Online Safety at Home
- There is no app to replace your lap. Having a strong relationship and consistent conversations with your child is the best way to know what is going on in their life, including how they're using technology.
- Be an askable adult. Be mindful of how you respond if a child comes to you with a problem. If your first reaction is to be angry or scared, then your child may not reach out to you again because they fear getting in trouble. Keeping the lines of communication open with your child about this subject can help ensure that you will be the one that they come to for guidance rather than someone else.
- Personal values should be reflected in online expectations. Technology rules should reflect the expectations you have for your child. For example, “Don't talk to strangers” is very good advice. If it works in the “real world,” then it is certainly good advice online as well.
- Fighting tech with tech can fail. Don't count on an app or a tool to monitor your child’s online use. Over-dependence on a technology tool can lead to a false sense of security. Your parental instinct and the relationship with your child is stronger and more powerful than any digital tool. Plus, your child is likely to be able to find a workaround.
- Spying isn’t sustainable. Not only does spying diminish trust between you and your child, but it also encourages them to be more secretive about their online use.
- Consider keeping technology in open traffic areas (no bedrooms). This can help with some accountability without feeling overbearing.
- Become a part of your child's technology interactions. Talk with your child about how they use technology and how to be a good digital citizen. Interact with them online when possible. For ideas on how to start the conversation, check out these questions from the International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE).
- Co-create an online safety plan with your child. Discuss possible safety issues online with your child. Make a plan for how they should respond if those issues occur.
How can I better control the Chromebook use at home?
Occasionally, parents ask for additional parental controls for their children. We encourage parents to speak with their Internet Service Provider to understand what options are available on their home network.
We do not support or endorse the solutions in the document below but have made them available for parents who want to use them. WCPSS takes no responsibility for the use of these tools or consequences that may arise from their use.
- Google- Be Internet Awesome - To make the most of the Internet, kids need to be prepared to make smart decisions. Be Internet Awesome teaches kids the fundamentals of digital citizenship and safety so they can explore the online world with confidence.
- Social Emotional Learning is Essential for Child Development—Here’s How to Teach It at Home - Social emotional learning (SEL) teaches important life skills like managing emotions, building relationships, and making decisions. Learn about the benefits of SEL and how to incorporate it into your child’s everyday life.
- Stop.Think. Connect. Kids - This is the Department of Homeland Security’s National CyberSecurity Awareness Campaign’s presentation for Kids. The Department of Homeland Security helps you protect yourself from dangers on the Internet by teaching you what to look out for online.
- Stop.Think.Connect. Parents and Educators - This is the Department of Homeland Security’s Parent and Educator Resources site.
- Janell Burley Hofmann provides families with the tools they need to find a balance between technology and human interaction through a philosophy she calls Slow-Tech Parenting. In the book, iRules, she educates parents about the online culture tweens and teens enter the minute they go online, exploring issues like cyberbullying, friend fail, and sexting, and helps parents create their own iRules contracts to fit their families' needs.
- Family Online Safety Institute (FOSI)- This site offers insight, tips, and resources for both parents and educators around good parenting in a digital world, as well as guidance on topics such as safety, privacy, social media and digital citizenship.
- Common Sense Media - Search Results for Parents’ Ultimate Guide - Common Sense Media provides guides to the most popular apps and sites to help parents understand how to support their child.
- Common Sense- Ed Tech Reviews of Apps - Common Sense Media provides reviews for some of the most popular apps available. The review includes ratings, details about the app, and in some cases feedback from parents and students.
- Common Sense Media- Parent Concerns - This is a great collection of questions posed by parents which have been answered by Common Sense Media. You can search for topics and find a plethora of resources and information about all things related to media.