Creating A Safe Online Learning Environment
No matter how good the intentions of a student can be when they sit down at the computer, the amount of available online distractions can be a huge problem. How can the attention stay on the more slow-moving educational material, when there are all kinds of gaming and video websites easily at a child’s disposal? This is a difficult question that a lot of parents have to ask themselves. As one parent, Steph from Michigan, commented; “I want Alex to be online, but I’m just worried about what she spends her time doing when I’m not looking or around.”
She’s right to be worried- the distractions are huge. When online, kids can receive notifications from social media and gaming websites that make noises, so there is no chance to ignore them. Asking our children to remain focused on the task at hand when there are these loud interruptions can seem impossible. And that’s not all the distractions they face, as being online means that millions of websites are able to be accessed in just a matter of seconds. This is a big problem.
Evan, 11, from California kid said; “I wish there was a way I could keep my focus in one place.” Which shows that even the children feel overwhelmed by the options they have available to them. This is mirrored by his father Steve’s comments that; “I feel nervous about the amount of time Evan is spending online, and in which online spaces.” These are valid concerns from both parties, but there is a solution to this. This solution is online browser protection extensions that limit the amount of websites kids can access online.
Although this may seem ‘boring’ to the children at first, they will soon realise that this structure and rules is actually exactly what they need in order to stick their attention to one place and not have it move at all. Having the millions of other website options taken away, means that focus can be kept as long as it needs to be. This is beneficial both for the kid, and the parent, as they now know that when their child is online they are only looking at educational websites or other informational sites that will aid the kids learning. This is ultimately the best possible use of the internet. This also serves to take away parents fears that kids might be accessing inappropriate, addictive or dangerous online spaces that kids might fall into. Knowing that kids are spending their time on helpful places is a huge weight off any parents shoulder; as Kate from Texas commented, “I feel a lot more secure knowing that my child is only on approved websites, because of this I’m comfortable with him using the computer whether I’m at home or away.”
Parents being able to leave the house and not supervising their children online also saves the parents time. Instead of having to be near the child using the computer, the supervision has been taken care of by the app which means that parents are free to go where they please. This also gives the child the added feeling of maturity, that they don’t need to have an adult around when they are online, and they still have the choice between which websites they would like to access themselves (out of the pre-approved options). When it comes to homework, exams and even online studying as is common in the modern age, these extensions can have hugely positive results.
The extensions will mean that grades are improved, lessons and homework are given sole focus, and extra educational materials are easily accessible. In terms of creating the ultimate online learning environment, this is exactly what is needed. Back at school is a time that children find difficult, but Ruth, 8 years old, commented that with the extensions that allow only a few websites; “I love spending time on the internet, my dad and I chose the best sites, and these are the ones I use.” Having this dialogue between parent and child about which websites are appropriate for educational learning and for educational play means that everyone involved leaves the situation feeling happy. It’s important to find the balance between work and play, but when the time to study comes, all parents want their kids to do the best they can do.
They want to make sure that their children flourish and shine, using all of the materials online that they have at their disposal. Taking away the negative influences means that there is an abundance of helpful online resources that can be taken full advantage of. There are various methods of trying to keep your child focused online, such as removing their mobile phones, setting break times and creating a designated study space and area. However all of these methods may not be enough to keep your child well and truly on the right path. Unfortunately, without a browser lock that disallows children from straying, it cannot be assured that they will stay away from distractive sites. The father of Sam who is in 6th grade commented; “now that we have a browser lock, Sam has been spending his time online in the best ways possible.
We can see that he is learning, and he’s developing his school understanding because of this. We wouldn’t go back.” Adding a child safety extension could really aid your child’s education development, as well as keeping your child safe online. For this reason, we couldn’t recommend it enough. Kids already face enough problems, temptations and dangers being online in the world today, why not make the situation easier for them? Put your mind at ease, as well as your kids’ mind, by installing a programme that will ultimately be for the benefit of you both.
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