We are living in unprecedented times. COVID 19 is a word that has become etched in our tongues. Teaching during this pandemic has become one of the ‘new normals’ that we have had to adapt and adjust to. This means a lot of technology has been introduced to the students and teachers. Use of technology has come with emerging issues that need to be addressed now more than ever: Online Safety.
We at Kiota are adopting the Internet Safety ‘SMART WITH A HEART‘ Rules from childnet.com
S-Keeping our personal information SAFE.
M- MEETING up with people you know only and not strangers you meet online.
A- Not ACCEPTING requests or invites to links from people you do not know.
R- Making sure what you access online is RELIABLE by verifying at all times.
T- TELLING a trusted adult if you spot suspicious activity online.
All this while being kind and polite as we navigate the murky waters of the world wide web.
Parents play a critical role in implementing some of these measures. You can:
- have the conversation about online safety. Talk openly about your child’s online activities.
- be vigilant and monitor as best as you can.
- track their digital footprint. Google Family and Microsoft Family are very helpful in managing your children’s screen time and what they have access to.
- ensure your children are accessing computers in a shared space where you can monitor them.
- have rules that are suitable for your family in regards to access to internet.
- lead by example. Model the online etiquette you would like your children to emulate.
Parents can also use any of these effective applications to monitor and control what their children do online.
- Google Families: https://families.google.com/ you can create a family members group and set rules on online and digital content usage. The app is available on playstore.
- Covenant Eyes: https://www.covenanteyes.com/ helps you as a parent to control what your child does online by sending you reports of their screen-time activities.It also blocks inappropriate content.
- Microsoft Family/Parental control: https://account.microsoft.com/family/about Is an inbuilt control feature in Microsoft Windows under your accounts settings.You can create children accounts under a family set-up where you can control what sites or online content they access.
Finally, as we put all these measures in place, your support in implementing them at home is what is key to ensuring our children continue to stay safe online.