Back to School Wireless Workshop

Parents helping kids use their smartphones safely.

By Gretchen LeJeune-Whitaker on August 12, 2013

Kids heading back to school in the coming weeks will have more than new pencils and notebooks in their backpacks. Many will have new wireless devices, too. But while many parents rely on smartphones to stay in touch with children and consider them a safety measure, other parents still have concerns about losing control over how their children spend their time online.

To help parents answer their questions, there are a number of free Verizon Wireless Workshops available online and in stores. The workshops address a myriad of topics ranging from setting usage limits to downloading apps and setting up your device.

Here are a few additional tips to help parents learn more about wireless technology and how their children are using it before the upcoming school year.

A service such as Verizon FamilyBase helps parents stay on top of their children's smartphone use. Through FamilyBase, parents can monitor calling, texting, and app purchases and usage, set time restrictions (to disable the phone during school hours, for example), review contact lists and set trusted contacts. FamilyBase also allows parents to remotely lock a phone on demand. 

For parents of younger children, content filters are an important tool to ensure a positive online experience.With Verizon's Content Filters, parents set restrictions like Children 7+, Teens 13+ and Young Adults 17+ for videos and websites to make sure their child only sees age-appropriate material.

Smartphone tools, such as GPS services, also provide peace of mind for parents who have first-day jitters about their child’s walk to or from school. GPS tracking apps like Google Map GPS Tracker or Lookout ensure that their kids are where they say they are.

Once the school year begins, homework won’t be far behind. Fortunately there are a number of apps that provide homework help on just about any subject. A great place to start is Common Sense Media’s favorite Homework Help apps for kids. These mobile apps keep reference materials at kids’ fingertips and present topics in a visually appealing or interactive way.

Click here to find a Verizon Wireless Workshop near your home. Workshops are broken down by operating system (Android, Apple, BlackBerry or Windows), so you can get just the help you need.