Controls and Rules for Usage

Recent findings by the Family Online Safety Institute from a survey on children’s technology use revealed some interesting trends in parents’ views on how they manage the way their children use it.

Most parents stated that they had rules for technology use as far as online access was concerned, including what sites they were allowed to visit, what accounts they could have and what they could post on the Web.  Rules related to the amount of time spent online varied considerably – with some having no rules, and others allowing limited hours per day depending on the child’s age. Teenagers were mostly not limited to time online. Access to technology was in fact most commonly limited as a punishment or consequence of behavior or bad results at school.

A relatively small percentage of parents said they used a parental control programme or app to monitor or limit their children’s online usage, either because of the rules they already had in place, or that they trusted their children to act sensibly and appropriately. Some felt they were ineffective as children knew how to get around them and others simply did not know of their existence. Other trends in monitoring or limiting technology use included disabling in-app purchases on a tablet or phone, and turning off location and data on children’s mobiles.  These were not commonly done with older children however.  (To view the full report, visit: https://www.fosi.org/policy-research.)

As an interesting class exercise, you could review your own students’ online habits and their parents’ controls via a survey, perhaps designed and conducted by the students themselves. Opening up conversations on this with your school parent body is also bound to generate a lot of enthusiasm and differences of opinion!

Categories: Technology Trends

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