Monday, February 29, 2016

Easy Ways for Parents to Keep Tech Use Positive- Teacher Conferences Handout

Last spring, Deephaven Elementary Fifth Grade teachers piloted using spring conferences as an educational opportunity to talk with parents about cyber-safety in conjunction with our digital literacy curriculum. The face-to-face conversation was more beneficial than sending out an email or simply sending this information home in backpacks. 

Link to PDF
This year we expanded this practice to all of our elementary schools.  We had a one-page flier of easy ways parents can help their children with technology which we printed and teachers handed to parents at conferences. Teachers were encouraged to take a minute for a personal conversation with parents about the importance of proactively protecting children online.

Spring of fifth grade is a crucial transition stage of children’s lives. We want to encourage parents to do three things:  1) Talk to their children about ethical use of personal devices and 2) install filters on home WiFi and 3) use restrictions on devices. We suggested to teachers that if they had personal experience about the benefits of using the tools listed in the handout that they would share these with their students’ parents.

Our District Digital Health & Wellness Committee has a goal of getting more 
parents to use restrictions and filters to protect children from inappropriate content in a mobile world. We’ve learned that many parents have never considered the possibility of their child accessing porn or other material on personal devices. They assume all devices are filtered, like our school filters the internet, and that is not the case unless parents take responsibility for turning on filters and restrictions.
64% filter home WiFi
We started surveying all parents two weeks ago about technology and included filter related questions. Of the fifth grade parents who have responded so far, 64% stated they have a filter on their home Wifi and 63% have a filter on their child’s smartphone if s/he has one. We will be doing a post survey of 5th grade parents after conferences and are hoping for an increase in numbers after the teachers' conversations with families. 

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  1. Thanks for sharing this wonderful information. I'm working on getting some parent information to use in a monthly newsletter or group discussion. Would you mind sharing the survey you sent to parents? I'd be interested in what kinds of questions you asked and see if this is something that would be useful for our community.

    1. Hi Stephanie,

      Besides questions about having home and cell filters, some of the other questions we asked can be found in the bar graphs pictured on this post:


  2. Hi Dave, thanks for sharing this wonderful resource, as well as the other resources on your 'Raising Digitally Balanced Kids' resources. We are in the midst of creating a district DC plan and these will be very helpful. Love the idea of teachers taking the time during conferences to share this info.

    1. Thanks for your comments, Chris! Glad you found this helpful.