Written Questions from January 26, 2016 Parent Academy:

- Do you know of any monitoring software for Macs/iPhones?
- How can a parent track child’s iPad activity i.e. internet sites and apps?

The most effective way for parents to help their children develop discernment about using the internet and other digital tools safely and wisely is to have frequent, intentional, and open conversations. Common Sense Media has a comprehensive Family Toolbox to help facilitate these kinds of conversations: https://www.commonsensemedia.org/educators/connecting-families/share

There are many options for monitoring web traffic on Mac Computers and iPhones/iPads (examples include WebWatcher, TeenSafe Phone Tracker, PhoneSheriff, NetNanny) -- here are several review sites which can give you more information about the services they provide:

TopTenReviews.com - __http://cell-phone-monitoring-software-review.toptenreviews.com/__
__BestCellphoneSpyApps.com__
TomsGuide.Com - __http://www.tomsguide.com/us/best-parental-control-apps,review-2258.html__
Mobile Independent Reviews - http://www.mireview.com/

Academy District 20 does not endorse any of these service providers, but is including these webpages as a resource for parents to make informed decisions. Please note that software that requires “Jailbreaking” an iPhone or iPad will void the warranty of your device.

- How effective are the parental controls on devices, apples. Vs. other?
- Is there a way to disable apps or internet sites for a specific time period? (homework time)

A quick internet search on “effectiveness parental controls effectiveness” and “Mac,” “iPad,” “iPhone,” “Windows,” or “Android” will reveal a wide variety of responses from parents, depending on the type of control they desire, their tech savvy, and the tech savvy of the children they are trying to protect. In general, the parental controls are effective in making students safer from accidentally encountering unsafe material online. Some tech-savvy students may be able to circumvent parental controls, especially if they are intent on doing so. Again, the best way way for parents to help their children develop discernment about using the internet and other digital tools safely and wisely is to have frequent, intentional, and open conversations.

For an overview of Parental Controls on Mac laptops and desktops, visit Apple’s help page on the topic: https://support.apple.com/kb/PH18571

For an overview of Parental Controls on Windows devices, visit Microsoft’s help page on the topic: __http://windows.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/set-parental-controls#1TC=windows-7__ - Note that Windows 10’s Family Safety settings interfere with District 20’s in-network filter.

For an overview of parental controls on iOS devices (iPads and iPhones), visit Apple’s help page on the topic: https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT201304

For an overview of parental controls on Android devices, PC Advisor has a helpful page on the topic: __http://www.pcadvisor.co.uk/how-to/google-android/parental-control-on-android-image-3461359/__
Because Android devices vary greatly and so do the ways they implement the operating system, specific details listed in this article may not be available on your device.

Depending on the type of device and type of parental controls you implement, this is possible. Additionally, the modem/router installed at your home may have options for limiting internet access during certain times or days.

One best practice for families to implement is to limit device use to a common area (such as the family room or kitchen) and to not allow devices in private locations. This may require moving an “office” computer to the common location, but the message such a move sends is powerful: “We care deeply enough about this issue to inconvenience ourselves, too.” A common charging location for all devices is a simple solution that parents can use to give children an example to imitate.