Cyber safety is an important parent-child discussion to revisit frequently, from elementary school through high school.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 Chromebook and other technology devices in your home. In accordance with the District’s Electronic Technologies 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.
Filtering software is built into District issued Chromebooks. While inappropriate content is filtered and blocked on the school’s wireless network so students can’t access them, children often have complete, unrestricted access to inappropriate sites at home. Although the Chromebooks will still be filtered at home, parents may consider installing additional software to filter and block inappropriate content on your wireless home network. Here’s a short, two minute instructional video for you describing how easy this is to do with free OpenDNS software. Some products offer additional protection features such as cell phone filtering, text message and photo screening tools, and digital footprint/reputation monitoring. Below are some options parents could consider exploring:
- Products are now available that monitor your child’s posts and digital footprint/reputation on sites like Facebook and Twitter, such asSafetyWeb and Social Shield.
- Turn on the free tools within Google and YouTube to activate stricter filters on web, image, and video searches.
- Proactively set guidelines for computer use at your house, as well as when they are with friends. Print off, discuss, and sign a Common Sense Family Media Agreement:
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 teen’s beliefs, values and behavior. Understand that your teen’s use of technology likely gives your teen 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.
Monitor & Limit Screen Time
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. Know what your child is doing with technology and how his or her time is being spent. In moving to a 1:1 environment a significant amount of class content will be exchanged digitally. By nature of the program students will access Chromebooks at home to communicate and collaborate with classroom stakeholders and to create content. Parents are encouraged to help children learn to focus on completing tasks or assignments first before spending time on games, shopping and social networking.