Oakwood Spotlight On Digital

Oakwood Community Network information session

computing in school

  • since 2014 computing in school now about programming as well as just using computers
  • important that children learn to use computing devices as tools to create as well as consume

what is this session about?

two areas prepared:

  • great software to try with your children
  • some tips for managing screen time

time for your questions & some hands-on help

a quick word about safety

The internet is like a city in your living room. Great opportunities and also risks. Would you let your child go into London by themselves? Perhaps if you took them to a place and knew they would stay there. Perhaps if they were older and you knew they were able to look after themselves. But amazing things to do!

so about those exciting things…


iOS & Android:

iOS only:

physical activities:

finding new apps and ideas

and how do you get them to stop?!

built-in parental controls (free)

e.g. age restrictions, require additional PIN for purchases, turn off in-app purchases


play store restrictions: e.g. set age ratings for apps, restrict paid apps with a PIN then switch to that account when your child is using the device


  • Setting up iOS parental controls
    • enable & disable certain features
    • set age ratings for music, podcasts, news, apps, books, etc
    • also volume limit
    • turn off in-app purchases
  • Set up family sharing for a second device
    • can set up Ask to Buy for new apps (works for free apps too)
    • provides location sharing
    • enables creating an Apple ID for kids under 13 (so they’re not using your account)

great feature on iOS: guided access mode — lock into specific app with a time limit

paid-for services for more control

  • several services that let you control a phone or tablet from the web or another device
  • give you a pause button (dinner’s ready now!) and timer options (e.g. 5 hours per week)
  • android versions will provide more fine grained control such as individual control of apps, and reporting time spent in each app
  • one issue with management apps on iOS is that apps on the home screen can be re-ordered when the device is unblocked. ScreenTime has a layout fixer for that

my experience

  • older boy (now 14) got a smart phone when he went to secondary school
  • started with ScreenTime on an android device to enforce schedule
  • when he got an iPhone at 13 we switched to OurPact due to better app behaviour on iOS
  • also because it was less enforcing and more about self control
  • now he has it without a management service, but we still have parental controls & family sharing restrictions so that he has to ask permission to install apps — this allowed us to say no when he wanted to install an app that lets you comment anonymously on other people!
  • also we have location tracking on, so we know where he is!