Now that schools are becoming more tech savvy, there’s a whole new set of concerns about your child’s online activity so today, as part of a sponsored post for Bing in the Classroom, I’m bringing you tips to ensure your child is safe searching on the internet at home and at school.
As you know, my boy started Kindergarten this year and I didn’t really know what to expect. I mean things have changed since I was in school and now everything is computer-related. I don’t even remember having computers in school until I was in high school and even then, we didn’t have internet. Now my boy comes home and talks about this achievements on his school’s online learning classes and when we went to Library Week all of this Accelerated Reader quizzes were online. It was so weird to see my 6 year old signing on with his username and password to take a quiz and earn more AR points!
You know when I was in school (many, many years ago) we used encyclopedias and libraries for our references. Today, there is the internet that holds way more than any encyclopedia that I ever had. The problem; however, with the internet is that it opens up our world to unsafe situations and I don’t want my child exposed to anything unsafe (as long as I can prevent it).
Here are my tips for ensuring your child is safe searching on the internet:
1. Monitor Internet Usage
My child does not even get near the internet on my laptop, tablet, or phone without me hovering around. Once he was on that video viewing site (you know the one) listening to that silly song about a fox and ended up with some crazy commentary with horrible language and that put a stop to the video viewing right away. While I know I’m probably a little extreme (and over his shoulder 24/7) you just can’t be too careful.
2. Parental Controls
There are lots of software companies who make parental control software for kids and there is even an online TV station for kids now with great parental controls. Hey, we do it on our TVs, why not be extra careful on our computers?
3. Limit Computer Time
The more time kids spend online, the more adventurous they can become. It starts to feel safe and kids get bored and curious. Limit their time online to just the essentials and a small amount of fun time and you’ll keep them safe. They need to know how to use computers and search the internet, but they don’t need to be online all the time.
4. Know Your Child’s School Programs
The first time Benjamin came home and said he was online with this particular learning website, Howard and I did a little research on it just to be sure we agreed with the teachings. You know, we trust our kids will learn from their teachers, but I never dreamed he would be learning directly from an online “game” website. Once we were sure we approved, we actually subscribed to the site at home so Benjamin can expand his mind at home as well.
5. Talk to Your School about Bing in the Classroom
I recently learned about Bing in the Classroom and I’m really impressed. Bing has developed an #adfreesearch that is tailored specifically for schools and the school’s network.
Bing in the Classroom removes ads and blocks searches from being used for personalized advertising for all Bing searches done through the school’s network. Bing is the only major search engine to provide a search offering tailored specifically for the classroom. And I couldn’t be happier about it!
(It is important to note that all searches performed with Bing in the Classroom will be ad free, however, websites discovered and visited via search will still provide ads. Students will not be served ads in the Bing experience.)
Knowing that my child is searching safely really puts my mind at ease.
Give Back with Bing Rewards
By signing up for the Bing Rewards program, and searching with Bing, you can earn credits towards Surface tablets for the school of your choice. You can search for any school using the ZIP code and you can also find out if your school is registered for the search enhancements and be at ease that your kids are receiving an ad-free and safer search experience.
To begin supporting schools with Bing rewards, visit the Bing Rewards page and click on the “Find your school” map in the lower right corner of the page. Enter your school’s zip code and select the name of your school in the drop down menu.
Then select the “Support Your School” section and click on the “Try it now, FREE!” section. You’ll be prompted to create a Microsoft account or to sign in with your Facebook account. Then as long as you’re signed in as you search with Bing, you’ll earn credits!