Online learning is the “new normal” these days thanks to the coronavirus pandemic.  

And parents are quickly learning that it’s difficult to keep their students engaged with virtual school lessons. (Fortnite on the sly, anyone? Snapchat under the kitchen table?)  

Luckily, an array of inexpensive apps can manage those distracting sites, helping kids stay focused and get that schoolwork done.  

Check out the best of the bunch:  

  • Kid-friendly unGlue links with a parent’s app to record and limit screen time spent on including videos, games and social media. Parents allot a daily amount of time for “entertainment.” Then, kids view how much time they get and earn more by completing preset chores. And if those homework assignments don’t get done? Parents can turn off internet access completely via the app.
  • Other oh-so-clever blocking apps include Screentime, which allows parents to preset blocked times for school work time and Qustudio that tracks calls and texts (for Androids only). Another of our favorites: Norton Family. Its personal information protection (for Windows devices) blocks kids from disclosing sensitive information.
  • Older students come with their own unique online challenges. We’ve got a fun way to get them motivated. Forest features a picture of a tree, which grows the longer a student stays on task. Hard work pays off with the growth of a lush forest. But if they jump onto TikTok/YouTube/whatever? The tree is in virtual trouble, shriveling and losing leaves.
  • While tons of apps can help limit screen time, others teach kids how to be productive and manage their time. One of our favorites for preschoolers and early elementary students is the award-winning Choiceworks app, which helps children master daily routines and understand/control their feelings.
  • With kids online now more than ever, safety is a top priority. Zift offers a ton of parental controls, including real-time reports about online searches and newly installed apps as well as alerts when inappropriate content is viewed. And instead of just blocking questionable content, Zift’s award-winning filter determines if content is kid-friendly in real time.

With these helpful tools, combined with fast and reliable Internet from Medina Fiber, you’ll be able to keep your kids focused on learning while at home in Medina County, Ohio.