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Notes for Conversation about CyberParenting

Notes for Conversation about CyberParenting

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  • Print AUPPrint NetiquetteHandout
  • Belief – we have good intentions. Not trying to Open Pandora’s box.
  • Laptops, wireless for kids too early
  • Spector Spy SoftwareOpenDNS – blockSafe Searches in Google
  • Spector Spy Software
  • Peer to peer contact potentially more harmful than stranger dangerAdsGenerally safe behavior online, impulsive reactions to advertising, sometimes inappropriate ads – interest in media literacy
  • Hearing occasionally about at home activities, accounts which extend considerably beyond school useToo much use – change password – like watchingtv
  • Start Early – how early? As soon as they start using the computer or other information accessible device (cell phones, etc.) – talk to them just as you would about any other topic you wanted them to learn about (friendship choices, sex, drugs, etc.) Developmental: talk at their level and answer any questions they have – being open and honest is the best thing you can do to encourage them to ask questions later – if you don’t have all the answers, that’s OK! Being honest about that can help them feel more comfortable asking you questions later as you learn together. Just as with any other parenting question – listening to their feelings and sharing is the most important part of helping continue their comfort with talking to you about this important topic.Don’t wait for them to initiate it, though – take opportunities to talk to them when you see technology used on TV or movies, hear or read a news story about internet or cell phones being used in an inappropriate way, or when they share something with you their friend did, etc. Talk to them about what they have experienced and what your expectations are (morals/values)Repetition is key with kids – just having the conversation once is not enough – patience and persistence are important to keep the topic open and present in their minds – so you can become their conscience while they are online (you sitting on their shoulder like in cartoons)Collaborate with other parents: just as you would on other topics, talk to your child’s friends’ parents about your rules and expectations/morals and values about cell and computer usage. Make sure they know your expectations so they can support the same message when your child is at their house and possibly have the same conversations with their child so your own child is not receiving mixed messages.
  • Let your child know that you can and may access their email, IM chat records, pictures or cell phone information at any point – again, you as their conscience looking over their shoulder Don’t have to access them frequently unless you are worried they are doing something but possibly access them occasionally so they know you can and will if needed. Also, don’t take it for granted that your child will not access inappropriate material because of their age or naiveté – kids can accidentally run across material that make them uncomfortable and not know what to do with it – or share it because it makes them laugh in some way, not realizing the impact it can have. Or may make them feel ashamed or afraid they will get in trouble so they don’t let you know about it. Know their passwords for computer and all internet sites they visit! Keep computer in open location where direct supervision can occur – having an adult “present” but not looking over their shoulder at this point is important for building trust BUT being accessible if they have a question and so you can monitor, if needed, is keyCan restrict their movement to certain sites using monitoring software or parental filtering controls, but really this should be the second line of defense – first line is YOU communicating with them about online and cell phone usage and choices they may encounter. In fact, as they get older (into MS) many of them can figure out how to get around these controls, so your discussion and relationship with them on this topic becomes even more important as they get older.


  • 1. Effective Cyber-Parenting@ Fourth grade
    January 15, 2010
  • 2. Computer Activity
    We are engaging children in appropriate, academic uses of tech at school that help them learn now and prepare them with skills that will serve them well in the future.
    Academic use and entertainment/social uses are pushing children to be online more than ever both at school and at home.
    The work of preparing students to make appropriate decisions, employ ethics, morals, and values when online is the work of both teachers and parents.
  • 3. Safety Instruction at School
    Reading and discussion of Appropriate Use Policy.
    Focus on protecting personal identity, not sharing too much personal info: name, address, phone number
    No typing of URLs at school, No Google
    Avoid ads
    Use of internet safety games and activities: Carnegie Cadets, NetSmartz Kids, Disney’s SurfSwell Island
    Recent work in fourth grade writing Netiquette rules for appropriate online communication
  • 4. Safety Measures at School
    Adult supervision in room
    Predominantly desktops in use
    Appropriate Use Policy
    Pre-selected online resources
    Limited access to search engines
    Web filter(s)
    Limited use of email
    • Spam Filter
    Monitoring software available (but seldom used)
    Admin controls by tech staff
  • 5. Safety Measures for Home
    Communicate rules & values, have conversations with children about tech use
    Observing children’s computer use
    Public space for desktop computer use
    Limits on amount and kind of use, expressed and enforced through tech measures
    Parent as admin on machines, not child
    Know child’s password
    Filtering / blocking / reporting software
  • 6. Resources for Parents
  • 7. Software Tools
    Family Safety Package
    Filter your network
    Block Advertising
  • 8. Risk Exposure
    Where are students most likely to run into problems?
  • 9. Online Activities at School
    JK/SK multiple sites used with direct access via dock, (little or no instruction on internet and browsers)
    1st – use some sites at school, two online accounts created (Kerpoof & Shidonni)
    2nd – Individual VoiceThreadaccounts, non-interactive blogs & podcasts. Teacher-led wikis & Twitter.
    3rd- Interactive blogs, VoiceThreads, portal use for research, tools, information and entertainment
    4th – Blogs, VoiceThreads, keyboarding, portal, email accounts
  • 10. Home Use
    Webkinz, Poptropica, Club Penguin
    Disney ToonTown,
    Google searches, especially image searches
    YouTubesearches & postings
    Instant messaging
  • 11. Become an Expert CyberParent
    • Start Early!
    • 12. Take a developmental approach
    • 13. Start the conversation – don’t wait for them to start it! (or continue it)
    • 14. Repetition is important
    • 15. Collaborate with other Parents
  • Become an Expert Cyberparent
    • Limited expectation of Privacy
    • 16. All activities under open and direct supervision
    • 17. Monitoring software should be a second line of defense
  • Strategies for Effective Cyber-Parenting
    Computer must be kept in a public place
    Internet safety should be an ongoing conversation at home: Discuss your values!
    Teach and discuss with your child appropriate social skills for online communication
  • 18. Strategies continued
    Establish standards regarding use of the computer when you are not present
    Be part of your child’s online experience
    MySpace and Facebook are NOT appropriate
    e.g., Terms of Service states age 13 for you to even have a Facebook account
  • 19. Restoring Email
    Demonstrating Trust
    Have discussed Netiquette, need practice
    Told children email is not private, parents should feel free to ask/know student passwords
    Email at fourth grade is scaffolded use
    a stepping stone to more complete email accounts in fifth grade
    mistakes are more contained than they will be after 4th