With the upcoming break from school approaching, we wanted to share important information and tips related to usage of Google Chromebooks and time away from school. The following is provided to families and focuses on online safety, digital citizenship and appropriate usage of technology. We also remind families to not leave Chromebooks at airports or at family members’ homes. Good care should be taken of the device to avoid damage or lost devices.
Talk to your child about…
- Emphasize that Google Chromebooks and Google Apps for Education are school devices designed to enhance instruction, make it easier for students to collaborate with each other and their teachers and to provide another learning tool within our schools.
- Although the Google Chromebook is a school device, it is appropriate and recommended that parents and other caregivers (grandparents, child-care professionals, etc.) set limits on use of technology at home.
- Set screen-time limits: For example, many parents set limits on the amount of screen time children are allotted each day, especially technology usage that is not related to school assignments or projects.
- Set no-technology times: Another recommendation is that digital devices be placed away from children during specific times of day, such as mealtime, and be inaccessible by children at bedtime.
- Parents are also encouraged to make sure they are aware of any homework their children have been assigned to complete during winter break to help monitor appropriate use of Chromebooks. Parents can reach out to their children’s teachers for this list or access teachers’ online homework calendar if this is available.
- Parents are also encouraged to continue to reinforce appropriate behavior related to technology usage. This includes no bullying, no inappropriate chatting, etc. Additional tips are provided within this document.
How to help children unplug over the break
Common Sense Media, a website that includes information for parents about children and technology, offers a helpful article about how to help balance children’s technology usage with family time and other activities. The article is available at https://www.commonsensemedia.org/blog/8-ways-to-unplug-your-holidays#.
Online Safety Tips
Parents are encouraged to emphasize the following online rules for children at home.
- Never give out personal information such as address, telephone numbers, parents’ name or work address/telephone number without parent permission.
- Tell parents right away if they come across something online that makes them feel uncomfortable.
- Talk to parents about posting pictures of themselves online.
- Do not respond to any messages that are mean or make children feel uncomfortable.
- Never give out passwords to anyone other than parents.
- Follow the rules of digital citizenship, including never posting anything online that hurts others.