ZillyDilly is an iPad app designed to create a safe Internet experience for all ages. It allows parents to customize their children's web viewing by preselecting researched sites and by limiting the amount of time children can spend online. Created by Eitan Schwarz, a board certified child and adolescent psychologist with over 42 years of experience, this app focuses on five area of growth opportunities.
When a parent first logs into ZillyDilly, they can create up to five unique accounts, each with its own username and password. Each account is based on an age bracket. Parents set up the initial account with both a daily and weekly timer that limits children's free exploration of the Internet. Parents then choose which approved websites students can visit in each of five categories: Family Relationships, Socialization, Values Education, Education Enrichment, and Entertainment. There are a wide variety of sites to choose from including sites about: art, various religions, PBS Kids, digital books, Urbanext, and government. Parents can add and delete available websites at any time. Sites are recommended based on the age group of the account. The initial setting of the app is to disallow external links, making access to all other websites unavailable. This can be changed if necessary.
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This app does a nice job of recommending age appropriate websites for children of all ages. It's nice that one can manipulate the iPad settings to make this the only browser available for Internet play. It does allow access to external links, which would make accessing other sites available. It does not, however, allow a parent to add specific sites to the safe list individually. All external links must be allowed. An adult can request that specific sites be reviewed by the developer and added to the safe list though.
Another nice aspect is the timer. Both a daily and weekly timer counts down minutes left online. A simple color code lets children know if they have lots of time left, they are running out of time, or are out of time. Timers are also available under each of the five categories, so parents can monitor how much time is spent in each of the growth opportunities. The time limits are set initially at the recommended amount by Dr. Schwarz, but also allow for individualization.
Overall, this app seems ideal for parents who allow their children to explore the Internet unsupervised. It would allow for safe browsing and a web experience customized by parents. Parents can choose specific sites appropriate for their children's interests and talents, and be confident that the sites kids are visiting are safe. This app is a measure of confidence in safe Internet browsing.
ZillyDilly is availabe for downlaod via the iTunes App Store: iPad App
Recommended booK :
"Kids, Parents & Technology: A Guide for Young Families"
This app was reviewed by a brand new reviewer at Fun Educational Apps Sarah Emerling, a mom, a special education teacher, and a technology coach. She is a self proclaimed nerd with a passion for incorporating technology into education.
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