If any of the nearly 51 million schoolchildren in America today is someone you care about, you may find this information on kids and the internet quite intriguing.
To help your young students make the most of the online world while staying safe, heed these hints:
1. Share Space: Have a shared family computer in a common space. This lets you supervise your kids’ online time without hovering.
2. Limit Time: The length of an online session should match your child’s natural attention span. School-age kids’ brains can focus for about 30 minutes at a time, so they won’t really get much from ses-sions longer than that. A good idea is to set a schedule of computer time with dinner acting as a halftime.
3. Increase Freedom: Gradually give your children freedom to decide how to use the internet as they grow into teenagers. They will probably push for more freedom, a natural part of preparing for adulthood. Trust your teens to make good decisions and appropriately manage time online.
4. Turn To Technology: Everyone has preferred shows or spaces online and can watch anywhere via tablets and laptops. Instead of each family member staking out his or her own corner of the house, en-courage everyone to gather in one room. This encourages you to share online activities and encourages conversation. When possible, seek out shows or online sites that appeal to all family members so at least some online activities become shared experiences and a focus of learning with and from each other.
5. Be In Control: Use the computer system’s parental controls to manage kids’ access online and pre-vent accidental exposure to content for which your children aren’t ready. For example, the nation’s largest internet provider, Comcast, has new technology called Xfinity xFi that makes this easy.
6. Let Tools Help Teens: Teenagers need to prioritize and manage their time, making sure that a healthy amount of sleep, an “unplugged” family meal, and academic and family obligations come first. A tool such as Xfinity xFi can help by letting you set and manage scheduled Wi-Fi hours. You can also use it to monitor how often and when your teens are connected and, if they do spend too much time online, you can temporarily pause their Wi-Fi use.
Available to millions of Xfinity internet users at no extra charge, the system provides a simple digital dashboard you can use to set up a Wi-Fi network, find a password, see which devices are connected, trou-bleshoot issues and set parental controls. It can all be controlled via a mobile app, website and on the TV with a voice remote.
It also offers:
• The ability to monitor activity so you can see who’s using your network and when they’re using it.
• A way to see all connected devices and nickname them for easy reference.
• Personal profiles and a way to assign devices to individuals.
• Text alerts whenever new devices join your home network.
• The ability to instantly pause Wi-Fi access on your home network, by device or by user, for 30 minutes, an hour, two hours or until you unpause it.
• A troubleshoot mechanism so you can see when devices are not working properly and get advice on how to fix them.
• Cloud management so you can see and control your network from anywhere.
• A first line of defense against phishing and malware known as Safe & Secure.
For further facts or to sign up, go to www.xfinity.com/myxfi or download the xFi app.