Monday, August 19, 2013

How Can I Control My Kid's Smartphone?

By YUN-HEE KIM. [smartfone0729] Reuters.
A Nokia N9 smartphone.
This is a post from January of 2013 and I'm re-posting it for our 7th and 8th grade families who are a part of our inaugural Tablet Learning Program this year. 

Please also check out a post from February 2013 outlining the new paradigm of communication for our students in the digital world. 

I recently spoke with a mom who was concerned about smartphones - essentially mini-computers in the hands of their 12 year old.

What rules should she put in place?

How can I control what he/she sees?

If I don't like what I see, can I talk to the parents of the child who sent it?

What is the school doing about it?

In a much earlier post, I talked about the Internet as the Virtual Wild West and some of the strategies to try and infuse your family's values into the vacuum. Smartphones provide another layer (or thousand layers!) to the equation. I have some other thoughts from an earlier post that may help shed some light on the topic.

I thought I would cull some resources here for you to read that outline some good approaches to the smartphones that are being taken by families.

  1. This article from does a nice job of outlining the basic questions to be asked if you are thinking of purchasing a smartphone for your pre-teen: The Smartphone Generation
  2. This is a good resource from the cyber security perspective about ground rules for teens: Set Ground Rules for Your Teens and Their Smartphones
  3. And my favorite: The iPhone Contract

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