While the Corvallis School District filters Internet content, actively manages district-issued devices and teaches digital citizenship lessons, students’ curiosity and access to personal technology make it important for parents to monitor their child’s use of technology and reinforce digital citizenship practices. No filtering solution can prevent students from exposure to all inappropriate content, especially if they are trying intentionally to access it.
At a Glance
If you want hints, ideas and resources about how to teach your child to use technology safely and responsibly, consider Commonsense Media’s Family Tip Sheets.
Parents, talk to your kids about cyber safety. In addition to knowing how to use technology, students must learn how to be safe, responsible and productive digital citizens. Set expectations with your student about appropriate use of technology and being a responsible person online.
Everyone has a right to privacy. Think carefully about what information you share with others including personal information, passwords, and pictures.
Helpful Tips for Students and Parents
Below are some helpful tips and information regarding digital citizenship and technology use in the district. District-issued iPads are configured to provide Internet filtering that is equivalent to what exists on the district network. Keep in mind that filtering does not take the place of responsible use and good digital citizenship by students.
Keep yourself safe when online, do not give out personal information such as age, last name, address, or phone number. Do not put yourself at risk by posting personal pictures or videos online. Tell an adult if anything happens online that makes you feel uncomfortable, upset, or sad.
Not all movies, shows, games, music, and websites are right for you. Talk with your parents/guardian if you are not sure what’s appropriate. Know that not everything you read online is true; consider the source and whether or not it’s credible. Know that everything you write about yourself or your friends will likely be online forever. Do not post anything online that you wouldn’t want your parents, teachers, or future bosses to see.
Be a Good Citizen
Use technology responsibly. Do not bully online, spread gossip, or say cruel things about people. Do not use technology to cheat on schoolwork.
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.
Regularly share your expectations with your child about only accessing appropriate sites and content, as well as being a good person when online (even when parents aren’t watching). Students need to know how to stay safe on district-issued devices, as well as other devices. Outside of school, it is likely that your child has already been confronted with opportunities to access content that parents wouldn’t approve, such as pornography, hate sites, celebrity gossip, reality television, personal blogs, and more, all of which may influence your child’s beliefs, values, and behavior. While district-issued devices provide some filtering, understand that your child’s use of personal devices (such as iPads, video game systems, and cell phones) likely gives him/her the ability to connect to unfiltered public wireless networks. The Internet can be accessed on computers in a library, personal devices at coffee shops and other venues with free wi-fi, by picking up a neighbor’s wireless signal, and with cell phone service. It is important to maintain regular, open dialogue about Internet use and access. Discuss your expectation for appropriate use and behavior with your child.
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. 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 it 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.
Put the Device to Bed
Parenting experts suggest parking all technology devices, including cell phones and tablets, in a common spot overnight to discourage late night, unmonitored use and sleep disruption. Don’t allow your child to sleep with his or her tablet, laptop, or cell phone. Remember to model appropriate use and balance of technology in your own life, too!
Additional information and resources for parents, families, students, and educators can be found online at Common Sense Media.
Consider using the Common Sense media agreement for parents and kids grades 6-8 as a checklist to guide conversations about media use. Some families may want to use it as a signed agreement. Others may want to use it as a checklist to guide conversations.