Technology Resources for Parents
iPad Tips for Parents
Digital safety is of the utmost importance. Intentional, frequent discussions with your child of any age, are necessary and allow you to be proactive in protecting your child and further educating him/her. Experts warn that children are most vulnerable to online dangers while at home. Please read the Digital Citizenship page on this website and note the following suggestions, as they might be of assistance in further educating your child about appropriate use of technology including the iPad and home internet use.
Filtering Internet Content
The iPad has very basic Internet Content Filtering built in. While many potential dangers are ﬁltered and blocked on the school’s network, children often have complete, unrestricted access to inappropriate sites at home. Experts strongly suggest installing software to ﬁlter and block inappropriate content on your home network. OpenDNS (free version available) is a product that can provide parental controls that automatically protect every internet-connected device in your home (not just the iPad).
Monitor & Limit Screen Time
Experts suggest having children surf the internet in a central place at home, such as the kitchen or family room, rather than away from adult supervision or behind a closed door. Know what your child is doing with technology and how his or her time is being spent. Technology can be a great tool and resource, but also has the potential to be a big distraction. Help your child learn to focus on completing tasks or assignments prior to engaging in other internet activities. Teaching today’s children how to manage multiple sources of information and potential distractions is a critical life skill, one best learned before heading off to college or the workplace.
Put the iPad to Bed, But Not in the Bedroom
Parenting experts suggest parking all technology devices, from cell phones to iPads, in a common family room overnight to discourage late night, unmonitored use and sleep disruption. Don’t allow your child to sleep with the iPad. You may also want to consider installing the iPad’s charger in your bedroom instead of a room that your child has access to.
Digital Citizenship Core Components
- Personal Safety on the Internet. Students must understand that people are not always who they say they are. They should never give out personal information without an adult’s permission, especially if it conveys where they can be found at a particular time. They should understand that predators are always present on the internet. Students should recognize the various forms of cyber bullying and know what steps to take if confronted with that behavior.
- Information on the Internet. Students and their families should discuss how to identify acceptable sites to visit and what to do if an inappropriate site is accessed. Students should be informed about various web advertising techniques and realize that not all sites provide truthful information.
- Activities on the Internet. Likewise, students and their families should discuss acceptable social networking and communication methods and the appropriate steps to take when encountering a problem. Students should know the potential dangers of e-mailing, gaming, downloading files and peer-to-peer computing (e.g., viruses, legal issues, harassment, sexual predators, identity theft).
The Minnesota Department of Education provided these sites as resources that you can use with your child to learn and discuss digital citizenship and online safety topics.
- NetSmartz: A fantastic resource for parents to use to have discussions about internet safety for children of all ages.
- Microsoft Safety and Security Center: The Microsoft site Safety and Security Center has internet safety tips for parents and families, including a section entitled “Protect my kids from on-line risks.”
- GetNetWise: is a public service developed by a wide range of Internet industry corporations and public interest organizations.
- WiredSafety: WiredSafety and WiredKids.org provides help, information and education to Internet and mobile device users of all ages handling cases of cyber abuse ranging from identity theft, online fraud and cyber stalking, to hacking and malicious code attacks. WiredSafety.org is a US charity operating through its volunteers worldwide.
- CommonSenseMedia: CommonSense Media has useful information for parents in a digital age.