Finally, since the use of technology has so permeated our everyday lives at school, we are no longer requiring that parents sign off on an Acceptable Use statement. Rather, we assume that they understand that we are working in conscious partnership with our students and their parents/guardians on such matters, and that we assume that each party will do its best to ensure a safe, useful learning environment.
Again, we are in a transition stage with all of this, and schools are hustling to keep up, or at least not fall substantially behind, developments in social media and the internet. We need the help of everyone to make sure that our students remain well informed, skillful seekers of useful information while at the same time being mindful that things are not always as they seem on the internet.
Social media has played an increasingly large role in schools, particularly among middle school students. For all their many positives, social media sites like Facebook, Instagram, and SnapChat can be breeding grounds for inappropriate conversations, harassment, and bullying. At PCS we have made the decision to block such sites, but frankly, there are always work-arounds, particularly in this age of ubiquitous cell phones. We urge parents to be vigilant about the use of such sites, request user names and passwords from your children, and know to whom they are communicating via electronic means. It's not "snooping," but keeping kids safe.
Top Internet Safety Tips from The Guardian
Good article outlining appropriate measures that parents can take to safeguard their children while enjoying the benefits of the Internet.
A great organization - an offshoot of Prevent Child Abuse Vermont - whose aim it is to educate children, parents, and caregivers about internet safety. Highly recommended!
Great site, particularly for younger students (and their parents!) who may be just beginning their internet voyage. Game-playing format increases the fun of engaging in learning about some of the potential pitfalls of internet use.
From their site: "Welcome to the Stop Bullying Now! Campaign. You can learn all about bullying and what you can do to stop it. Take a look around and you’ll find games and cartoon Webisodes that help you Take a Stand. Lend a Hand. Stop Bullying Now!"
Common Sense Media is dedicated to improving the lives of kids and families by providing the trustworthy information, education, and independent voice they need to thrive in a world of media and technology. From their site: "We exist because our nation's children spend more time with media and digital activities than they do with their families or in school, which profoundly impacts their social, emotional, and physical development . As a non-partisan, not-for-profit organization, we provide trustworthy information and tools, as well as an independent forum, so that families can have a choice and a voice about the media they consume."
A nonprofit working globally to prevent bullying, violence, and child abuse. From their site: "We’re Committee for Children, creators of the Second Step program. We’re a nonprofit. And we’ve been teaching kids social and emotional skills for over 30 years. Thanks for visiting our new online community! Don’t be shy; have fun exploring, invite and interact with colleagues, and email us with any suggestions."
For Parents >