Gadgets and apps to monitor kids on the computer
If you ask me, the very best tool to monitor a kid surfing on the Internet is the kitchen counter. Let Junior surf, but it has to be on a laptop in the kitchen or some other very visible place where mom and dad are wandering by frequently. But let's face it, we aren't going to always be at their elbow and sometimes an innocent search query like "Dora the Explorer" will pull up videos with obscene images or racist spoofs you would never willingly expose your child to.
As a result, the market is full of apps and gadgets that play backup for distracted parents.
One that we have used and liked is Net Nanny It lets you set up the kinds of sites you don't want your child on and if he stumbles on to one accidentally, a parent has to come in and enter a password to proceed. When we first got it, we were called on about every 5 minutes as the program blocked even basic sites like CNN if they had ads that were deemed questionable. I also like that you can also program it to limit the hours a kid can be on the computer. You can block access during certain ours, set a bed time for the computer and limit how many total hours you want the kid on it.
For tablet users, a tool that just came out this week is a free app for iPads and Kindle Fire by MeFeedia called Kids Videos, right. It's a curated video app that brings a wide variety of videos into one easy-to-use place. Users can like and dislike videos, and designate videos to “Watch Later” and filters by genre. And it automatically discovers and delivers what a viewer would likely be most interested in at that moment. You can get it free for for iPad in iTunes or here and Kindle Fire here or in the Amazon Appstore.
So how about you, readers? What are your tools, tricks, gadgets and apps that help you keep the information superhighway from flattening you like roadkill?
--Sharon Kennedy Wynne
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