As a part of our Connected Learning Initiative at Piedmont Middle School, we are hosting a series of Parent Engagement Nights. These evening events will focus on what families can do to help kids navigate their digital lives. We will explore topics such as social media, cyberbullying, digital drama, multitasking and distraction, digital footprints, sharing and disclosure, and surveillance and privacy. Our goal is to support and empower parents raising kids who behave ethically, think critically, and participate safely and responsibly in their digital lives.
Navigating Digital Lives
Useful Resources for Families:
Media/Device Contracts, Agreements and Research
Piedmont's Digital Discussion Guidelines: https://goo.gl/D6RyjY
iRules.co Media Contract templates for multiple ages: http://www.irules.co/
Hardware/Software to help with monitoring and setting limits at home:
Koala Safe: koalasafe.com
A device that allows the user to create a new wifi network in the home that's safe for kids with time limits, site and app blocking and analytics.
Meet Circle: meetcircle.com
A device that allows the user to manage all of his/her home’s connected devices. With Circle, parents can filter content, limit screen time and set a bedtime for every device in the home.
A parental control app for iPhones, iPads, and iPods that makes it easy for parents to set limits on how much time their children are spending on their mobile devices.
Google Cast and Google Cast Beta: chrome.google.com/webstore
A chrome extension that enables the entire chromebook desktop to be broadcast to a chromecast enabled TV, allowing parents to more closely monitor their child's chromebook use.
Information on PUSD's Connected Learning Initiative
Website with information, handbook, and other resources: https://goo.gl/VpYUW8
Parent Engagement Night
| PIEDMONT MIDDLE SCHOOL | www.piedmont.k12.ca.us/pms
| PIEDMONT UNIFIED SCHOOL DISTRICT | www.piedmont.k12.ca.us
cyberbullying- Online harassment or cruelty, often characterized by repeated or ongoing incidences.
digital footprint- A record of everything an individual does online, including the content he or she uploads. Online information can migrate, persist, and resurface years later.
Instagram- A platform that lets users snap, edit, share and comment on photos and 15-second videos, either publicly or with a network of followers. Instagram also lets you apply fun filters and effects to your photos, making them look high-quality and artistic.
meme- An idea, activity, or image that gains popularity and is repeated in different forms and spread through the Internet.
Snapchat- A popular messaging app that allows users to exchange user-generated photos, texts, and videos -- as well as use live video chat. The developer claims these can't be saved within the app and are only viewable for one to 10 seconds before disappearing from the recipient's device, noting that the app notifies the sender if the recipient takes a screenshot of an image.
Tumblr- A cross between a blog and Twitter, it's a streaming scrapbook of text, photos, and/or video and audio clips. Users create and follow short blogs, or "tumblogs," that can be seen by anyone online. The site allows anyone to create his or her own blog under his or her own URL for example, “amanda.tumblr.com.” The first profile a member creates is public and viewable by anyone on the Internet. Members who desire full privacy have to create a second profile, which they're able to password-protect.
Vine- A video-sharing app focusing on short-form content. All videos are six seconds long; users can string together multiple clips or scenes to create this total. Hours can be spent (or lost…) browsing thousands of these videos, and Vine users can like, share, or create their own Vines.
Key Messages for Parents
from the American Academy of Pediatrics
Media is just another environment. Children do the same things they have always done, only virtually. Like any environment, media can have positive and negative effects.
Parenting has not changed. The same parenting rules apply to your children’s real and virtual environments. Play with them. Set limits; kids need and expect them. Teach kindness. Be involved. Know their friends and where they are going with them.
Role modeling is critical. Limit your own media use, and model online etiquette. Attentive parenting requires face time away from screens.
Content matters. The quality of content is more important than the platform or time spent with media. Prioritize how your child spends his time rather than just setting a timer.
Curation helps. More than 80,000 apps are labeled as educational, but little research validates their quality. Look to organizations like Common Sense Media (www.commonsensemedia.org) that review age-appropriate apps, games and programs.
Co-engagement counts. Family participation with media facilitates social interactions and learning. Play a video game with your kids. Your perspective influences how your children understand their media experience. For infants and toddlers, co-viewing is essential.
Playtime is important. Unstructured playtime stimulates creativity. Prioritize daily unplugged playtime, especially for the very young.
Set limits. Tech use, like all other activities, should have reasonable limits. Does your child’s technology use help or hinder participation in other activities?
It’s OK for your teen to be online. Online relationships are integral to adolescent development. Social media can support identity formation. Teach your teen appropriate behaviors that apply in both the real and online worlds. Ask teens to demonstrate what they are doing online to help you understand both content and context.
Create tech-free zones. Preserve family mealtime. Recharge devices overnight outside your child’s bedroom. These actions encourage family time, healthier eating habits and healthier sleep.
Kids will be kids. Kids will make mistakes using media. These can be teachable moments if handled with empathy. Certain aberrations, however, such as sexting or posting self-harm images, signal a need to assess youths for other risk-taking behaviors.