Cell Phone Plans for Kids this Back to School Season?
I feel like the kids just got out of school for summer vacation and now they’re headed back next week. I know a lot of the country is already back in session from my social media feeds.
With all the back to school shopping is a cell phone on your list? I know a lot of parents have or are thinking about getting a smart phone for their child.
The combination of powerful, easy-to-use mobile devices and tablets along with a reliable network such as U.S. Cellular’s high-quality network with nationwide coverage gives kids access to information for school and parents peace of mind.
The learning experience for students is evolving as more schools are opting for electronic textbooks and adopting technology like tablets and smartphones as learning tools. That means wireless devices like iPads make it easier to get homework assignments, stay on top of studies and get input from school administrators and teachers.
U.S. Cellular’s high-speed network connects these students and teachers to all the information they need to excel in school, even if they are not in the classroom. There’s an uptick in inquiries about data usage, family plans and new devices at this time of year as students prepare to enter classes where they can bring their own device or use tablets rather than books.
The beginning of the school year is when many children get their first cellphone. Many parents want their students to have a phone because of after school activities, team practices or they’re home alone until a parent gets home from work.
U.S. Cellular associates can offer families tips on choosing the right cellphones, tablets and data plans.
In a recent U.S. Cellular survey, respondents said the average age of children getting their own cellphone from a parent is 11, whereas five years ago this age was 14. That same survey showed that safety was the primary reason. The appropriate time varies from family to family, and parents can be challenged with how best to introduce their child to their first phone.
How parents can ensure this transition goes smoothly:
A mobile phone serves many essential purposes in our daily lives. It can strengthen relationships between children and their parents and can also create a lot of family fun. But getting a child their first cellphone comes with responsibility. It’s helpful to establish parameters, and the key is making sure both parents and children see eye-to-eye on how the devices are used.
To make this process as easy as possible for both parents and kids, U.S. Cellular recommends that families work together on guidelines for cellphone usage to ensure that children are using their phones responsibly, courteously and safely. That’s why U.S. Cellular created the Parent-Child Agreement. It provides customizable suggestions on safety and etiquette and shows how technology can enhance time spent together as a family. It is designed so that each family can choose the guidelines that fit their specific needs.
According to our recent survey, 72 percent of parents surveyed do have rules about their kids’ cellphone use.
Tips parents can use when introducing their child to their first cellphone:
Take the time to set up your child’s phone to ensure they only have access to phone features and apps that are appropriate for their age. There are apps available that help parents monitor their child’s mobile web usage and allow parents to block certain websites and restrict the downloading of applications.
Back to school means more teenage drivers on the road. Here are some tips about cellphone usage for young drivers:
There will be new teenage drivers on the road with the start of the new school year. Even with the most responsible teens, it’s a major milestone. Parents can set up cellphone guidelines for their teen using U.S. Cellular’s Parent-Child Agreement. While accessories such as Bluetooth headsets are helpful, it’s important that drivers remain focused on the road and let calls go to voicemail and texts get answered once the car is parked.
Devices parents can use to monitor their teen’s car:
U.S. Cellular’s Vehicle Monitoring System is a device that can be installed in your teen’s car. Parents can use the app on their 4G LTE iPhone 6, Samsung Galaxy S7 or any tablet, to check a vehicle’s location on a map, as well as decipher engine codes to be aware of any mechanical issues. You’ll know where your teenager is at any time of day, and whether the car needs servicing like an oil change.
How wireless technology is being used in the classroom:
Tablets are being used in the classroom in a variety of ways. Access to e-books, learning apps, online educational videos and the Internet can all enhance the learning experience. With reliable mobile access to the Internet on a high-speed network through U.S. Cellular, teachers and students can effectively harness the full capability of this technology…in the classroom, at home, on the bus, between practices or anywhere.
The increased use of digital textbooks means students don’t have to carry so much in their backpacks and they have access to the most up-to-date information.
Thinking of getting your kids a cellphone? Here is a free Parent Child Agreement that really helps start that conversation.