Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Homeschool Review: Accountable2You #hsreviews #internetaccountability #internetsafety

We live in a fallen world-gone-mad and families are constantly bombarded with perils that seek to kill and destroy.  Technology has made life "easy" but has also made it too easy.  For way too many hours a day, we hold in our hands powerful tools that can be used for personal/family enrichment or personal/family destruction.  Our children need us to help them guard their hearts and walk in purity.  Our families need us to circle the wagons and protect.  Many times, we need a little extra boost to walk steadfastly in the LIGHT and Accountable2You seeks to help us do just that.  The Family Plan is an easy way to see what is going on in the lives of your children as they learn to use technology wisely.

Accountability across all your devices {Accountable2You}

Accountable2You is an online program that offers to help you help your family through the use of technological monitoring and an accountability covenant.  It offers a way to "circle the wagons" and hold the hearts of your dear ones intact.   In a world that makes everything look good and screams the message that "anything is acceptable," it is perfect and fitting to remember that limitations are good and protect us from the snares of evil.

This sounds great, but how does it work?  Accountable2You allows you the ability to monitor supported technological devices (computers, smart phones, tablets, and iPads) and their usage through a software or app installation.   You choose the who, what, where, and when and assign accountability partners for those you want to monitor.  This can be individuals (maybe husbands and wives), families (multiple users with up to 20 devices being monitored at a time), groups (such as a ministry area at church or homeschool group), or even small businesses -- anyone who has access to the world via the internet.  Key words and sites can be tagged as inappropriate or objectionable, GPS locations can be tracked, and time limits can be set in place to assure that your precious ones are safe as they research and function in the day-to-day. For example, if a specific monitored device looks up tagged words or visits sites with questionable content, you are alerted via email or text.
Accountability across all your devices {Accountable2You}

In my opinion, it is important to note that Accountable2You offers a MONITORING tool for you to use with your family.  It monitors, but does not filter.  This is super important to me.  I serve as Middle School Minister at my church and have had trouble using programs over the years that would block Bible study websites and resources due to the filtering of simple concepts that middle schoolers need to discuss.  And while Accountable2You does not filter, it does not give free reign either.  When questionable things are researched, reports are either emailed or texted to the accountability partner you have chosen to help you do life more abundantly.  Did you catch that?  Within FIVE minutes of a monitored device taking part in objectionable activity, your accountability partner will receive a text that gives the time a possible temptation arose and a general description of what that activity might be.  They can begin praying for you immediately.  I love this.

I don't know about you, but as for me and my house the simple truth is that temptations arise.  One of the biggest struggles we face is knowing when to unplug.  From rising to resting, someone is constantly engaged in their phone or on their computer.  So much so that my children don't believe they can do life without their devices and we have to insist that folks share time face to face without the eery blue glow of a screen.   A recent glitch caused my daughter's phone to shut down and her heart was broken.  She cried over the fact that she couldn't update her "story" and was beside herself until the MainMost was able to fix it.  What a wake-up call for this momma!  At the same time, I have a child who spends hours online gaming.  It is not uncommon for my husband or I to insist that that child turns the computer off and goes to bed.

Accountability across all your devices {Accountable2You}
Because of this, I think my favorite feature of the entire program is the Time Limit Alert that allows us to set usage parameters for each device.  Although Accountable2You doesn't filter and prevent usage during certain times, we can require maturity and self-discipline from our children by determining when they will not be on their devices and expecting them to be obedient in our requests.  If they are tempted to "forget" about time limits, then they know that we will be notified.  In a world of crazy, I want to teach my children that they can self-monitor and avoid consequences.  I firmly believe that this will help to prepare them for life on their own.

Accountable2You offers several options designed to help you keep your family safe on the internet as we become more and more dependent upon technology.  For more information on how you can best utilize this program, please visit the following Social Media sites:

Crew Disclaimer

I was given the opportunity to review the Accountable2You Family Plan as a member of the Homeschool Review Crew.   You can check out the Crew Review and see what other members of the Homeschool Review Crew thought of this and other puzzles as well (or just click on the banner below.)

Accountability across all your devices {Accountable2You}
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