Back-to-school season has finally arrived, and it won’t be long before our kids are back in the classroom, learning all sorts of different subjects. Although it’s an exciting time for our kids, this transition back to school is often difficult. Many of them enjoy summer more than any other time of year because they get more freedom to participate in their favorite activities. When school starts, they have additional responsibilities to keep up with to ensure future success.
As a parent, you play a vital role in your child’s success, and there are some tech strategies you can use to help give them an advantage. Whether we like it or not, technology plays a part in our children’s education and lives, so it’s in our best interests to get familiar with the tech our kids use regularly and create guidelines to ensure they stay on task.
We’ve gathered some of our favorite back-to-school tech tips to help you prepare your children for a successful school year.
Protect Their Devices
If your children have a smartphone, tablet or computer, they will likely use the Internet and visit various websites. Some of these websites may be unsecured and could download malware or a virus to their device, which can cause even bigger problems down the road. The device will likely stop working as efficiently as it should, and your family’s personal information may become compromised. It’s imperative that you download some type of antivirus or security software. Most web browsers offer free security features, but you can also buy enhanced security plans if you want extra protection.
You should also look into restricting certain websites and apps on your network and your children’s personal devices. You don’t want them to stumble upon a website that’s not age-appropriate or is unsecured.
Set Rules Around Screen Use
Many experts agree that children ages 5 to 17 should not be on a screen for more than two hours per day. Screen overuse can lead to mental and physical health problems that could hinder your child’s development. That being said, the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry reports that, on average, children ages 8 to 12 in the United States spend four to six hours a day watching or using screens, and teens spend up to nine hours.
As the parent, it’s your responsibility to enforce guidelines around screen time usage. While you might have been a little more lenient during the summer months, now is the time to set ground rules. Give them a certain amount of time they’re allowed to use their devices for personal use, and make it so they can only use the screens in public areas of the house, not a bedroom. That way, you can monitor what they’re doing and how long they use their devices. Keep in mind that you will have to follow these guidelines to a similar extent, or else your child will find your rules unfair.
Back Up Their Data And Update Software
Your child likely has a lot of important information and documents on their laptop or personal computer. Make sure you’re regularly backing up their data so they don’t lose it if something happens to the hardware. It’s also a good idea to store and save everything to a cloud storage service so they can access their homework and other important files from other devices.
Finally, check their devices to see if any software needs to be updated. Companies are constantly releasing updates to their software to plug any cyber security holes and ensure it runs to the best of its ability. Keeping your devices up-to-date will offer additional security and allow them to run faster.
Your children are probably very excited about the start of the school year. Help make this year is one to remember and set them on the path to success by implementing some of the above tech tips!