Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Accountable2You (Homeschool Review Crew)

It’s a different world, baby. When I was my son’s age (nearly 15) my biggest tie to the wide world of technology was the cobalt blue phone I had in my bedroom. I, of course, did not have my own line. I had a strict “no calls after 9:00pm” rule and my parents reserved the option to pick up the phone and tell me to get off at any time.  Life has changed. We have 2 computers, 3 Kindles and a couple of cell phones. Josiah, at this point, does not have a cell phone, but does enjoy access to his Kindle and a computer. I am well aware of all the issues that can come up with a boy (or girl) and technology. I recently had the chance to review the Individual Plan from Accountable2You.  

Internet safety is a concern for all parents. Accountable2You is not a program that blocks sites. It is an accountability software program.   I was able to download it onto Josiah’s Kindle. I set myself up as his accountable partner. As an accountable partner I get a report of his daily activity on his Kindle.  

Accountable2You can work with a variety of devices and is even available for families or businesses.

The Individual Plan – This plan is for one person. You can use up to 6 devices with this plan.

The Family Plan – This one is for the whole family. Up to 20 devices (computers, cell phones, tablets) can be used with this plan. 

The Group Plan – This plan is intended for a group with members that aren’t related.  

The Small Business Plan – A plan for businesses whose employees have online access.

As I am the account holder for the program, I am able to set up certain words or phrases that will let me know if Josiah goes to a site that any of those words are used. There is also a GPS locator option.

How We Used It and My Thoughts

My husband and I have always tried to instill into Josiah the importance of self-control and discernment. We want him to be able to learn to manage his technology in a responsible and healthy way.  I want him to be able to navigate his world and take advantage of all the fun things the internet has to offer.

I also want to have honest conversations with him about his choices.  This is why the idea of an accountability program, rather than filtering software appeals to me.

As I mentioned before, I downloaded the app to Josiah’s Kindle. The beauty of this program is that for us homeschoolers not only do we have the option to monitor any questionable activity, but we can monitor uses that might  not include during schoolwork during school time.

I have opted to receive daily emails.  These are called Activity Reports and I can see what sites Josiah has been to and even the times he’s used his Kindle.

This picture shows me the report for the past week. It gives me the total number of records and shows any questionable activity. 

This picture shows the activity for the Kindle. Josiah was a busy little browser from 9-12 last night!

 When I checked the details of this particular report it showed me that Josiah's looked up the bios of a few actors from Walker, Texas Ranger. He also watched a few football game clips and looked up a few football players.  He spent a good portion of time on youtube watching the Jesus Freak video courtesy of DC Talk. 

This is one of the most practical and helpful products I have reviewed. I honestly didn't tell Josiah I was monitoring his tech activity for a few days. While I hoped he was making wise choices, I know that certain things can be tempting for young men. I was able to tell him that I was proud of the discernment he was using....but also made sure to tell him that as his accountability partner I would be receiving a daily report. 

You can see how larger families used it by clicking the banner below. You can connect with Accountable2You via the following social media outlets. 

Accountability across all your devices {Accountable2You}

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