Parents and Teachers Join Forces to Teach Tech Safety
Teachers and parents need to join forces to ensure that children are learning to use technology in a safe manner. View tips for teaching safety in Spark's post!
With kids being digital natives and having access to anything over the Internet, there is an obvious need to teach them safety when it comes to going online. Washington Post journalist, Valerie Strauss underlines the importance of a collaboration between parents and teachers in this quest for safe online experiences in her article.
1. Encourage parent leadership, within the PTA, PTO or other parent communities at your school to begin the discussion about safe and responsible online use by students at school and at home. Gather an advisory group to determine how to get started. Invite an expert guest speaker to kick things off. Thankfully, there are many free, reputable resources available to parent communities through organizations such as Common Sense Media and through PTO Today’s Internet Safety Night program (sponsored by my organization, Trend Micro). Make it clear that it is an on-going dialogue versus a one-time event, as technology is constantly changing.
2. Communicate regularly to parent communities about how you are using technology in the classrooms, at each grade level, and how you ensure kids are learning to be savvy online citizens at the same time. Make it part of open-house and parent-teacher nights.
3. Be clear with parents on how appropriate technology use is enforced through the school’s Code of Conduct and Acceptable Use Policies (AUP), which students (or parents) typically have to review and sign at the beginning of each school year. Parents should understand what constitutes a transgression of the policy, how it will be handled, and how/if it will be reflected on your child’s school record. It should also be clear how personal technology can or cannot be used on school grounds.
4. Be creative with ways to help parents and their kids use technology together. Ultimately, schools and parents should not limit the discussion to being safe and responsible with technology. We want kids to also be successful users of it. Find ways to use technology with families or encourage them to use it together through school-driven activities, events, fund-raisers, or other projects. Have families research their genealogy together. Establish a blog contest or raise awareness or funds for a school activity using social media. Or encourage family engagement in programs like the ‘What’s Your Story?’ campaign (sponsored by companies like Facebook, Trend Micro, Twitter, and Yahoo!) a program specifically designed to get youth, schools, and families talking about matters concerning the safe and responsible use of technology.
5. Recognize the positive use of technology in your schools through a formal or informal but public way. Parents can be invited to be part of such a program, or at least encourage the right behavior with their kids at home. Awards or acknowledgement can be given to individual students or groups of students, classrooms, or even families. You can do this through a yearly or monthly “call out” in the school newsletter, website, or at a live school event. If possible, showcase the activity that is being acknowledged (If it’s a blog, link to it in your online communications).
To read more about teaching safe Internet practices to kids, or to learn more about why the connection between teacher and parent is so significant, check out the full article!
Published August 03, 2012