Do you have a teen about to head out to college? If you do (as do I) you’ve got loads on your mind about helping them pick a school, consider different majors, maybe even discuss possible career options.And then there's the daunting worry about paying for college which has never been more expensive! There are loads of little details to settle and just one is making sure they are set up with a safe, functional computer. If your teen is like mine, they just aren’t very good at maintaining security software, running the update service for the operating system and other important programs and I’d bet they’ve never backed the computer up.
Possibly you’re in the habit of occasionally dropping by their room to do a little computer maintenance when the opportunity arises. Since teens usually sleep until noon on the weekends, I find mornings work out pretty well. If that describes your home, what are you planning to do when they are miles away and you can’t saunter over, morning coffee in hand, to see if there are any red flags in the tool bar?
Yeah, I thought so. Just isn’t priority one is it?
If so, you are just the person Norton One is designed for. Set it up on your family’s computers (all of them) and whether PC or Mac, you can remotely check in. Make sure the computer’s security is up to date. You’ll still need to nag your college kid about backing up, especially while working on term papers. Give them some cloud-based storage space with your Norton One subscription – you can add if you need more.
Colleges have all got wifi throughout the campus and Ethernet cables in the dorms. There’s no student who isn’t online 24/7. Studies on media consumption show that today’s youth love to play music, chat online, and surf the web while studying. On my recent visit to an 8th grade classroom, nearly 80% of the kids admitted they “multi-task” while doing school work. It’s too bad really, since numerous studies on multi-tasking show there’s no real benefit. Performance declines as you add distractions to the soup.
A friend of mine recently took her daughter on the college tour. While visiting classrooms, she became aware of how many kids were viewing their social networks on their laptops instead of taking notes. Her concern was that parents are out there sacrificing and borrowing money to pay for their children’s education, so the least these students could do is pay attention in class. I’d suggest the other worry is that when kids fail to recognize the harm of multi-tasking while at college, they waste the opportunity to really engage in the material. And the professors notice, they do know who is fully participating in the classroom and who is just chair filling. When it’s time to seek internships or network for employment, I have to imagine the professor selects from those who make that connection and demonstrate their commitment.
I don’t have a technology solution to this problem. College is no longer the time for filters or time limits for your child. They’ve got to take your parental teaching and their own good sense and apply them in the real world, the real world of incredibly expensive $50,000 a year colleges and incredibly high post-college unemployment. Not to lay on the guilt or anything but would it kill you guys to pay attention in class?