Parents' Guide to Student Tech Use
Cyber safety is an important parent-child discussion to revisit frequently, from elementary school through high school. Experts warn that children are most vulnerable to online dangers while in their own home. The following suggestions are drawn from a wide variety of professional sources that may aid you in effectively guiding your child’s use of the iPad and other technology devices.
In accordance with the School's Acceptable Use Policy, outside of school, parents bear responsibility for the same guidance of Internet use as they exercise with information sources such as television, telephones, radio, movies and other possibly offensive media. Parents are responsible for monitoring their student’s use of the School's educational technologies, including school-issued email accounts and the Internet if the student is accessing the School's electronic technologies from home or through other remote location(s).
Regularly share your expectations with your child about accessing only appropriate sites and content, as well as being a good person when online (even when parents aren't watching). Outside of school, it is likely that your child has already been confronted with multiple opportunities to access content that parents wouldn’t approve, such as pornography, hate sites, celebrity gossip, reality tv personal blogs and more, all of which may influence your child's beliefs, values and behavior. Understand that your child's use of many technologies (such as iPods, video game systems, and cell phones) likely gives your child the ability to connect to unfiltered public wireless networks (such as in a library or coffee shop, by picking up a neighbor’s wireless signal, or connecting to the Internet through a cell service).Therefore, it is important to maintain regular, open dialog about Internet use and access. Discuss your expectation for appropriate use and behavior.
Media Agreements for Parents and Children
Media Agreements are a resource and checklist that parents can use to guide conversations with their kids about media use. They are designed to help parents establish guidelines and expectations around media use and behavior that are right for their family. Some families are comfortable using them as signed agreements. Others refer to them to use simply as a checklist to guide conversations. Either way, they are a great way to help parents and kids get on the same page about media and technology use.
Monitor & Limit Screen Time
Experts suggest having children surf the Internet in a central place at home, such as the kitchen or family room, rather than away from adult supervision or behind a closed door. Know what your child is doing with technology and how his or her time is being spent. Technology can be a great tool and resource, but also has the potential to be a distractor. Help your child learn to focus on completing tasks or assignments first before spending time on games, shopping and social networking. Teaching today’s children how to manage multiple sources of information and potential distractions is a critical life skill, one best learned before heading off to college or the workplace.
Put the device to bed, but not in the bedroom
Parenting experts suggest parking all technology devices, from cell phones to iPads, to Laptops in a common spot overnight to discourage late night, unmonitored use and sleep disruption. Don’t allow your child to sleep with the iPad, laptop or cell phone. Remember to model appropriate use and balance of technology in your own life, too!