Parental Power with Our Pact


I am the mom of two heavy technology users (ages 11 and 14). They love surfing the web, playing games, being social, texting friends, and watching videos. They are active boys, but during these summer days, they can become quite lazy and at times they want to do nothing but be on their devices. I take the devices away, hide them, you name it. Until now. Now I hold all the power. Is it bad that I secretly love this? “You want me to give you your apps? Take out the trash, wash the dishes, make your bed, brush your teeth, then I’ll grant you access for 45 minutes.” It’s amazing how all of these daily chores are magically completed if they want to use their device. What’s even better is that I can control their iPad and iPhone ANYWHERE! Let me say that again…anywhere! It’s parental bliss! If I sound somewhat evil, it’s because I totally am! 😜

Here’s the first text I received from my youngest son once he figured out what was going on! I almost wish I would have taken video of the reaction I received from my 14 year old. I think there was a “you’re ruining my life” thrown in there!  It was then that I realized I was doing my job as a mom to find a sustainable way to limit their screen time, especially with social media. However, now they’ve come to terms with this new sheriff in town and they’ve accepted the rules. 

My son’s first encounter with Our Pact 😜

All joking aside, I think this is by far the best parental control of any app that I’ve tried. You can put restrictions on your child’s iOS device, but you can’t limit their time like this. I like the ability to grant or block them from being able to use their devices…anytime, anywhere.

What happens when you block their access?

Well, it’s like magic! All of their purchased apps, including Safari, go away. Only the native iOS apps remain. I’d assume it works the same way on an Android device. You can grant or block them access “until I say so” or for a set amount of time. Additionally, you can set rules for bedtime so that your kid isn’t Snapchatting until 2 AM on a school night! 

Here’s how to set it up:

Download the app onto your phone. Click here for the link to the iOS App Store.

Once you download the app, then create a profile for each of your children, or if they have multiple devices, create a profile for each device.

Then, you go to this address on your child’s device and follow the instructions to install a device profile on their phone. This is what manages the device and allows you to grant or block access. There are some paid features, which I have yet to explore, but I did upgrade so that I can have more access. I’d recommend upgrading because the free subscription only allows for a set number of blocks/grants. The premium features look really great and include blocking specific apps, including text messages. 

Hope Our Pact will be as useful for your family as it has been for mine so far! Happy summer!! 🏖

Digital Citizenship Projects

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Each year I do a large unit on digital citizenship with grades 3-5. I introduce the topics and really have great conversations with my students about this very important theme that is so relevant to our kids. In 5th grade, we dive deeper into social media and the positive and negative effects it has on kids. For this particular project, I let students choose a topic from this list:

  • Digital Citizenship and Identity
  • Privacy and Security
  • Screen Time Management
  • Information Literacy
  • Digital Etiquette and Empathy
  • Cyberbullying Management
  • Digital Footprint
  • Self Image and Reputation
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I love this graphic by @sylviaduckworth

I give students choices to how they will present their information and allow them to be creative and expressive while addressing the topic they choose.

  • Create a PSA
  • 10 Facts About…
  • Create a commercial
  • Author a book on the topic
  • Record a puppet show
  • Create a presentation
  • Create a movie
  • Create a movie trailer

Apps Used

  • iMovie
  • Adobe Spark Video
  • Puppet Pals
  • Keynote and Quicktime
  • 30 Hands
  • Puppet EDU

The overwhelming majority of kids chose to use Adobe Spark Video to create their projects.

Sample Videos from My 5th Grade Classes

Check out Common Sense Media for a wealth of information on digital citizenship, including amazing curricular resources.

 

 

Copyright Free Images for Projects

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I recently helped a teacher who was creating projects with her students using Pic Collage. She was having her students search for pictures in Google Images and had not even thought about copyright laws to model good digital citizenship for her students. Let’s be real…it happens. However, when we know better, we do better! I put together a SMORE, which has great resources for students when searching for images to use in movies, collages, books, etc.

Feel free to distribute this link to other educators who might need a gentle reminder about reinforcing copyright laws. Additionally, it’s important to teach students the domain specific terms when searching for images.

  • Attribution
  • Non-derivative works
  • Share alike
  • Non-commercial

Happy searching!

 

 

 

Digital Citizenship/Internet Safety 5th Grade PSA iMovie Projects

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At my school, Digital Citizenship is just as important as any other subject. I spend a great deal of time talking about this with my students. One of the ways they show their learning at the end of our unit of study is by creating videos in iMovie. Students worked with a partner on this project and each team had a different topic to showcase in the area of Digital Citizenship and Internet Safety. I structured these as more of a Public Service Announcement (PSA) so the students could take on more of a leadership role by teaching other kids the seriousness of each topic.

Websites for research:

RESOURCES for RESEARCH:

Digital Etiquette

Digital Passport

All About Cyber-Safety

Kids Smart

Website Evaluation

Copyright Kids

Safe Kids

Stop Cyber-bullying

Kids Safety Tips

Guide to Copyright and Creative Commons

Common Sense Media

10 Great Tips

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Here are a few of the final results: