Keeping With Our Students-Temporary Apps (SnapChat, Burn Note, Slingshot, etc.)
Temporary apps allow people to send messages and images that self-destruct after a set window of time. Teens can use these apps to more carefully manage their digital trails -- so long as they don't share things they wouldn't normally send otherwise.
Common Sense Rules of the Road for Parents
1. Model good behavior. If we’re on our Blackberries or iPhones at dinner, why will our kids listen to us when we tell them to turn theirs off?
2. Pay attention. We have to know where our kids are going online -- and what they're doing there.
3. Impart our values. Cheating, lying, being cruel -- they’re all non-starters. Right and wrong extends to online and mobile life.
4. Establish limits. Phone time, video download time, destinations. There’s really a right time and place for everything.
5. Encourage balance. Get kids involved in offline activities -- especially where there's no cell service.
6. Make kids accountable. If they have a privilege, make sure they earn it.
7. Explain what's at stake. Let kids know that what they do today can be abused by someone tomorrow.
8. Find ways to say "yes." That means we have to do some homework and know the sites they visit, the songs they download, etc. -- and find ways to use technology that lets us say “yes” more often than we say “no.”
9. It's not rocket science. Learn to text, send a mobile photo, set up a Facebook page, upload a video. Or have your kids show you how. It's impossible to guide what you don't understand. Not only that, but think of all the anxiety you can avoid by knowing how things work.
10. Lighten up, embrace their world, and enjoy the possibilities together. None of us want digital divides in our relationships with our kids. It's up to us to join the fun and help them seize the potential.
Safety in the Age of Technology
The Internet can be a wonderful resource for students but that access can also pose hazards. That's why it's important to be aware of what your children see and hear on the Internet, who they meet, and what they share about themselves online. Just like any safety issue, it's wise to talk with your children about your concerns, take advantage of resources to protect them, and keep a close eye on their activities. Below are sites that offer information and resources to help in this on-going effort to stay aware and safe.
CommonSenseMedia : Information for students and parents. Common Sense Media is dedicated to helping kids thrive in a world of media and technology.
Safekids.com: Internet safety and civility
FBI: A parent's guide to Internet safety
Stop Bullying Now : Information for adults and youth
CyberSmart Curriculum: Curriculum to empower students to use the Internet safely, responsibly, and effectively.
NetSmartz: Educating, engaging and empowering students with information about safety using the Internet.
CyberBullying: CTAP Region 4 guide and ideas