Chris Burgess bio photo

Chris Burgess

Thinking about future societies, living in the present. Humane web techno-generator for social change orgs. Believes in stories. Dunedin, NZ

Twitter LinkedIn Github Keybase

A few months back I purchased a KoalaSafe off Kickstarter - at the time I didn’t feel a pressing need for it, but the project hit a chord with me and I wanted to support it.

After it arrived I reflected on how we use devices as a family, and decided not to plug it in. Cue forward to a couple of months later (last night) and Saira and I were talking about Minecraft, playing versus watching videos, and how to positively engage kids towards active engagement.

I proposed that instead of prescriptive, negative approach (“get off the device”, “you should be playing not watching”), we should be embracing our kids interests and engaging positively (“show me how to build a snow golem”, “tell me what’s happening here”).

Saira asked me to keep an eye on usage over the weekends (peak times - I’d estimate the boys have about 3H/day screen time on weekends, and about 1H weekdays), and for us to review it after a bit of play. That reminded me that the KoalaSafe recorded usage stats (this device spent this much time on youtube) and that it was pretty much for this purpose.

Also, parents use devices too, and seeing that usage might help us engage our own habits in ways that set good examples for our kids.

So I found the KoalaSafe (which I’d taken to work and stashed), and plugged it in this morning. It’s going OK.

  • Internet seems to be a bit flaky on some devices.
  • Wish I could budget an amount to be consumed.
  • Not sure how to control from laptop!
  • Can I hack on the platform?
  • Can I change the SSID?
  • Shared device - Parent mode

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HUgv5MDF0cQ