Today’s CertifiKid Field Report comes from Team Member Jennifer - mom of three (2 tweens and an 8 year old) who love their digital devices. Can Circle with Disney revolutionize the internet for this wifi family and yours? Let’s see.
I had been combing the web for what seemed like forever, in an a frantic search for apps and devices to help manage our family's internet content and screen time. Nothing seemed to fit the bill. Then I found Circle with Disney.
On paper it looked like everything I wanted...and more. Circle arrived in the mail on a Saturday morning in a small Tiffany Blue box. Inside was the magic that would change everything. One click on the app was all it took. Within seconds a cacophony of howls floated down the stairs.
“Maaaa! What did you to do the wifi?! Stop it. This isn’t fair!”
That one click let me pause the internet, getting the attention of my whole family. Oh, the power! From there my husband was onboard and couldn’t wait to see what else this amazing little contraption could do.
(Circle with Disney device in Jennifer's home. Takes up almost no space and blends right in.)
Great Things Come in Small Packages (with easy instructions)
What’s more disheartening than getting a new gadget and finding out you’re going to need adapters, special batteries and a team of tech nerds to help you figure out how to work it? Take heart, Circle with Disney is up and running in three easy steps;
Open the box
Plug it in
Download the app
BOOM! The magic starts automatically as Circle with Disney identifies every wifi enabled device in your house. I was shocked at how many things in our home use wifi that I had forgotten about.
Make the Internet Personal (in a snap)
Every kid is different, I know mine are. I loved that within the app I could set up separate profiles for each of my kids, and the grownups too. The color coded system that Circle with Disney uses makes it a snap to set up accounts that work for each of us.
The filters work great. From my youngest’s iPad, I searched, Dick’s Sporting Goods. On the Circle-free web a search like that would have brought up all sorts of things I didn’t want my child to click on. With this power-packed tool the only search result I got was the actual Dick’s Sporting Goods website.
It’s tough to know exactly where your kids are going online and how much time they’re spending there without hovering over them constantly - as they say… ain’t nobody got time for that! Circle with Disney sends a report to the app that tells me what digital platforms my kids are visiting and how much time they’re spending there.
Were they on NatGeo researching dinosaurs for next month’s science project or watching MineCraft modding videos on YouTube? Who knows? You do, because Circle with Disney tells you. This feature is going to be a huge hit with teen parents, I know it!
No More Arguing (well, at least about screen time)
Family dinner has always been a big deal at our house. Getting the kids to the table on time is a big deal to me… not them. Pausing the web gets their attention faster than my coaxing and demanding ever did! Dinner’s ready, the wifi is off.
Do you struggle with getting your kids to get off WiFi, put away their Kindle, and get to bed? Yeah, me too. Circle with Disney solves that problem too. Each device can have a set WiFi Bedtime. When it's time for bed, the WiFi turns off for the night. Love that!
Being able to set usage limits and times when WiFi isn't available on devices is a great tool for limiting screen time. It can also be a powerful reward system. Get your chores done, you get more time on wifi. Nailed that algebra test? You just earned unlimited screen time for one day, enjoy!
I did find a few hiccups. Right now the app is only available on iOS for Apple products. Each device can only have one profile attached to it. If you share an iPad (like we do in our house) only one family member can be assigned to it. Circle with Disney only works on your in-home wifi.
That said, all of these hiccups have already been identified by the Circle with Disney team and will be ‘fixed’ shortly. An Android app is expected in early 2016, as is the ability to take your profile settings with you no matter where you’re getting your wifi.
Beyond all the easy tech features (including a simple and easy help center website) and powerful tools that have already reimagined how my family uses the internet, I have to say that the packaging was a really nice touch. I know that doesn't seem like much but it really did help up the excitement level for me.
Thinking back on the day my Circle with Disney device arrived in that gorgeous Tiffany Blue box with a magnetic clasp, I felt like I was opening a gift. After using it, I now understand what a gift it really is.
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