Managing net usage for kids

Written on the 28 January 2011

MAY 2010

Parents struggling to manage their children’s time on Facebook and playing games will now be able to strike the balance, thanks to software developed by a Brisbane IT specialist.

123educateme chief executive Roger Manu says parents can use his program to set a defined amount of daily play time before their children are limited to chosen educational programs and websites.

“Locally the market we’re expecting over the next three years is somewhere in the order of 1 million children between the ages of six and 15, and we expect to capture 10 to 30 per cent of that market. At the end of this year we’re looking at around 100,000 children,” he says.

Manu expects to start an international campaign in the US and the UK late this month or early next month.

“Internationally, within the next three years we expect between one million and three million children, but they’re very conservative estimates,” he says.

“We’ve designed this to make a difference – my intention was to try and provide a solution for my children but then at some point I realised there’d be a lot of parents who would be interested in this.

“As parents, we’re all sick of having to tell our kids every five minutes to stop chatting to their friends or playing games online and start their homework.”

Manu has three children of his own and came up with the concept five years ago after realising there was not a product out there to do what he wanted to manage computer usage.

“We’re seeing the effects of gaming and networking on children and my goal is to bring a balance back between educational-based activities, gaming and fun. This is a silver bullet for the parents struggling with their kids on Facebook,” he says.

The product allows teachers to set homework online, while also providing kids with age-appropriate educational content to use.

“Once the child logs on, their homework is automatically downloaded. Teachers can also immediately see which students have completed the homework and how well they have performed,” says Manu.

“This provides them with a powerful tool to tailor future learning based on their students’ results.”

Screen Australia research shows that between 1995 and 2007 the average time boys spent playing games had doubled to 53 minutes daily.

123educateme has 12 staff across its offices in Ascot and Maroochydore.


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