Summer is the perfect time to unwind, unplug, and enjoy some unstructured time with family, especially after a long stretch of hybrid and remote learning. Instant access to technology, including computers, Chromebooks, iPads, smart phones, email, and social media can make it challenging for families to strike a balance with the digital world. Here are some suggestions for managing your children’s digital connections during the summer months.
Suggestions for a safe, healthy, & happy summer from ABRSD
1. Create and sign a family media agreement.
2. Limit screen time.
3. Teach children to email, text, post, and IM respectfully and responsibly.
4. Encourage kids to tell you or another adult if they see something that makes them feel uncomfortable, or that they know will hurt someone’s feelings.
Video: Cyberbullying Advice
5. Set privacy and security controls on your home network, computers & mobile devices.
Parental controls on Android device settings
Parental controls on iOS devices
Parental controls for Windows, Macs, and mobile devices with Mobicip (pricing starts @$3.33 per month for up to 5 devices)
6. Educate yourself and your children about digital citizenship and choosing appropriate digital resources.
Download the Common Sense Media mobile app
Watch videos on the Common Sense Media Channel on cable TV
7. Practice keyboarding skills. Children in grades 2-6 can become more familiar with their computer/Chromebook keyboards and practice proper keyboarding and touch typing by occasionally engaging with these free resources:
Dance Mat Typing is a great place for beginners to start with keyboarding.
Typing.com provides sequential lessons & games.
8. Make screen time purposeful. If your children use digital devices encourage that they to be active, not passive users of technology. They can go on a nature walk and take pictures of what they find to research online or include in a digital science journal, record a video of themselves reading a book to send to friends and relatives, create a website to share their artwork, map a family trip on Google Earth, spend an hour learning to code at Code.org...the possibilities are endless.
9. Unplug! Take a break from screens and leave the technology behind. Read a book, play outside, take a hike, or go on a family adventure without any computers or mobile devices.
Read Doug Unplugged, a book by Dan Yaccarino about a young robot who discovers that he can learn amazing things about the world when he "unplugs."