Thank you to U.S. Cellular for allowing me to be a member of their Blogger Brigade. All opinions are 100% my own. Take a look at this Parent-Child Agreement if you’re looking to set some ground rules for cellular use within your family.
My son goes back to school next Monday. He’ll be starting his Freshman year in high school…High School people!!! I consider myself to be pretty current on technology, but it’s absolutely unreal how much things have changed since I was in high school. We have Freshman orientation later this week and one of the things on the agenda is the schools policy on tablets because each student is issued their own device. That’s how they access their textbooks and other learning resources as well as complete a lot of their homework. Gone are the days of ginormous text books – now it’s all on one little mobile device. Can you imagine just having to tote around your Samsung Galaxy Tab instead of six different 20 pound books?! (I’m sure the backs of all our children are thanking the school district for this decision!) What that means for parents though is that we also have to be somewhat up to speed on current devices and applications as well and there are quite a few out there.
I think overall though, it’s a good thing. The combination of powerful, easy-to-use mobile devices and tablets along with a reliable network such as U.S. Cellular’s high-quality network with nationwide coverage gives kids access to information that they need for school and if used property, it can also give parents peace of mind. Living in a rural community I definitely feel more at ease with my son being home or even hanging out with his friends when I know contact is just a text or phone call away – for either one of us. The learning experience for students is evolving as more schools, like ours, are opting for electronic textbooks and adopting technology like tablets and smartphones as learning tools and I personally think that there are a lot of benefits to that like making it easier to get homework assignments, stay on top of studies and get input from school administrators and teachers. I’m all for anything that helps me keep better tabs on my kiddo.
Networks like U.S. Cellular’s high-speed network can also connect these students and teachers to all the information they need to excel in school, even if they are not in the classroom. I mean how many times has your child come home and realized they forgot the paper they needed to get their homework done — all the time over here!! Now, that won’t be a legitimate excuse and I think that’s great. My biggest concern as a parent is making sure I can help this transition for my kiddo and this new way of doing things goes as smoothly as possible.
Just like when we got him his first cell phone, we want this to be viewed as a positive change, but we also want to reinforce responsibility for this new device. I think it’s helpful to establish parameters, and the key is making sure both parents and children see eye-to-eye on how the devices are to be used and what is not acceptable. To make this process as easy as possible for both parents and kids, U.S. Cellular recommends that families work together on guidelines for mobile device usage to ensure that children are using their phones and tablets responsibly, courteously and safely. The U.S. Cellular created the Parent-Child Agreement is an amazing tool to help get that conversation started. It provides customization suggestions on safety and etiquette and shows how technology can enhance time spent together as a family. It is designed so that each family can choose the guidelines that fit their specific needs which is important because there’s no one size fits all when it comes to family dynamics.
If your child is receiving their first device as they head back to school this year, make sure to 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 which really helps set your mind at ease as everyone adjusts to this new parent-child-device relationship.
If you’re an extra lucky mom or pop this year, you just might have a new teenage drivers on the road with the start of the new school year. (Thank goodness I’ve still got another year or so to go before that happens…I just don’t think I could take all the excitement at one time!) Even with the most responsible teens, driving and the freedom that comes with it, it’s a major milestone,but parent’s U.S. Cellular is thinking about you too and that Parent-Child Agreement that I mentioned earlier, works great as a responsibility contract between you and our teen! If that’s not quite enough though to put your mind at ease, you might want to take a look at U.S. Cellular’s Vehicle Monitoring System , a device that can be installed in your teen’s car and allows parents to 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.
See…technology isn’t bad at all! How will you be using technology to get your family back to school this fall? Let me know in the comments below and thanks for reading!