As summer draws near, and children have more hours of unstructured time, I would like to share some things to keep in mind while they are using technology devices and the internet. What can you do to protect your children?
- Monitor your child’s amount of screen time. Some standard guidelines are no more than 2 hours daily. This includes TV viewing, video games, tablet usage, and internet.
- It is recommended that your child’s technology device be in close proximity to the rest of the family in a common area.
- Learn about parental controls and how to “lock” down certain computer apps you deem inappropriate. Learn about age limits that are recommended by the program/app.
- Ask what your child/children are doing online. It’s important you understand what websites, apps, and social media platforms they are using.
- Check their privacy settings. Make sure they know how to make their profiles private so they are not sharing personal information with strangers.
- Make sure kids and parents alike know when and how to report and block any malicious or inappropriate messages or posts.
- Remind kids to be careful about over-sharing personal information such as their school, telephone number, or anything that identifies where you might live. Do not allow them to use full names for profiles. Avoiding any part of their name is best whenever possible.
- Have regular conversations with your children about the risks they may be exposed to and how to deal with them, such as cyberbullying or online stranger danger, and ensure they feel comfortable coming to you if they see anything upsetting or inappropriate.
There are many valuable links to help you muddle through the ever-changing, online world your children are growing up in. Here are a few helpful links:
Mrs. Kleist’s Technology Tools will remain live all summer, and students are welcome and encouraged to utilize the plethora of educational games and activities that are linked there. I use this website during the school year to supplement and enhance learning concepts for all elementary students as well as offer safe and educationally sound options for students to have fun using technology. The link for that website is https://sites.google.com/a/hamilton.k12.wi.us/mrs-kleist-s-technology-tools.
Enjoy and have a wonderful and safe summer with your families!