Internet/Web Filtering/Parental Controls/Contracts
Every computer in the Elk Grove Unified School District uses an internet/web filtering system. The school district has adopted Lightspeed Systems technology as our filtering solution. The purpose of this solution is to block student and staff access to content deemed inappropriate for K-12 students.
If you are looking for an “at home” internet filtering solution, you can do an internet search for the term “parental web filtering software” to find available options. New software is introduced frequently in response to parents’ wants and needs and in some cases, your ISP (Internet Service Provider) offers built in features to their service.
- Parents’ Ultimate Guide to Parental Controls | Ver en español (March 9, 2021)
- Why the Best Parental Control is You – Common Sense Media (April 11, 2018)
One of the most popular fee based filtering solutions is Bark.
Thomas Dodson, co-founder of Above the Fray recently reviewed and has endorsed Bark. Thomas has spoken at several of our district schools on the topic of safe and responsible social media use.
Screen Time – Common Sense Education
- How to Help Kids Balance Phones and Screens with Sleep – Tips for managing TV, tablets, phones, and tech so your kids can get a good night’s sleep.
- How Much Screen Time is OK for my kid(s)?
- Young Kids and Screens – Workshops for families with kids age 0–8
- Los niños pequeños y las pantallas – Talleres para familias con niños de cero a ocho años
- Technology Addiction – Is Internet Addiction Real?
- Technology Addiction: Concern, Controversy and Finding Balance
- Technology Addiction: Key Findings Video
- Family Tech Planners – Use these tech planners to help your kids think through important questions around tech use: What will I do? How much time will I spend? Am I making thoughtful choices? Planners for ages 2-8, 9-12 and 13+.
Family Internet Use Contracts
Create a Family Contract for Internet/Cell Phone/Social Media Use. Below are samples of contracts you can use, or come up with your own customized contract to suit your needs.
- Common Sense Media
- Google – Be Internet Awesome
- The Smart Talk
- Family Online Safety Institute- 13 and under
- Family Online Safety Institute- Teens
- Cyberbullying Research Center
- EGUSD #Unfollowbullying
Cell Phone Parental Controls
Parental controls for cell phones fall into three distinct categories:
- Content filters – These allow parents to set filters for what multimedia content their children can download to their phones. While content filters are more important for smartphones with full web access and video download capability, most cell phones now have some kind of browser. However, parents should be aware that content filters are not foolproof and inappropriate content can also be received via text, IM or email.
- Usage controls – Usage controls put the parent in charge of a child’s cell phone usage, regulating the number of calls and text messages. They can also block certain numbers or restrict outgoing calls to a pre-approved list, and even disable the phone during certain times of day, like school hours or after 9 pm.
- Location and monitoring controls – These can be used to monitor a child’s whereabouts through built-in GPS systems. Some systems can even send alerts when a child’s cell phone moves out of a pre-agreed zone or range.
You can always contact your cell phone provider or visit their website for specific parental control features and information about their services.
- Cellphones and Devices: A Guide for Parents and Caregivers – Common Sense Media – How to help preteens and teens use their phones safely and responsibly.
- What Teens Want Adults to Know About Their Relationships with Smartphones – Common Sense Media – Young people find phones hard to resist, and the industry could do more to help them manage their responsibilities.
- 3 Places Families Should Make Phone-Free – Common Sense Media – Take back family time and set an example for your kids by creating tech-free zones in the most important areas of your life.
- What Are the Rules About Using Phones at School? – Common Sense Media
- Use parental controls on your child’s iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch – Apple Support
- Set up parental controls on Google Play – Google Support
- Parents Guide to Smart Phone Safety – English | Spanish – Netsmartz
Game System/Website Parental Control Resource Links
- Xbox Family Settings – Microsoft
- Xbox One – How to Set Parental Controls – Common Sense
- Nintendo Wii Parents – Setting Parental Controls
- Nintendo Wii U Parents – Setting Parental Controls
- Nintendo 3DS Parental Controls Overview
- Nintendo Switch Parental Controls
- Nintendo Switch – How to Set Parental Controls on the Nintendo Switch – Common Sense
- PS5 – Playstation 5 – How to Set Parental Controls
- PS4 – How to Set Parental Controls on PlayStation 4 – Common Sense
- PS3 – Playstation 3 – Parental Controls
- iOS – Understanding Parental Controls for iPad, iPhone, iPod touch
- Apple Families
- iTunes: Using Parental Controls
- Webkinz for Parents – FAQ’s
Additional Gaming Resources
Many online games have communication features which allow their users to interact anonymously with other players. Some people may take advantage of this anonymity to target children.
- Netsmartz Gaming (Parent tips, discussion starters and online gaming benefits and risks)
- Video – Netsmartz Gaming – Teens Talk Back
- Microsoft Online Gaming – Help Kids Play it Safe
- Childnet Parent Guide – Online Gaming – An Introduction for Parents
- Common Sense Media – Could my kid be addicted to video games?
- Common Sense Media Game Reviews (Comprehensive reviews and ratings of popular games)
- Stop. Think. Connect – Online Gaming Resources/Tips for Parents
Parent Tips for Online Gaming – (Source: Childnet.com)
- It may seem daunting, but one of the best things parents can do is to engage with the gaming environment and begin to understand what makes it is so attractive to children as well as the types of activities that they enjoy.
- Talk with your child/children about the types of game(s) they are playing. Are they role-playing games, sports games, strategy games or first person shooters? If you’re not sure what they are, ask them to show you how they play and have a go yourself.
- Some games may offer children the chance to chat with other players by voice and text. Ask your children who they are playing with and find out if they are talking to other players. If chat is available, look at the type of language that is used by other players.
- Netflix – How to Set Parental Controls on Netflix – Common Sense Media
- Hulu – Kids Profiles and Parental Controls on Hulu
- Disney+ – Parental Controls on Disney+
- Amazon Services – Parental Controls
- Amazon Echo – How to Set Parental Controls on the Amazon Echo – Common Sense Media
- Parents’ Ultimate Guide to YouTube Kids – Common Sense Media
- YouTube – Parent Resources
- Parental controls and settings – YouTube