Our advice to parents:
At our schools, digital technologies and the internet are used to support everyday teaching and learning. At home, however, it is often used quite differently. Not only is it a study resource for students, it is increasingly being used as a social space to meet, play and communicate. There are many positives to using the internet as a space to connect with other people, however issues can also arise.
If you have the internet at home, we encourage you to get your child to show you what they are doing online. If not, see if you can make a time to visit the school to see their work and how the school uses the Internet.
Bullying, stranger danger, gossip, telling the wrong people personal information have long been issues for young people growing up. These are all behaviours which now present online. These are not ‘virtual’ issues. They are real and can harm and hurt.
At home we recommend you:
make some time to sit with your child to find out how they are using the internet and who else is involved in any online activities
ask them to give you a tour of their ‘space’ if they are using a site which allows them to chat, publish photos, play games etc.
always get them to set their space to ‘Private’ if they use a social networking site (eg. Snapchat, Instagram)
use the internet in a shared place in the house – not your child’s bedroom
negotiate appropriate times for your child’s online activities and use of mobile phones.
ask questions such as the following when your child shows you what they are doing
how does it work, how do you set it up and can you block out people?
who else is sharing this space or game - did you know them before or ‘meet’ them online and what do you know about them?
why is this so enjoyable ?– what makes it fun?
can you see any risks or dangers in the activity - what would you say to warn/inform a younger child who was going to start to use the space?
what are you doing to protect yourself or your friends from these potential dangers?
when would you inform an adult about an incident that has happened online that concerns you?
We also encourage you to ensure your child:
does not sign up to websites/apps they are not old enough to use (Facebook, Snapchat, Instagram and Twitter all have a 13+ age restriction)
is not using their first and last name as their username for websites
does not have any photos of them in school uniform or sports uniform with open privacy (this information can be used to track the whereabouts of students in after school activities etc)
knows how to block people and report unsafe images/requests on the app/website they are using.
Other parent related resources
Importance of good sleep: http://raisingchildren.net.au/articles/sleep_and_learning.html/context/757
Physical activity for primary aged students: http://raisingchildren.net.au/articles/activities_for_school_kids.html
Why we should all be reading aloud to our children