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COVID-19: Keeping Kids Safe and Productive Online as Millions Turn to Online School

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As of April 1, California schools have closed for the remainder of the 2019-20 school year. Michigan is expected to soon follow suit, as are North Carolina and Pennsylvania. Alabama, New Mexico, and Arizona are among the states that have already announced their schools will be closed for the rest of the school year. In light of these closures, many parents are justifiably concerned about their children’s education – especially because the ending of this pandemic isn’t yet in sight.

Though it varies by counties rather than states, some schools are mandating remote learning for students in their districts. Whether parents are homeschooling as an investment in their children’s future or are adhering to county mandates, online learning is becoming a crucial tool for enrichment and even access to teachers and assignments.

homeschooling mom

If you’re tackling your children’s education, it can feel overwhelming. Tips to help children during online learning include:

● Create a clutter-free learning space
● Limit outside distractions
● Schedule breaks
● Allow time to call/video chat with friends
● Monitor screen and device time

How to Navigate Device Usage During Homeschooling

From Duolingo’s smartphone app to Google Classroom, learning in today’s landscape will rely on digital spaces. Even families who are comfortable letting their kids take a break from the classroom are seeing more time spent on devices – and most of the time their use is unmonitored.

In light of this, the need for online monitoring tools and privacy protection is crucial. Children are often the target of catfishing – when someone uses a fake identity to lure people online into creating relationships or for financial schemes. The natural curiosity of children, though a good thing overall, can mean they unintentionally wander into age-inappropriate websites. Tween and teens, already suffering from a lack of social connection, may spend more time on social media than on their studies. These are only a few reasons parents must invest in a way to protect children and discourage distractions during online learning. With parents focused on the uncertainty of employment, elder care, and finances, it will be easy to allow kids to wander online.

In light of this, the need for online monitoring tools and privacy protection is crucial. Children are often the target of catfishing – when someone uses a fake identity to lure people online into creating relationships or for financial schemes. The natural curiosity of children, though a good thing overall, can mean they unintentionally wander into age-inappropriate websites.

girl-on-laptop

Tween and teens, already suffering from a lack of social connection, may spend more time on social media than on their studies. These are only a few reasons parents must invest in a way to protect children and discourage distractions during online learning.

Consider Tools That Help to Protect Kids While Online Learning

Investing in a quality monitoring plan for your children’s devices is one of the most important tools in your online learning arsenal. Netsanity is one such tool for parents with children Apple or Samsung devices. Due to the challenges parents are facing in this new online learning environment, Netsanity is currently offering parents 100% free plans to protect against adult sites. Optionally, parents that want more features can trial their premium plans at 50% off their annual plan. Use coupon SAFEHOME50 to get 50% off any premium annual plan during the 14-day free trial.

Parental Controls App
Netsanity Parental iOS app

With Netsanity, parents can control and monitor their children’s Apple or Samsung smartphones and tablets. The peace of mind this creates can alleviate some of the stress parents are under due to the coronavirus pandemic and its various impacts.

A few of Netsanity’s most crucial features include:

Timeout and Timeblocker. Limit the time your children spend using their devices and block out specific times completely. Disable and enable internet access, and even block out bedtime, homework, or family time.

Appblocker and Gameblocker. Let kids choose apps and games but block age-inappropriate ones. Netsanity works with parents to update the system and add new apps and games that can easily be disabled later.

Safesearch, Siteblocker, and Catblocker. Control kids’ internet access with these tools. Safesearch filters web search results for Google and Bing searches, Siteblocker allows your own white or blacklist for each child, and Catblocker filters web content by enabling or disabling internet access by categories, such as explicit content, advertisements, and hacking.

Invest in Online Filtering Measures for Your Household

Online education will likely be a new norm going forward, so parents will need all the tools at their disposal to make the process accessible, safe, and efficient. Discuss options for protecting your children while they are online and be vigilant.

Latest Resources on COVID-19 (US)

Here are some resources for latest news and info to keep up to date:

US Centers of Disease Control

Coronavirus.gov

Maps and Stats

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