Gadget of the Month: Circle

by admin August 28, 2013   Blog

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A couple of days ago I was emailed by the CEO of a kickstarter company called Circle.  I get tons of weird emails from companies, and I almost discarded it.  One statement in the email that caught my attention was, “We believe that it(circle) has the potential to change how families use the internet in their homes!”  This sparked my attention.  I clicked over and to my surprise I was excited to see the product called Circle.  It’s a product that helps monitor your homes wifi.  It looks amazing.

Here is what it is: 

Circle is a brilliant product that manages how we use the Internet, every day.

WHAT DOES CIRCLE DO?

SMART FILTER: Ensure only age/user-appropriate content reaches your kids by setting individual filtering levels by category for each device on your network.

TIME MANAGEMENT: Circle can manage online usage by allowing timed access based on by category (i.e., social media sites, gaming, videos…etc) or by specific site.
INFORM & NOTIFY: See at a glance the amount of time your kids spend on certain sites or categories of sites.  Set customizable notification schedules for both positive and negative Internet activity on the devices in your home from your app.
PAUSE MODE:  Temporarily restrict Internet access to every device on your network. Pause Mode can be set manually at any time (i.e., dinner at 5pm).
BEDTIME MODE: Set downtime for individual devices on your network (i.e., son’s iPad downtime from 10pm to 7am) where Internet access is disabled.
SAFE MODE: Safe mode automatically recognizes, and adjusts filtering settings, to Internet activity of children under 5 years old, who often use an adult’s device for games and other activities online. Adults can easily unlock Safe Mode when they resume using the device.
AD BLOCKING: Toggle off web advertisements so they don’t show on any of your devices or just those your kids use.
MANAGE: Manage Circle using a brilliantly simple, user-friendly app for iOS.
SIMPLIFY: Simple setup in your home with one login. Circle remains active even when unplugged.

Circle enables you to examine your household’s Internet habits by providing tools to improve your online experience.

Safe Mode filter screen
Why this is important for you and your church.  
1. It changes the control.  Right now I know tons of families who don’t have any settings on their wifi at home.  Teens can access anything at anytime.  With these controls you can lock them out at certain times.  You can set up a digital bedtime, and pause the wifi at breakfast, lunch and dinner.  This device helps the parent get back control at home of the digital lives that live under the roof.    
2. Easy to use.  It looks simple to set up, and is adaptable for different people at different ages.  Check out the video over at Circle‘s website.  With an app, you can change the settings daily, weekly, or whenever.  It looks really simple, and clean to use.  
3. It develops a conversation.  Parents can see what their kids are watching, downloading, and doing online.  It might be alarming at first, but at least there will be a conversation started.  We need to develop tools for parents in a digital world.  I think we are way behind, and this tool helps.  
What do you think?  Would this be helpful to you as a parent?  

 


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