In my home country, I avoid giving my kids smart phones and constantly discussed with them to reduce peer pressure. After moving to Finland, I decided to give them smart phones believing that the way they’re using them can be shaped with proper discussion and supportive monitoring app. As a student of the learning sciences and technology, I am not blindly experimenting them with my kids, but what makes the difference is my own progress from a complete novice to an expert-to-be.
With knowledge, and meaningful education my kids currently experience, I think that learning to use technology for both education and entertainment can be nurtured.
Screen Time is suggested by my children’s school when they launched ‘social media and video game fasting‘ campaign, known as ‘mediapaasto‘.
So far, it is very good and meet my need and expectation.
We can set specific amount of time for each kid, what apps to be included in the quota and what to be excluded. The web browsing history, search history and amount of time spent on each app are also well recorded. This helps me to personalise my discussion with each of them because they have different pattern and habit.
There is also a play and pause function. When all the smart phones are paused, you can play certain message remotely on their devices. You can also pause them while they’re using them, for example “15 minutes break for lunch” or something like that.
The only shortcoming is, on our own devices or computer, there is no password to avoid our kids from accessing the app to change the setting, especially when using social media like Facebook to log in. My kids so far don’t have any issue with this. But I would imagine some parents would want to have fully control on this.
I believe, the usage of app like this must be accompanied by discussion with the kids, so they will understand the reason behind the give and take, and not perceiving it as simply a restriction against their ‘freedom’.
So far so good. I recommend parents to take benefit from it.
I received feedback [March 5, 2017] from the team regarding the Facebook login: