Technology is all around us and so are the devices that bring them to our fingertips, from smartphones to computers to the Internet. Many parents treat these as the modern world’s evils but, being a tech company, Google believes these are tools that can also be used for good with the proper guidance. Some parents do think that kids might as well get trained on how to use technology and devices and they can now look to Google’s new Families microsite for advice and tools on how to make tech safe and enjoyable for the whole family.
Google has long had several features, products, and services designed to give parents more control and more options on how their kids interact with devices, apps, and the Internet at large. As with many other Google products and services, those tend to be scattered everywhere and might not be easy to discover. The new families.google website now puts all that information in one place, along with advice for parents on how to wean kids into technology.
Google is also improving its Family Link to ironically allow parents to set certain apps as “always allowed”. These apps won’t eat into kids’ screen time allocation and can be used even when that limit is reached. The idea is that kids will be encouraged to use these apps more than others, especially those apps for remote learning.
Family Link will also surface Google Play apps that are teacher-approved for kids under 13 years of age. The app will now also show each registered device’s battery levels so that parents will be aware if their kid’s tablet is running low. Parents will also be able to set limits directly on the child’s device rather than having to do it from the parent’s phone.
Google also partnered with Headspace to use technology to keep kids away from technology, at least for a few moments. Over the next month, a new Headspace Breathers series will be available on YouTube to let parents and kids enjoy some mindfulness time together.