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Internet Safety Tips for Families

Thank you for your partnership in your child’s education. We believe the families and staff in Oakwood do a great job working together to provide a world-class education to our students and we are looking forward to the challenges and successes the launch of the 1:1 program will bring. As we get started we wanted to share a few strategies the district uses that you can use at home too to keep our student’s internet use safe and productive.

Digital Citizenship

The first and the most import thing you can do with your student is to talk about digital citizenship. Our teachers discuss digital citizenship with our students. We specifically educate students via required technology classes, but just as importantly each teacher sets classroom expectations for device use within their classroom. Please use the golden opportunity of this 1:1 launch to have a discussion with your student about what your expectations are at home. 

Good topics of discussion

  • Rules for where and when they are allowed to use a device
  • What sites and types of sites they are allowed to visit and your expectations for reporting back to you if something inappropriate appears
  • Keeping personal information private (passwords, address, email, personal information, etc)
  • Property and permission (asking for permission before sharing information or using a digital resource)
  • Etiquette (being respectful, polite, and kind online as you would anywhere else) 

Monitoring

Our teachers monitor our students while they are using devices, and strive to plan activities that thoughtfully use the devices in the best ways for each student. A student who struggles to follow agreed upon expectations may have a modified plan for device usage. Please set some expectations at home with your student to make monitoring their usage easier.

Tips

  • Require devices to be used in an open place in your home
    • Where the device is used often dictates how it is used
  • Require devices to be put away at bedtime (preferably not in their bedroom)
  • Establish spot checks with your student- discuss and look at their web history together

Filtering

Filtering is listed last because no filter is foolproof. There is no perfect filter and there never will be. A determined student can almost always find a way to access materials that are outside of the filtering rules, but it’s a good tool to help protect students from temptation. The school uses a powerful filter, but it is limited to devices connected to the school’s network. At home, your student connects to your network. Please consider adding a filter to your home network.

Two well-reviewed products (The district does not officially endorse a product for filtering)

  • OpenDNS
    • OpenDNS offers a free service that when set up correctly on your home router filters all devices on your network. They have excellent instructions, but it requires a bit of technical know-how.
  • Circle Home Plus (by Disney)
    • This is a device that you connect to your router. It offers many more features than OpenDNS. The current cost is $129. After the first year, there is a $9.99 monthly fee.