Each student having their own dedicated computer both at school and at home is a change that adults have to help a child manage. Here are some tips and ideas that can help parents with this change to create effective learning time and space at home while online.
The parent is in charge
- Set rules and expectations for computer use at home.
- Expect that screens will be open where you can see them.
- Designate times and locations in the house for computer use.
- Require work to be done in an area where you can check in on your student’s progress.
- Create times when the device can only be used for school work and if, or when, it can be used for recreational activities.
Talk with your child
- About what they are doing online and have them show you what they do and where they go online.
- Ask them to show you how they use the computer for school work and for fun.
- Talk about social boundaries and sharing too much information online.
- Set expectations for appropriate use and the types of websites and social networks that are appropriate for use at home.
Communicate with the teacher
- If you are concerned if your child is accurately reporting what they need to use the computer for at home or about anything related to classroom activities.
- Keep a line of communication open where you can questions or concerns.
- Track your student’s progress through the parent portal.
Consider the “paper equivalent” in difficult computing situations
- How would you handle the off-task or inappropriate activity if it happened with pencil and paper instead of on a computer?
- What were my expectations around technology and computing, and do they mirror those expectations for respect and proper behavior at home?
- Often the solution for “digital problems” are the same as it was for a similar “analog problem” or on paper.
Determine consequences for inappropriate behavior
- Discuss inappropriate behavior.
- Hold your child accountable for poor decisions.
- Limit recreational computer and/or phone time.
- Have them turn over their devices or reset wireless passwords at home until inappropriate behaviors change.
Using Internet filters at home
- Teaching appropriate use is more important than filtering.
- The most important step you can take is establishing expectations around appropriate use on the web and help your child develop an internal filter.
- If you need to restrict Internet use at home there are several ways to filter your Internet such as OpenDNS.