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Internet Safety for your Family
In the wake of the recent news, I would like to take this opportunity to share some thoughts and best practices about Internet safety. I’m sure that many Sullins parents have some online rules already established. So, the information I am sharing with you is intended to reassure you that what you are doing is good and to, perhaps, inform you of additional strategies that you may not have considered.
First, all studies and organizations agree that the number one thing you can do is talk to your children, let them know your expectations and concerns. Naturally, this communication will evolve as your children get older, so talking about online behavior and dangers should be an ongoing conversation. OnGuardOnline is a website, produced by Homeland Security, designed to help parents facilitate discussions regarding Internet safety.
Next, one of the most recommended safety precautions is placing the computer in a central location. However, as we all know, fewer children are on computers. Instead they are on tablets or phones, which makes over the shoulder monitoring more difficult, but not impossible. There are a variety of apps that you can install on your tablet to help monitor and/or limit access. Below is a link to a few applications recommended by FamilyEducation.com.
Lastly, there are many wonderfully built edutainment websites that help children learn about different safety issues through games and videos. Some, we explore and discuss during class. If you would like to do some of these activities with your child(ren), below are links to a couple of options available.
https://learninglab.org - Garfield helps kids learn about cyberbullying.
http://www.netsmartzkids.org - NetSmartKids covers a variety of topics
nsteens.org - From the same people that make NetSmartKids, it has videos and activities meant for social media involved students.
https://www.commonsensemedia.org/educators/digital-compass - Digital citizenship course designed for grades 6-9.