Managing Devices and Online Safety

Responsible Remote Learning

Dear Parents,

We understand that this time of remote learning is an uncharted territory for you. All of us have been working diligently to equip you and your student with everything that you need in these coming weeks. Before this journey gets too far, let's make sure that you and your home devices are also equipped with what you might need. Please read through this newsletter for tips and tricks to consider for this digital adventure! And please reach out to your media specialist if you have questions or need any help!


Stay safe & be well.

Practice Screen Shots

Sometimes things can pop up on a child's device and it can disappear before they can show it to an adult. One of the ways to help with this situation is to make sure that your child knows how to do a screenshot. This way they always have a picture of what they saw even if it quickly disappears. Before you get too deep into remote learning through a personal device at home, take time to have your child practice taking a screen shot on the device they will be using.


Here are the instructions for how to take a screenshot on different devices


Setting Screen Time Limits

Evaluate what your child will be doing on their device and decide if you need to set some screen time limits. Consider setting time limits on the actual device that your child will be using. If you are working from home or busy caring for others, it can be easy to lose track of time. Click on the links below for free ways that device time can be managed:

iPhone, iPad or iPod

Windows 10, Xbox and Android through Microsoft Launcher

Google Family for Android and Chromebook

Mac OS

Online Safety

It is best practice to keep devices in a common living space. It's much easier to exercise control when your child's device is within view. It also removes the temptation for kids to get onto devices during bedtime hours.


You might also want to consider using an internet filter. All of the programs listed above for managing screen time also allow you to filter what your child is able to access. You might also want to check out this list of other software that can filter (although not all of them are free). If your child is using a school device, it is already filtered through the school's network.


Even when you do have safety settings on your child's device, it is still wise to teach them to take precautions. Remind them to not go to sites that you have not approved. And if they must search online for something, encourage them to use a kids' search engines such as KidzSearch or Kiddle.

Social Media

Children under the age of 13 cannot have social media accounts. This means that your child should not have accounts with social media platforms such as TikTok, Instagram, Twitter, Snapchat, Facebook, YouTube, and many others. If your child has made a social media account, they have lied about their age and therefore are no longer protected by COPPA. Not sure what COPPA is? Check out this article for a quick run down on everything this law does to protect your child's privacy. If your child already has a social media account, it is not too late. Any social media account can be closed. If you are unsure how to close an account reach out to your media specialist.


During this time of remote learning, please be even more vigilant about the apps that your kids are using and any accounts that they are making. If you are ever unsure about the safety or appropriateness of an app or web-site, look it up on Common Sense Media, which is a trusted non-profit organization that reviews thousands of web-sites, apps, movies and books.

Cyberbullying

Cyberbullying is defined as the use of digital-communication tools to make another person feel angry, sad or scared, usually again and again. Examples of cyberbullying include sending hurtful texts or instant messages, posting embarrassing photos or videos on social media and spreading mean rumors online or with cell phones. If you're trying to figure out whether your kid is being cyberbullied, think about whether the offender is being hurtful intentionally and repeatedly. If the answer is no, the offender might simply need to learn better online behavior. If the answer is yes, take it seriously.


If you feel that cyberbullying is taking place, take screenshots of the messages, block the aggressor, contact the appropriate authority and do not let your child retaliate. If it is school related, contact your principal.