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Moor End Academy

Understanding how to be an Online Parent

20 October 2016

Hello Parents,

I am asked on a regular basis about how to keep up with technology and what students are using it for.  Even for me this is sometimes a challenge, especially as the ever changing online world creates new interests and ways to communicate on a near constant basis.  Children are accessing social media as a part of their everyday lives and I have decided that the best answer is to do the following 3 things:

1) Read about Social Media

You need to read and you need to learn why students are using different social media sites.  There are hundreds of ways to do this through websites like thinkuknow, NSPCC and saferinternet.  You could also follow this blog as well as our twitter feed @MEA_esafety and download the school App to keep uptodate (MySchoolApp from the iTunes Store or Google Play)

2) Get Involved

The best way to understand is to get involved.  This doesn't always have to be associated with having your own Facebook or Instagram accounts (although, this is a good way to monitor their online activities) but to use family time to discuss their online activities, who they talk to and what pictures they upload.  It's important for children to know they feel supported in how they use social media but also challenged in the digital identity they create and have to live with in the future.

3) Be Proactive

I hear many parents talk about being unsure on what they can do to stay ahead of their children.  In this day and age there are many things that parents can do to create a sense of control over what their children are accessing online. Below are just a few ideas:

- Installation of parent protection apps on smartphones or tablets

- Tuning off the internet after a certain time

- Setting up parental controls via the phone provider

- Go through their privacy settings together to discuss and learn whats best

- Monitor usage via reviews of their search history and then engage in conversation / action based on the evidence

Thank you
Mr Atkinson
Assistant Principal

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