The back to school season is in full swing and technology plays an important role in that. If your school uses technology, here are five questions that you should ask to keep your child safe. The answers to these questions can be applied at home which makes the rules easier to follow.
1. How are filters used?
What filters are in place to protect the child while surfing the internet? The internet can be a scary place and can expose children to things that they are not ready for. A simple misspelling can result in x-rated or g-rated information so it is important to discuss if the school has a policy for banned materials. Depending on your child's age, I suggest creating a log-in account on your home computer and use the settings to manage what content displays for your child. This allows the child some independence but avoids the temptation. Verizon Fios offers, Family Protection using McAfee which gives you the tools to block access to certain websites, and lets you choose who can use the Internet and when.
2. How is Cyber Bullying handled?
It is important that you not only discuss this with your children but also find out what the policy is. Mean girls and bullies have always existed but it seems the internet have given them a wider platform. Do you know what to do if you suspect that your child is a victim or is the one doing the bullying? Learn the signs and make certain that this is a daily conversation with your children.
3. Is Teacher/Student interaction allowed?
Can teachers email children to personal accounts? There is no reason for a teacher to communicate with your child without your knowledge. There are applications that allow interactions and even a service that allows for text message without exchanging actual numbers. This service is run by an administrator who inputs the information and gives the teachers access by name only but parents can also log in to see what has been communicated.
4. What are the Rules Regarding Devices Bought from Home?
75% of children have mobile phones that they carry to school each day. Are the phones allowed in the classrooms? Can they be accessed during the day? I actually prefer that my son carry his phone on him in the event of emergency. Am I alone on this?
5. How is Technology Used in the Classroom?
My son was excited to receive an iPad at school as it would mean no more carrying textbooks and most reasons would be completed using it. I worried that it become a babysitter and an easy way not to pay attention in class. I am a technology junkie and believe that if used properly it can open up a new world for education. I just have not sen the training for it. Technology can empower a teacher to enhance a lesson plan and increase the love for learning.
Start off the year right and create a technology contract for your home. Check back and see how I use mine.
Disclosure: This post was sponsored as part of a campaign with #FiosPhilly. All opinions belong to the Neighborhood