I love the iPad. Especially when I can palm it off to my daughter at 7am on a Saturday morning to catch a few more moments of shut eye before I have to face the day. However, in the back of my sleep fuddled mind, I’m worrying. What if she stumbles upon a scene from RoboCop (the original) on YouTube? What if she finds Infinity Blade? What if she downloads ‘Lady Chatterly’s Lover’ on iBooks (the horror!).
As anyone will know, unfiltered, unrestricted access to the internet and other features of the iPad is not a good idea for children of a variety of ages. Thankfully, the iPad makes it easy for us, as parents to take the lead in securing the device, whilst still keeping it functional for our children. There is also no need to tinker around under the hood of your router. Continue reading
Do you remember Clippy? He was a chipper guy, who when I first saw him in Windows as a spotty teen I thought “that’s cool, an interactive comic character who will help me use Office 97!”. Clippy was great, and then 2 minutes later I learned how to use Office properly and he quickly became annoying. I suspect his intention was to educate us in a fun and interesting way about Office 97 in those pre-web 2.0 days. Great idea, but we didn’t actually use it in practice.
This is how I feel about Tocomail. Great idea that works, but it fills a niche that probably doesn’t need to be filled. Tocomail is an interesting concept. It’s positioned as an app with e-safety at it’s heart by providing a controlled environment for children from the age of 5 to have their own email account. Signing up for a Tocomail account will give you as a parent the ability to set up an email account for your children. You can populate the address book with safe contacts, for example your family and friends, and your children can email these people from directly within the app.
The way the app is set up means that your child can only email these contacts and no one else. Likewise, only the people on the contacts list can email the child’s Tocomail account. If an email comes from an address not on the contact list then the email is put into a catch all account which the parent can log on and inspect, rather than going to the child’s inbox. Setup is easy enough. You as a parent have to create an account with Tocomail, and then you can create an email address for your child (ending in @tocomail.com). You can set up multiple accounts for different children in the same app and switch between them. You then have two user interface options, both of which have a couple of differences.