MCA Family Tips:
In addition to Whole-House Controls (and phone controls) like Circle (see here for a prior article and help) many families are facing the difficult challenge of giving access to the burgeoning Social Media tools and Apps to their children. In addition to just trying to keep children safe, many families are trying to find the balance of training though access as well-- you want your children to learn how to use the tools correctly but access to them can often feel like a dive into new terms and communication vehicles that are completely foreign! There are "new" ways to communicate on phones, watches(!) and computers every day. It is wise to employ as many layers of tools to help navigate these options. MCA uses and recommends for our families a useful tool to help monitor and teach children about Social Media and Digital communications: It is called "Bark."
From Bark's Website:
The internet safety solution that parents trust and children like, Bark is an easy-to-use, smart tool that parents can use to help protect their children online. Bark alerts parents when it detects potential threats or signs of danger, such as:
Bark is a common-sense tool that can augment a parent's efforts to protect their children online. Parents trust Bark because it uses advanced technologies to alert them to potential online dangers without them reading through all of their child's online activities, preserving their valuable time (and sanity). Children like Bark because they are free to continue their daily digital lives without their parents constantly peering over their shoulders.
The best part? The price to use Bark is normally about $100 but since MCA uses Bark for our school communications (inside out network) you are able to receive a 25% discount if you sign up from within the Bark Service we offer our families! (All MCA parents are invited by email to opt-in to receiving parent notifications for their students from Bark for in-school communication monitoring.) If you are an MCA parent/guardian, check your MCA email for your invitation and be sure to use that free tool and see if you think Bark can help your own family more! You may also download and use the Bark App on most common app platforms!