acWhat it is
iMacs & Macbooks have become household names, and by taking the education world by storm, Apple has established themselves as the must-have computer of the next generation. Over the years, Apple computers have truly evolved with rise of demands in our day to day lives.

Chances are, your kids’ computer labs at school are exclusively Apple, and chances are equally likely that they figured out the basics of it by about second grade.


What it does
Let’s say you’re ready to buy your child a computer to help them with their homework. If you’re considering a Mac, it’s probably a safe bet. In areas like durability, dependability, and holding value, Apple is at the top, and whether you choose a desktop or laptop, other than a few minor features, they’re very much the same computer.

Like any computer, you’ll be able to use the internet, video chat with friends, download apps and programs… really pretty much anything. With Apple’s App Store available on their computers now, there really is no limit to what you can do with a Mac (this can be both a blessing and a curse).

Kid Appeal/Pitfalls
There are endless features about a mac that attract your kids and their friends. iMessage being one of them: with a wifi connection, your kids can text and share picture messages with their friends anywhere, anytime, for free. With the Apple App Store growing everyday, there will never be a shortage of apps. Something to keep in mind: most apps nowdays are targeted at your kids no matter the age range.

With the largest educational section in any App Store, there is no end to all the “smart” apps your kids will be able to access. From preschool reading apps to guided anatomy discetion, your kids will be finishing their homework, learning, and having fun all at the same time.

Whether pre-teen or in high school, apps are being designed so your kids can’t live without them. Where this becomes an issue is when these apps are allowing your kids do things they don’t want you to know about. There are new apps hitting the app stores every day that allow users to chat, leaving no trace behind. There are even other apps and games allowing users to play in violent multiplayer games with strangers from around the world.

What’s Good?
Much like Apple’s iPhones and iPads, the Parental Controls on their computers are second to none. Once you’ve had the talk about internet safety with your loved ones, go into Apple’s settings, and lock down whatever you deem neccesary. You’ll be able to monitor and protect their internet activity, how much time you allow them to spend on their computer, and decide who you think is safe to email and chat, and all of it kept safe under a password you set. You can literally lock in specific times on school nights and weekends.

What if you don’t want your child to have their own computer? In that case, Apple allows you to set them up with their own account on the family computer so you can still set your desired parameters for their use.

Open System Preferences, select Parental Controls, then choose the account you want to control. Then Click Enable Parental Controls, in the content tab and make your decision there.

What’s the verdict?
If you want a household family computer for day-to-day emailing and sharing photos with the family, or your kids want something with a little more horsepower to do bigger and better things, a Mac is a fine choice. The built-in parental controls are a big plus, so we give Macs a big thumbs-up. With each new update and release, they’re constantly keeping high standards for safety and parental controls.

It needs to be said, you must go in and set these up yourself. If not, you’re giving your family wide open un-monitored access to the internet.