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Using phone for school lessons

(31 Posts)
BertBox Fri 09-Oct-20 13:40:52

I don’t know if me feeling weird about this, or if it’s normal. My daughter’s just started year 7, and like many others has a new phone. She only gets £6 a month credit on it, and I’ve locked it down pretty tightly, as she went a bit silly to start with and used her credit too quickly, and spent ages playing games on it. No big deal, and I kind of expected it. I only let her have 10 minutes of internet time a day on it, but she can use a laptop at home if she needs to.

Anyway, twice now I’ve received messages from her at school, in class time, asking if she can have internet access, as they’re on ‘Kahoot’, which is some fun online learning platform.

As they’re not supposed to even have their phones out at school, isn’t this’s a bit off? I presume they’re not given a WiFi password, so it’ll all be off her internet allowance, and I’m presuming not all the class will be able to participate. Her form tutor (it was in tutor time at the beginning of the day) is brand new to teaching, and I’ve not even spoken to her yet, and hate making a fuss...

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LemonBreeland Fri 09-Oct-20 13:43:55

Our DC use Kahoot at school, but they have school issued iPads. I would expect if school are allowing them to use their phones they should be giving them a wifi password.

Separate to that I think you are being way too strict on her phone usage. You would also be much better getting her a cheap contract so she has a decent amount of data, and can make calls etc.

BertBox Fri 09-Oct-20 13:54:51

I know ten minutes was a bit stingy - I’ve put it up now, but she’s only just eleven, with her first phone, and there’s no need for her to have unlimited internet access yet. As I said, she’s got a laptop at home if she needs it, and she can still message her friends, play games etc. She gets a £6 a month goody bag, which gives her unlimited texts and calls. That’s enough at her age.

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RedskyAtnight Fri 09-Oct-20 13:58:02

My DC use their phones a lot at school to support learning in class. The school will not give out WiFi passwords (imagine how this would be abused!) but they may give them access to advice.

My DC have £5 credit a month and it's very rarely not lasted them (though they do use WiFi at home). So you might want to check if you can swap to a better PAYG deal (we are with 3) or a contract if you'd don't have WiFI at home.

10 minutes of internet time is extremely stingy!! You are aware that a huge amount of socialising/making plans will be via social media? Your daughter will be really be missing out with such a small allowance.

RedskyAtnight Fri 09-Oct-20 13:59:15

She gets a £6 a month goody bag, which gives her unlimited texts and calls. That’s enough at her age.

11 years olds do not typically make texts and calls .... (or only to their parents!).

CallmeIT Fri 09-Oct-20 14:00:23

Pretty standard in my DDs secondary to use kahoot for quizzes in some classes. Hadn’t occurred to me to be concerned about data usage but I don’t have the strict rules you have.

TheFormerPorpentinaScamander Fri 09-Oct-20 14:02:28

There's a difference between allowing phones in school and kids messing around on them, and using them to help enhance learning. Kahoot is great. We use it at home sometimes.
DSs school have made it clear that they will issue 1 time passwords to students who don't have a lot of data for whatever reason.
DS2 has a cheap sim only deal which gives him plenty of data and works out as much better value than PAYG.

greensnail Fri 09-Oct-20 14:04:06

At DD's school they all have iPads and they all use the school WiFi with them. Not allowed to use their phones at school at all.

BertBox Fri 09-Oct-20 14:19:52

It was only the first month she went mad, and we were abroad for some of that, which ate a lot of data - I started the new month’s goody bag (sorry, that’s what giffgaff call it) early for her after that, and like poster above, it’s absolutely plenty. I’ve used giffgafff for years myself, and think it’s great value and really adaptable.

Anyway, I’ve now learnt phone usage in school isn’t as strange as I thought, so thank you for your replies - I’ll up here date if necessary if it’s a regular thing. I’ll admit I can be a bit strict, but I’ve learned it’s better to start that way and relax as time goes on, rather than the other way round. I’ve just watched ‘The Social Dilemma’ with her, and we’re both trying to lay off the internet/phones a bit! (Not too successfully, obvs)

She absolutely does send texts to her friends - they have a messenger group set up that five or six of them chat on. She’s not getting WhatsApp or TikTok, and I don’t care how draconian that makes me.

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knackeredmumoftwo Fri 09-Oct-20 14:21:03

Most teenagers message through WhatsApp which needs internet access and then other social media platforms - Instagram, Snap Chat etc

No one really texts - and you can't do cross android / iPhone group chats with text.

canigooutyet Fri 09-Oct-20 14:27:13

Mobile Apps you have to find a balance.
Far too many parents put on draconian rules only to find out that their child has a secret phone/secret accounts.

BertBox Fri 09-Oct-20 14:31:42

Honestly, her and her friends have only had their phones a matter of months, and it’s not registered with them that they want these yet. They all have iPhones and manage to chat just fine.

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BertBox Fri 09-Oct-20 14:34:31

Sorry, forgot to say, yes, she’s on WiFi at home. Maybe she’s a very young eleven, but we’re nowhere near secret phones yet!

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Terrace58 Fri 09-Oct-20 14:35:19

Phones are regularly used at DD’s school during class. I actually had to start letting her take her phone to school because apparently I was one of only a few parents who had not been allowing it to be carried during the school day (I checked with the school on this, didn’t just trust dd). It’s an incredibly wealthy school though so unlimited smartphone plans for children are pretty much standard. The school also provides a laptop for every student, but phones are easier for some activities.

BernadetteRostankowskiWolowitz Fri 09-Oct-20 14:36:26

No Tiktok - fine.

No whatsapp? Doesn't everybody use whatsapp?

BertBox Fri 09-Oct-20 14:41:37

I’ve heard loads about kids being bullied over WhatsApp, and her primary school had an internet safety talk where they really strongly advised against it. The age limit is 16. Saying that, I’d consider it if she asked, and her friends we’re on it, and if I did feel she was missing out, but it’s not come up yet.

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Malmontar Fri 09-Oct-20 14:53:05

I don't think you're Draconian. DD is in Y8 and we've scaled back. She got WhatsApp and it was a nightmare in Y7. Seems to have stopped now. Regret getting tiktok completely. She got so addicted and stopped doing art and stop motion which she loved before.
She now has an hour for both her iPad and phone a day. I've kept apps like art and camera without restrictions. Completely different child. She has unlimited access to her own laptop and she's been completely fine with it. So I'm sure it's just social media not the actual internet that horrible.

She goes to a super strict school and there is absolutely no kahoot on phones. They do it on school Chromebooks if they do do it.

RedskyAtnight Fri 09-Oct-20 15:02:39

I'm not sure why she is less likely to be bullied on a messenger chat group than on WhatsApp? But fair, enough if none of her friends are using it, then she's not missing anything. You should be prepared for when they do start using it and/or Snapchat and/or Instagram though.

BertBox Fri 09-Oct-20 15:23:07

I'm not sure WhatsApp is any different - bullies will find a way whatever I suppose. As far as I remember, I think WhatsApp was a particular problem because everyone in the group gets everyone's phone number from it.

I remember when Instagram used to be all about the photography. Sigh.

Anyway, she's just texted that they'll be doing kahoots every Friday, using their own data, and can she go and see her friend's guinea pigs.

Thanks all.

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therealdonaldduck Fri 09-Oct-20 15:37:45

DS uses his phone in school a lot, both in class (Kahoot but lots of other things too) and also between classes (all timetable and homework info is on an app, plus he gets in early so messes about on his phone before registration). I allow WA but no other social media or Tiktok (he's Y8). I monitor his WA account regularly. All the kids can access the school WiFi so data isn't a problem.

Malmontar Fri 09-Oct-20 15:39:12

Bullies will find a way but these kids make huuuge whatsapp groups and it gets very intense in them. There is a lot of cussing each other and useless chat. One of my DDs groups had over 250 kids in it. Highly unlikely they all know each other.

Passthecake30 Fri 09-Oct-20 15:44:13

My son uses his phone for kahoot, his timetable and to access his homework. The school supplies the WiFi password, and I pay £8 a month for about 4gb of data (I think). He uses his phone to talk to his mates while gaming on his switch and his iPad, and also for playing games at break time with a group of his friends. He knows that he’s to come off at electronics at 7.30pm. I couldn't realistically expect him to use his phone as little as you state. He’s in yr8.

RedskyAtnight Fri 09-Oct-20 15:46:48


Bullies will find a way but these kids make huuuge whatsapp groups and it gets very intense in them. There is a lot of cussing each other and useless chat. One of my DDs groups had over 250 kids in it. Highly unlikely they all know each other.

Basic internet safety rule at this age should be that you are not in a chat/whatsapp/whatever group with someone that you don't actually know in real life. I sat with my DC and made them explain to me who everyone was. But agree there is a lot of useless chat, particularly in Year 7, where it is all such a novelty!

Malmontar Fri 09-Oct-20 15:56:05

@redskyatnight of course, me and you know that. You would be surprised how many 11 hear olds have complete free reign on their phone with no internet restrictions. You can educate as much as you like but there are just certain things 11 year old brains are not ready to process. It is often seen as uncool to not join these groups and there is immense peer pressure to fit in. I know for a fact my DD is the only one out of 3 of her close friends that has random phone checks and only one other has phone restrictions where internet cuts off at 11:30pm. I think that's a bit crazy given they're only 12.
I'm not even that old, I had internet growing up and we used a lot of it at school. I think schools have lost the plot asking kids to take phones out for kahoot.

BertBox Fri 09-Oct-20 16:12:28

When I said '10 mins internet time', I meant through safari, so she's not googling everything she thinks of without me there. Though to be honest it'd mostly be Harry Potter. She still has access to all the apps she needs and has asked for, including her homework one, and ways to contact me and stay in touch with her mates. I've hardly given her a brick phone with two calls a day! She's only just eleven, and she's only had it three months. She's fully delighted with what she has, why would I throw the whole lot at her before she's even asked?

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