At last, a sleek touch-screen starter phone made just for kids. The big difference: it can’t access to the Internet. “It’s not that it’s blocked. It really doesn’t exist on the phone,” says Stephen Dalby, founder of Gabb Wireless. “On our cellular network, the only thing you will find will be safe phones for kids.”
Being a dad launched Dalby on his design journey. “I had to get a phone for my son and I just didn’t feel comfortable with the options that were out there.”
As a first step toward a full-fledged smartphone, Gabb Basic has plenty for kids to learn. They can call, text, and use the calendar, alarm and calculator apps. What they can’t do is play video games, use social media, shop in app stores, send picture messages, or group text.
With iPads and Chromebooks now supplanting paper and pencils in many schools, and students using a constellation of apps and programs, a unique digital footprint is being created for each child —one that could follow them for the rest their lives. But if you act now, you can help better protect students and their data.
Until Monday, December 9, the Federal Trade Commission is asking the public what should be added to the Children’s Online Privacy and Protection Act. COPPA “prohibits unfair or deceptive acts or practices in connection with the collection, use, and/or disclosure of personal information from and about children [aged 12 and under] on the Internet,” as the law states.
Many are puzzling over how digital technology can be designed to work more for us than against us. But countless such tools already exist to do that—it’sjust a matter of how we use them. This is a personal example of how individuals orchestrated our public-serving governmental entities and digital creations to improve a community’s quality of life.
On a beautiful day in 1999, a few years after we moved to our newly-built suburban neighborhood near Washington, D.C., I got the urge to walk with my six-year-old son to a nearby park.
This was no ordinary destination, but the serene and meticulously cared-for Meadowlark Botanical Gardens, the only such facility in all of northern Virginia.
Though barely a mile long, the walk itself was tough. We fought through tall grass along winding Beulah Road—surely trespassing on other people’s yards. As we trudged ahead, we noticed a trampled area, replete with the fresh detritus of a car accident.
The mother of a 6-year-old who accessed photos of topless women on his school-issued iPad believes his Austin,Texas school system has not done enough to protect students, so she and other parents are taking legal action.
At a board meeting of the Eanes Independent School District, Meaghan Edwards used the Texas public information act to request terms of service for every website, app, and software product used by district students during the last and next school years.
“If you’re following the rules, these questions will be easy to answer,” Edwards said at the June 16 meeting. Because it was an open forum, board members did not respond with comments.