A healthy media diet balances three things:
- What kids do online
- How much time they spend online
- Whether their content choices are age-appropriate
Mixing media and tech time with other activities will help families find that happy medium. Use Common Sense Media's Family Media Agreement and Device Contract to set realistic rules that make sense for your family so you and your kids can make the most out of media and tech time.
Is your child surfing the Internet safely?
The variety and the vast amount of this information, and the ease with which they can get to it, make the Internet an invaluable resource for any student today. Allowing your child access to the Internet helps them practice finding, processing, and exchanging information - all valuable skills. The use of the Internet expands your child’s computer and information literacy skills and their understanding of the world around them. With the help and guidance of teachers, media specialists and parents alike, the online world can be an exciting and informative place for your child to learn and grow.
Here at Talbot, the web is an important educational tool that we use on a daily basis. The Internet extends the walls of the media center for students into the classroom and home. In the media center, the computer labs and the classrooms, we take measures to keep your child safe as they use the Internet. We have an Acceptable Use Policy, a set of computer use rules, that is signed by students and parents at the beginning of the school year. The school district's filter blocks various websites that contain content that is unsuitable for students. And, students are monitored by an adult when using a computer.
Just as we take precautions at school to keep your child safe on the Internet, there are measures you can take at home to insure their safety.
Here are some Internet safety tips for parents from the experts:
- Be actively involved in your children's online experiences.
- Place computers in high-traffic areas like the kitchen.
- Read unfamiliar emails.
- Monitor mobile charges. Check out unfamiliar phone numbers and email addresses.
- Don't allow children to spend long periods of time on the computer, especially at night.
- Help children understand that online users may not be who they say they are or who they seem to be. Get to know your children's Internet friends.
- Tell children to report anything they come across online that seems strange or makes them uncomfortable and to tell you if they are asked personal questions or invited to personal meetings.
- Tell children to report to suggestive, obscene, or threatening email or messages to a trusted adult. Forward copies to your ISP (Internet Service Provider) and insist they help deal with the problem.
- Be concerned if children mention adults you don't know, become secretive, or appear to have inappropriate knowledge.
Internet Safety Rules for Kids
Post the Internet Safety Rules for Kids, shown below, by your computer.
- Never give out personal information, such as your name, address, school name or address, or parents' or teachers' names or addresses, online.
- Never visit chat rooms or blog sites without permission.
- Never go to private chat rooms or meet new online friends in a private online setting.
- Never go to new websites without permission.
- Never respond to rude or offensive email, instant messages, or postings.
- Never meet new online friends offline without a parent present.
- Always carefully consider any pictures or text that you post or send.
- Always set your privacy settings on social networking sites to the most private setting available.
Suggested web sites about Internet safety:
NetSmartz Kids - A program from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children
SafeFlorida from Florida's Attorney General
Web Wise Kids for tweens and teens