shouldn’t be used. You can even set it to allow those apps during lunch time and after school. Don’t forget to lock all apps after a certain time each day so that your child isn’t tempted to stay up all night playing on their phone or talking to their friends half of the night.
Track Your Child’s Location
You can even use your child’s smartphone to track their location. You have to set up location services on their phone and use software such as foursquare, location tracking software, or Familoop. Familoop has built in real time tracking so that you can visually see everywhere your child has been.
As a mom, I trust apps like, Familoop – internet safety for kids, because it keeps my kids from accessing information that I don’t want them to find on the Internet. I know most kid’s want to keep their smartphone so they are usually quick to do their chores, keep their grades up, and do what is asked of them so that they can keep it. One slip up, you can threaten to take away their phone.
Photo Credit: Pixabay