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Old 05-27-2019, 09:16 PM   #1
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Default Laptop for 7 year old

Looking for the CP tech brain trust's thoughts on this.

My son is turning 7 (in grade 1) and they are using computers at school now - learning how to google, have a login/password, do simple google research, etc.

He's shown an interest and I want to encourage it (somewhat - don't want him to turn out like his old man! ) while at the same time ensuring a very filtered, age-appropriate, 7 year old interweb experience (as much as possible, anyways...).

I was thinking about a chromebook or something similar (cheap and disposable if damaged - not using it for games). How are the parental controls on chromebooks? I've never used a chromebook, I assume I can link it to his google profile to set some perma-filtering - any other thoughts?

I 'think' a chromebook would be easier to "lock down" vs. a windows laptop, but I am 7+ years out of date on this sh*t... Funny how that ties to the birth of a kid (losing time to keep up with hobbies, that is).
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Old 05-27-2019, 11:41 PM   #2
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Default Laptop for 7 year old

I think all of the Google tools are available on iPads. I would recommend something like a hand me down iPad, if you have one. Our kids used our old ones for the D2L stuff (or whatever it is now). I like them because you can lock it down pretty good - time limits, all app downloads have to be approved, etc. Not having to worry about wandering down any rabbit holes and inadvertently downloading some malware is probably the biggest thing.

Get one of those cases with the keyboards to make it easier to type if they need to.
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Old 05-28-2019, 06:55 AM   #3
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Chromebooks are awesome and do exactly what you describe. You just have to ensure that your kids Google account and your account are connected as a "family". That way, you can control everything.

Assuming you are in Calgary, you will quickly discover that the Google suite is widely used inside schools.
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Old 05-28-2019, 07:11 AM   #4
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Chrome books for our kids, although they are close to outgrowing them. You can probably get one cheapish at prime days coming up.

They were pretty easy to lock down. More of a pain to manage than apple though, at least for me. I can’t speak to windows.
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Old 05-28-2019, 07:27 AM   #5
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We've been using Chromebooks in our family for years, and love them. The kids got into pc gaming somewhere along the way, so they've been somewhat displaced by gaming pcs. But outside of games, they always did everything they needed. I use one as my primary around the house device. They are such a better experience than Windows PCs for most things.

My kids are 11 and 13. I never went so far as locking any of their devices down. I always thought that educating them about what is appropriate, and what they should and shouldn't be doing online was more important. By the time they are 9 or 10, they'll have friends that will show them how to get around any content filters anyway.
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Old 05-28-2019, 08:43 AM   #6
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My kids (8 and 11) both have Chromebooks, that's what they use at school so it made sense. They've worked out just fine, lets them work on their school projects. I haven't set any specific parental controls though we keep them downstairs where there's always an adult in the room when they're using them. I have set our wi-fi to turn off for kids devices at their bedtime but that's more for their ipods.
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Old 05-28-2019, 12:44 PM   #7
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I usually just resurrect old laptops from work with Ubuntu or what not and let the kids use those for now. Will probably look at Chromebooks once their tablets die so I can replace both with a small cheap laptop. Only downside to the old work laptops is they are on the heavier, bulkier side so not great for travel. The oldest uses Google Classroom quite a bit as well so a decent chromebook is probably the way to go.
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Old 05-28-2019, 12:52 PM   #8
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With the chromebooks relatively new ability to run andriod apps and linux programs, might want to look at getting a chromebook with more storage and a touchscreen.

Storage because those apps and programs don't run off the cloud. And a touchscreen because most android apps are designed for multitouch screens.

But that's only if you want to maximize the android/linux capabilities.

Think I need to pick up a chromebook to play around with.
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Old 05-28-2019, 07:48 PM   #9
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I would look at what the school uses and what ecosystem your already invested in and go that route. I agree that chrome book is probably the best option. I went Mac because our family was already invested into that and the school uses iMacs.
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