Parents' Guide to Student Devices

  • Set Expectations

    Regularly share your expectations with your child about accessing only appropriate sites and content, as well as being a good citizen when online (even when parents aren’t watching). Outside of school, it is likely that your child has already been confronted with multiple opportunities to access content that parents wouldn’t approve. Your teen’s use of devices (such as iPods, video game systems, and cell phones) may give them the ability to connect to unfiltered public wireless networks (such as in a public library or coffee shop). It is important to maintain a regular, open dialog about Internet use and access. Come to a mutual understanding your expectation for appropriate use, behavior, and potential consequences.

    Monitor & Limit Screen Time

    Surfing the Internet should be done in a central place at home, such as the kitchen or family room, rather than away from adult supervision or behind a closed door.  Know what your child is doing with technology and how his or her time is being spent. Technology can be a great tool and resource, but also has the potential to be a big distractor. Help your child learn to focus on completing tasks or assignments first before spending time on games, browsing, or social networking. Teaching our children how to manage multiple sources of information and potential distractions is a critical life skill, one best learned before heading off to college or the workplace.

    Put the device to bed, but not in the bedroom

    Parenting experts suggest parking all technology devices, from cell phones to laptops, in a common family room or the kitchen overnight to discourage late night, unmonitored use and sleep disruption. Don’t allow your teen to sleep with the Chromebook, laptop or cell phone in their room. Remember to model appropriate use and balance of technology in your own life, too!

    Common Sense Media Guides for Parents and Teens in High School

    The Common Sense Media site has great resources for parents to guide conversations with their children about media use. It’s designed to help parents set expectations around media use that is right for their family. This is an excellent resource to help families get on the same page about media and technology use.

    Cyber Safety

    Cyber safety is an important subject to revisit frequently. Children are actually most vulnerable to online dangers while in their own home. The following suggestions are provided to help you guide your child’s use of the school device and other technology devices. 

    Outside of school, parents bear responsibility for the same guidance of Internet use as they exercise with information sources such as television, telephones, radio, movies and other media. Parents are responsible for monitoring their student’s use of school-issued equipment, email accounts, and use of the Internet when the student is accessing from home or through other remote location(s).

    Filter Access

    Internet filtering software is not built in to the school device. While many potential dangers are filtered and blocked on the school’s wireless network, children often have access to inappropriate sites at home. We strongly suggest installing software to filter and block inappropriate content on your wireless home network. Some possible filters to consider include Open DNS (free version available here), SafeEyes, and NetNanny.  Some of these products offer additional protection features such as cell phone filtering, text message and photo screening tools, and digital footprint/reputation monitoring.

    Helpful websites with Internet safety tips: