Saturday, August 20, 2016

#SPONSORED: Online Safety Tips For Transitioning From Summer To The New School Year

Disclosure: As part of the Better Moments Blogger Brigade Program, I did receive compensation for this post. The opinions expressed here are mine and nobody else's. I have been a U.S. Cellular Customer for 15+ years.

OK~ A new school year is upon us and families are scrambling as to how they will keep their kiddos safe online. The simplest solution that I can suggest is the Parent/Child Agreement that U.S. Cellular offers. The learning experience for students is evolving as more schools are opting for electronic textbooks and adopting technology like tablets and smartphones as learning tools. There’s an uptick in inquiries about data usage, family plans and new devices at this time of year as students prepare to enter classes where they can bring their own device or use tablets rather than books. Your local U.S. Cellular store associates can offer solutions that will work best for your and your family.

In a recent U.S. Cellular survey, respondents said the average age of children getting their own cellphone from a parent is 11, whereas five years ago this age was 14. That same survey showed that safety was the primary reason. The appropriate time varies from family to family, and parents can be challenged with how best to introduce their child to their first phone. Again, most importantly, have the conversation with your kids. Being safe and smart online do go hand in hand.
Most importantly, make sure you take the time to set up your child’s phone to ensure they only have access to phone features and apps that are appropriate for their age. There are apps available that help parents monitor their child’s mobile web usage and allow parents to block certain websites and restrict the downloading of applications. The good news is that 72 percent of parents surveyed do have rules about their kids’ cellphone use. This is a HUGE step in the right direction!

Do you have a teen driver in the house? U.S. Cellular’s Vehicle Monitoring System is a device that can be installed in your teen’s car. Parents can use the app on their 4G LTE iPhone 6, Samsung Galaxy S7 or any tablet, to check a vehicle’s location on a map, as well as decipher engine codes to be aware of any mechanical issues. You’ll know where your teenager is at any time of day, and whether the car needs servicing like an oil change.

Several changes are happening in class rooms across the country as well.Tablets are being used in the classroom in a variety of ways. Access to e-books, learning apps, online educational videos and the Internet can all enhance the learning experience. With reliable mobile access to the Internet on a high-speed network through U.S. Cellular, teachers and students can effectively harness the full capability of this technology…in the classroom, at home, on the bus, between practices or anywhere.

All of this technology continues to move fast, but it's an exciting time to be a student, as there are so many fun ways that kids can learn. The Samsung Galaxy S7 is one tool to help your student stay up to date with classroom activities and more. I know that when I was in school, many years ago, it was a great feeling to have a brand new text book in hand. Today, it's all about the technology and the tablets in hand.

Be safe and smart online and offline during the 2016-17 school year. You and your family can have an amazing year of learning, building friendships and exploring new opportunities unlike ever before. After All, It's All In a Mom's Day, Right?

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